Taunggyi in Myanmar might sound less known to some travelers, but it’s believed that this is a great destination to explore. If just feeling interested in its name or any related picture, the following bits can clarify your curiosity about Taunggyi.
About Taunggyi in Myanmar
Taunggyi (the name means “Huge Mountain” in the Burmese language) is a capital of Shan State in Myanmar. This was the fifth largest city in Myanmar based on population in 2014. The capital city is 1,436 meters above the sea level. Its location is around 500km from Yangon to the north and 10km from Mandalay to the southeast. As its name stated, Taunggyi is set on a high plateau bordered by the massive mountains, as a part of the Shan Hills system. The prominent spur in the area is Phaya Taung. For tourism, Taunggyi might be most confident with the Fire Balloon Festival (in November) as well as many traditional pagodas, age-old villages, secretive caves, and many ethnic tribes. In the first village, you might conclude that this destination is so laid-back. But if you think twice, this is the great zone for you to unwind and find peace.
What to See and Do in Taunggyi Myanmar
Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda
The pagoda lies in the mountain ridge, 40-minute walking from the east of Taunggyi. This religious monument owns the highlights of the spectacular and peaceful landscape, not to mention its long-lasting holiness.
The city’s most eminent religious site is the Sulamuni Pagoda. It is the giant, white stupa which imitated the model of the Ananda Pagoda in Bagan. That said, Sulamuni was constructed in 1994 to honor the centenary in Taunggyi.
Shan State Cultural Museum
If you’re keen on the history and tribal lifestyle of people in the Shan State, come to this Cultural Museum! This will give you the insights into the history fields so that you learn much about both Taunggyi and the Shan State’s costumes, weapons, musical instruments, and the old photos.
This is one of the two vineyards in Myanmar that you should not miss. Aythaya Vineyard is run by German and features lots of impressive teak buildings overlooking the spectacular Aythaya Valley. Walking in the vineyard is enjoyable, and the stay at the teak accommodation is very delightful.
The Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival
On an annual basis, this iconic festival is celebrated around the Full Moon of Tazaungmon (the national holiday to indicate the end of the rainy season, usually in November). It is characterized by fireworks and colorful array of numerous balloons. The balloons can be in various animal shapes that would be sent up into the sky together with fireworks at night. Before that, the daytime hours are for the family gathering. Advisably, the participants should keep a safe distance from the balloons to avoid any unexpected danger. Besides the Shan New Year, the Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival is the greatest local event in November. Contact the local burmese travel agency to customize your trip !
Pagodas in Kakku
Kakku region covers the pagoda complex, mainly for the Pa-O ethnic group to do worshipping. Here you see over 2,400 stupas, and each has the tinkling bell on the top. The enchanting zone might attract the travelers with the traditional brickwork, the inspiring tinkling bells, or the silent interior of each pagoda. This one of Asia’s biggest and most spectacular wonders.
Mya Sein Taung Pagoda
On the hill to the northeast of Taunggyi, the Mya Sein Taung Pagoda came into life in 1962. It has the stupas of 8m high, and the Buddha bronze statue of 3m high. As the hill is 1524m above the sea level, you contemplate the beautiful Taunggyi City from this spot.
This peaceful village lies between Taunggyi and Ho Pone. While the traditional local houses are inspiring, the natural springs are ideal for relaxing and photographing. Also, the natural springs enable the locals to grow vegetables all year round, creating the evergreen and fresh atmosphere. What’s more, Ho Pone pond is the beautiful spot for sightseeing. Moving further, you might arrive at Ho Pone ancient town where the Shan and Pa-O ethnic people have lived for ages.
Hten San Cave
Moving 42km from Taunggyi City to the east, you see the impressive and vast limestone cave system named Hten San. The natural attraction has an elevation of 1800 m. The system protects the massive and age-old stalactites and stalagmites. The natural beauty in this highlight is fascinating while some Buddhist tributes are gaudy. So, if you love ecotourism and cave expedition, go there!
The Cave is 3km to the west of Taunggyi, standing out as the long and deep cave with the narrow entrance. So, exploring Montawa Cave leaves the thrilling and adventurous experiences. Also, inside the cave are 1,000 Buddha images that surprise the first-time explorers. As there is no record of the depth and the age of Montawa Cave, it remains secretive and appealing as time passes.
How to Get to Taunggyi in Myanmar
Taunggyi is served by Heho Airport, which is around 40km from Taunggyi to the west. It takes 45 minutes driving from the airport to the capital city. The available taxi, pick-up truck and bus support you well. To save some dollars and cents, it might be good to book the taxi service in advance with your hotels. So now, check out if your place has the direct flights to Heho Airport! Provided that you’re in other areas of Myanmar like Mandalay, Yangon, or Tachileik, there are flights to Taunggyi comfortably.
Taunggyi is around 500km from Yangon. This encourages the good drivers to drive from Yangon to Taunggyi, though the road is full of bends and zigzags. That said, if seen from above, the road is just similar to a snake. But the driving route is very scenic, and you can expect to enjoy sightseeing the dramatic scenery. If driving to Taunggyi, the first sight to see might be the impressive Sao Sam Htun Hospital or the Taunggyi Department Store. Then, lots of pagodas, shops, and residential buildings will stand out. The green and laid-back atmosphere in this destination welcomes you. You might meet people with the different races gathering at some points in Taunggyi. Hence, check out the route or have Google map installed on your smartphone before starting the drive. Otherwise, the best way is to let your reliable travel agents bring you there by coaches/buses. The knowledgeable tour guides also know what is worthy enough to show you.
When to Visit Taunggyi
The capital city has the humid subtropical climate. It experiences the warm temperature all year round, with the two major seasons:
- December – March: The period belongs to the winter dry season. The dry condition is ideal for outdoor activities toward the pagodas, villages, and caves in Taunggyi. If appreciating the dry and cool vibes, plan for your travel to Taunggyi! Note that the nights can become very cold then.
- April – November: These months mark the summer wet season. While the summertime is sometimes hot, it might feature some rain. According to the seasoned travelers, September to November might be the best time to visit Taunggyi. Remarkably, November is when to celebrate the Fire Balloon Festival!