Discover Kayah

Amazing Experiences

Charming People

Kayah State

Closed for over half a century, recently opened to visitors, and finally accessible by air and road; Kayah is packed with diversity and potential for inspiring, ‘off the beaten track’ experiences.

Kayah’s nine ethnic groups weave a colourful tapestry of beliefs, cuisines, dress and decoration, languages and livelihoods.

Kayah’s tranquil capital, Loikaw, is usually the base for tourists. A short drive from the state capital, local villages offer many opportunities to experience local life, including a range of newly developed, community-based, cultural tours.

Discover Kayah

Visitors will find Kayah’s undulating landscapes and weave of cultures visually enchanting. However, what truly sets Kayah apart is the endearing warmth of the people, their sense of humour, and passion to share their rituals, arts, crafts and music. Visitors who are interested in culture can visit animist temples, meet local musicians playing unique bamboo instruments, and try on a local costume! Active visitors can enjoy forest trekking accompanied by local forest guides. Food fans will enjoy tasting ‘Kayah barbecue’ or sipping millet wine from an earthen pot!

Map showing the location of Kayah State, in Myanmar

Where is Kayah

Situated in the hilly, eastern part of Myanmar, Kayah is Myanmar’s smallest state.

Kayah is bounded to the north by Phekhon, Siseng and Mawkme townships of Shan State; to the east by Thailand; to the south by the Papun township of Kayin/Karen State; and to the west by Thandaung township of Kayin State.The state capital, Loikaw is located approximately 500 km from Yangon and 250 km from the capital of Nay Pyi Taw. Kayah State has an area of 11,670 sq. km / 4,506 sq. miles. Kayah has a sparse population, of just over 350,000 people.

How to get to Kayah

Newly opened to tourists, most visitors arrive in Loikaw, the state capital by air from Yangon, by boat or road from Inle Lake, or by road from Heho airport.

By Air: Flights from Yangon to Loikaw take approximately one hour. Loikaw is now served almost every day by Myanmar National Airlines (www.flymna.com ).

By Boat: visitors can travel from Nyaungshwe / Inle Lake to Pekong boat pier, and then take a transfer by taxi or minivan to Loikaw (approximately 45 minutes).

By Car: The journey from Nyaungshwe to Loikaw by private vehicle takes about 5 hours (up to 7 hours by public transport). One can also travel to Liokaw by road from Yangon. The journey takes approximately 18 hours. It is not recommended.

Welcome to Loikaw

The capital of Kayah State, Loikaw (named by Shan people) describes the dividing point between two mountains: Shwe Taung and Thiri Mingalar Taung. ‘Loi’ means mountain and ‘Kaw’ means separate.

The town’s most iconic site is Taung Kwe Pagoda, also known as Broken Mountain, which offers stunning panoramic views of the urban area and surrounding mountains. The reclining Buddha, churches, colourful markets, a museum, and traditional crafts workshops are also highlights.

Beyond these sights, Loikaw is a genuinely great place to rub shoulders with local people, and soak up the town’s gentle, laid back and friendly atmosphere. The beautiful Belu Chaung river runs through Loikaw. Scenic Naung Yah lake is a great place to go for a morning walk, or enjoy tasty local food in the evening, at sunset.

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Accommodation

Loikaw offers several comfortable (not luxurious) hotels; and simple, guest-houses. Some hotels offer different room rates, depending on single or double occupancy, and low/high season. In Loikaw, the low season is April to September, and high season October to March. Room rates indicated below are subject to change. Please always contact the hotels to confirm current rates. Please also note that while some hotels do offer wi-fi, signals are often weak and fluctuating.


HOTEL MINGALAR KAYAH

We, Hotel Mingalar started welcoming esteemed guest since October 2016. Hotel Mingalar is located near TaungGwal Pagoda, just 5 mi...

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LOIKAW PRINCESS HOTEL

We offer free mountain bikes and terrace, as well as a restaurant. Hotel Loikaw Princess is situated in Loikaw, just less than 2 ...

