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Other attractions in the region

The lake is the perfect staging ground for visits to other attractions in the region. The nearby town of Nyaungshwe is home to a small collection of monasteries and serves as a departure point for treks to ethnic villages The caves at Pindaya are well worth a look. The entrance to the network of caverns is watched over by the 15-metrehigh Shwe U Min Pagoda, and beyond that visitors will find subterranean chambers lined with thousands of old Buddha images, as well as rock formations with names like the Weaving Loom of the Fairy Princesses. Some stalactites, if struck by a wooden mallet, make a ringing sound that echoes through the caverns.

Buddha Images in Pindaya Caves

Farther away, the old British hill station of Kalaw is a great place to escape the heat and take leisurely walks among the pine trees and bamboo groves. More ambitious travellers can trek or mountain bike through stunning mountain scenery to visit Palaung, Pa-O and Danu villages.

Kekku Pagoda

The region’s most spectacular event of the year is undoubtedly the fire balloon competition held every November in Taunggyi. Here thousands of people congregate to watch giant paper animals being inflated and sent floating off into the skies above the town. South of Taunggyi is a 16th century pagoda complex called Kekku, consisting of more than 2000 stupas clustered in a small valley. In March, thousands of Pa-O converge on this usually deserted site to camp out for three days and celebrate the Kekku Pagoda Festival by chanting prayers, offering fruit and flowers, and lighting candles.

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