Kengtung is positioned in Shan State, the further east of Myanmar country. It is a remote and rustic town that gives people a feel of the medieval time. The destination is the home to several Burmese tribes like the Shan, Akha, Lahu, and La Mone. So, if you want to learn the diversity of Burmese culture, then invest time in Keng Tung.
About Kengtung Myanmar
Kengtung is around 787m above the sea level. It is the cultural diversity that grants Kengtung with various names that you might come across somewhere, including Kyaing Tong, Chiang Tung, Cheingtung, and Kengtong. It is a principal town of Kengtung township. The town belongs to Shan State and is located on the National Highway 4. The two highlights in Kengtung include Kengtung Airport and Kyaing Tong Degree College. People say some of the forgotten trips on this earth are living in Keng Tung. Know that this rustic town used to be isolated under the military-ruled Burmese state! Geographically, this destination is set against the spectacular mountain ranges which are suitable for trekking, cycling, and learning the tribal culture. During the exploration, you’re promised to meet the exotic tribe villages, the decaying colonial buildings, the old-style houses with the wooden balconies depicting the Shan architecture and ethnic belief, and the magnificent mountains. Every trait in Kengtung remains rustic, pristine, and scenic. Sometimes, you might meet the red-clothed Palaung tribe, the Lahu tribe, or the Akha people who keep their traditional lifestyle in the mountainous regions and have the interesting tribal dancing.
Check out the map of Kengtung Myanmar right here.
Kengtung has the mythical history in the early time. This town is linked to various legends. It was orally rumored that the antique Kengtung was long the home to the Wa people, and when the grandson of King Mangrai defeated the Wa people to occupy the city. Since then, the ancient town went through various empires with the rich diversity of ethnicity. In 1942, the city belonged to the Thai Phayap Army until the end of the World War II. Later, when Burma won independence, Kengtung was put under military rule and isolation due to the heavy cultural civilization of Burma at the time. That resulted in the fact that Kengtung was isolated from the outside world for decades. Up to now, most parts of the city remain rustic and detached.
What to See and Do in Kengtung
Naung Tung Lake
This is the picturesque lake, located on the west corner of Kengtung. While Naung Tung Lake itself offers the green and spectacular landscapes for sightseeing, the impressive standing Buddha statues nearby the lake is for worshipping. Just spending minutes walking around the lake and doing homage to the big standing Buddha; the experience helps people feel calm and comfortable.
Thit Ta Bin Taung (Lone Tree Hill)
This is the great site of interest that Kengtung is blessed with. Lone Tree Hill gives you opportunities to contemplate the gigantic and single 250-year-old tree. The tree is the big highlight illuminating the whole hill. Remarkably, from this hill, you’re free to spread the eyes toward the whole city. The view is magical during the sunset.
Tribal Villages in Kengtung
As noted, Kengtung population is famous for a wide range of tribe villages such as the Wa, Shan, Akha, Lahu, and LoiMwe Villages. In particular, the LoiMwe Village is encompassed by the captivating mountains. While the landscape is scenic, people in the villages follow the rustic lifestyle; they welcome you to visit their home and even treat you the traditional Burmese meal. If driving a motorbike to get there, it is exciting to move around several ethnic villages and get a glimpse of their living.
Kengtung travel: Trekking
Kengtung is gifted with the picturesque and impressive mountain ranges for the thrill-seekers. Trekking in Kengtung gives people a real feeling for adventure while the contemplation of the rustic scenes effectively brings them back in time. Please notice that it might be against the Burmese law if you trek without a tour guide in the east of Shan State! The reason is that this area is quite close to the borders of China and Thailand. Therefore, if you are found wandering alone, it is likely to get involved in the unwanted issues. For all good reasons, make sure you trek with the tour guide who knows the local custom and rule well.
Click to see Burma trekking tour here !
Visiting Morning Markets in Kengtung
The town of Kengtung has several morning markets to cheer up the visitors. Coming there, you can expect to feast the eyes on the colorful images of the tribe people who dress their traditional costumes. And, the market arrangements are inspiring enough to urge you to buy various unique Burmese items. Photographing opportunities are infinite there, and you are sure to enrich the album about Myanmar much after the short excursion to Keng Tung. As the interesting photographic subjects are many, do feel free to take the favorite shots! As the morning markets are worth the go, make sure you come to the market zones early to catch the animated atmosphere. Whether you come to take photographs or to buy something, the experience is memorable.
Doing Homage in Buddhist Pagodas
Like many other destinations in Myanmar, Kengtung owns a decent collection of the Buddhist pagodas. In most situations, these pagodas are surrounded by the tranquil lake, the colonial buildings, the flowery gardens, and even the lush orchards. All is combined to create the fascinating landscapes. While the pagodas themselves are revered, the surroundings are scenic, and the atmosphere, in general, is relaxing.
When to Visit Kengtung Township in Myanmar
Kengtung has two seasons: the winter dry season (December – April) and the summer wet season (May – November).
In general, the temperature in this town is warm all year round, and the matters of season do not influence your tours much. It is best to see Kengtung during the festive time. In particular, the Shan New Year Festival often happens in the early December when to happily join the big events with various shows, dancing, music, and even beauty competitions. What’s more, the Burmese New Year usually falls in April that includes the exciting game of beating the drum.
How to Get to Kengtung – Access and Permits
As pointed out, Kengtung has the Kengtung Airport for both international flights and domestic flights (without permit requirement). In reference to the travel to Kengtung overland, the foreigners are required to have a permit if driving in their private car; for instance, it takes 15 hours driving from Taunggyi to Keng Tung). In most cases, the first-time travelers to Kengtung had better use the tour services so that they can reach this remote part in the fast east of Myanmar completely. As the town remains mysterious to some of the rest of the world, it is smarter to use the legitimate travel services rather than traveling to a remote destination on your own; especially this is your first-time travel. Check out the Myanmar Tour to Kengtung online easily or work with your reliable travel agents! There are many safe channels to enjoy.