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GLORY KAYAH MOTEL

Glory Motel is located in the center of the city, near Thirimingalar Pagoda and Hawgyi Monestry. Glory Motel is a pleasant mid ...

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LOIKAW HAPPY MOTEL

This Motel is located close to the airport and currently offers 10 rooms. There are two types of room (Double/ Twin). Prices rang...

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Food

Kayah’s cuisine is simple, fresh and healthy. Visitors can try a variety of local dishes and snacks in fresh markets and local restaurants.

The Kayah kitchen includes some regional specialities, of which Kayah Sausage is the most famous. These tasty, meat sausages are seasoned with Kayah pepper, which is harvested in the surroundings of De Maw Soe and Pan Pet villages. The pepper imbues the sausages with a distinctive flavour.

‘Hin Htoke’ is another delicious, local snack, enjoyed by people in Kayah. ‘Hin Htoke’ are steamed rice cakes, usually mixed with chicken or pork, or vegetarian. Local rice and millet wines are also popular.


Keinnayar Nandaw Sausage and Wine

This is a popular, local restaurant, well known for serving some of the best Kayah Sausage in Loikaw....

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Golden Lion Restaurant

This unique restaurant has an unforgettable ‘saloon’ style, and a great, central location on the Balu Chaung river, off Pa Dau...

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Kaung Kyaw Hein Cafe

This is Loikaw’s best known bakery, and a great place for tea, coffee, cakes, and watching the world go by. The cakes are baked ...

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Loikaw City Restaurant

Loikaw City Restaurant serve very good quality food, in a pleasant ambiance. There is a nice, open balcony; as well as several cos...

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Activities
INSIDE Loikaw

The Kayah Sausage Experience

The Kayah Sausage Experience

This tour takes you into the home of one of two Loikaw Kayah sausage producers, willing to offer international and national visitors a safe and unique cooking experience in Kaya...

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Loikaw cultural museum

Loikaw cultural museum

Learn Symbols of Kayah Identity " Historical Artefacts and Traditional Costumes"

Highlights

Naung Yah Lake

Naung Yah Lake

Naung Yah lake is a very popular spot for local people to enjoy a stroll in the morning and evening, or a picnic with family and friends. Some paddle boats are available, and so...

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Haw Nan Monastery

Haw Nan Monastery

Haw Nan Monastary, known as Kandarawwady Haw Nan is one of the most ancient buildings in Kayah. It was built during the First World War ( 1912-1916) by Zaw Bwa Saw Pyar Du Sat K...

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Thirimingalar Market

Thirimingalar Market

Thirimingalar Market is open every day from 6 AM to 5 PM except full moon days. The market has a good variety of items local foods, vegetables, fruits and spices with wonderful con...

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Taung Kwe Pagoda (Broken Mountain)

Taung Kwe Pagoda (Broken Mountain)

The most famous religious landmark of Loikaw is the Thiri-Mingalar Taung-kwe Pagoda. Taung Kwe means broken mountain. It is also called Thirimingalar Taung Zedi as it was built on ...

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Baho Zay

Baho Zay

Market on Daw Na Street has plenty of tasty, local food and typical Myanmar tea shops. It is possible to buy hot, fresh food. However, use your discretion. If this is your first ti...

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Loikaw Weaving Center and natural dying path tour

Loikaw Weaving Center and natural dying path tour

This tour takes you around the organic garden of the weaving center to discover and experience the process of natural dyeing and learn about traditional weaving.

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Activities
OUTSIDE Loikaw

Demoso Market

Demoso Market

Demoso Market is located to the South of Loikaw. It takes 30 minutes to travel by car or bike from Loikaw. The market is open 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) in the ...

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Daw Ta Ma Gyi, Kayah Village

Daw Ta Ma Gyi, Kayah Village

Hightlights Pokhee or Women’s Shrine, where women can get justice "Rice Barn Village" or Dozen of small huts that keep rice for the whole year Taste millet wine, learn about...

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Htay Kho, Kayaw Village

Htay Kho, Kayaw Village

Experience Remote, Vibrant, Local Culture and Go Off Road, with Real Forest Trekking Hightlight The Culture of Carving Wooden Coffins for Ones’ Relatives Traditional Hunting...

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Pan Pet, Kayan Village

Pan Pet, Kayan Village

Nature trail into the green heart of Kayah In Pem Song hamlet, guests can enjoy the ‘Nature Trail’, an easy forest walk, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Al...

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Htee-pwint-kan or Umbrella pond

Htee-pwint-kan or Umbrella pond

Htee-pwint-kan or Umbrella pond is situated in Demosoe Township in the heart of the paddy fields. It is a small pond, around a hundred feet in circumference. The pond is famous bec...

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Aung Tha Pyay Cave

Aung Tha Pyay Cave

Aung Tha Pyay Cave is located near Htee Se’ Kha waterfall. There are about 10 sitting Buddha Statues inside the cave. The cave is approximately about 1000 ft long. Many bee hives...

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Phaya Pyu, or ‘white pagoda’ village

Phaya Pyu, or ‘white pagoda’ village

Phaya Pyu, or ‘white pagoda’ village can be reached by a scenic boat journey from Loikaw, which takes about 1 hour and is most pleasant in the early morning. The journey is ver...

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Lwel Ta Mu Cave

Lwel Ta Mu Cave

Lwel Ta Mu Cave was found in 1948. According to legend, a local person saw the cave in a dream, and went to find it. The cave is 110 feet deep, 100 feet wide, 300 feet long to the ...

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Ngwe Daung Dam

Ngwe Daung Dam

Ngwe Daung Dam is located in Demawso Township, 12 miles south of Loikaw. It was built in 1962. It is the main dam for irrigation in the Demawsoe area. It is a beautiful spot to tak...

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Kyet Cave

Kyet Cave

See ancient, wooden coffins in natural cave in eastern Kayah state Kyet Cave (Ya Sa Ku in Kayah language) is located 12 miles far to the east of Loikaw, 2990 metres above sea leve...

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Hta Nee La Leh, Kayah Community

Hta Nee La Leh, Kayah Community

These community based, cultural tour programs offer fascinating, fun insights into local life and culture in Hta Nee La Leh, Kayah community. Activities were developed based on spe...

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Lawpita waterfall and hydropower plant

Lawpita waterfall and hydropower plant

Lawpita waterfall and hydropower plant is located about 12 km’s to the east of Loikaw. It has beautiful scenery with the water cascading down the falls. Many fishes can clearly b...

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Htee Se Kha Waterfall

Htee Se Kha Waterfall

Htee Se Kha Waterfall is a one hour drive, west of Loikaw. It is a natural waterfall which flows from Nant Tan Bat Creek, on the border of Shan and Kayah States. Local people enjoy...

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Reviews on Kayah

Loikaw is interesting place.

We visited the Taung Kwe Pagoda - the main attraction within the town of Loikaw. You have to transverse a number of stairs in bare feet to get to top. But well worth it! You get nice views of th...

Suzie S G Lim
Australia, May 2019

Beautiful Scenery

Kayah is a place for nature lovers. We went to the lakes and it was serene and peaceful. We enjoyed a sampling of Kaya food. My wife liked the sausage. It tasted quite fifferent from those we have...

Paul Douglas Jr
United Kingdom, July 2018

My family enjoyed Kayah!

Thank you to Amazing Kayah - the agency we used for our 3 day tour around Kayah. They were very helpful and knowledgeable about the history and culture of Kayah. My wife & I enjoyed our time in Kaya...

Aikiko Namura
Japan, August 2018

Latest News

Officials optimistic about Kayah State tourism prospects

Tourism in Kayah State is booming and domestic travelers visiting the state increased by up to 97 percent while the number of foreign travelers rose by 41 pc last year compared ...

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Kayah State Chief Minister invites investment primarily in tourism sector

The Kayah State Chief Minister U L Phaung Sho has urged investors to invest primarily in the tourism sector, which has many opportunities in the Kayah State. “In the hotel and...

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Kayah State re-opens some areas to tourists

The Ministry of Home Affairs have re-opened some restricted areas in Kayah State for tourists to visit starting in January as part of the state’s campaign to attract more tourist...

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