A ‘long-necked’ Kayan lady greets us with a smile

An abundance of culture awaits on the outskirts of Loikaw


A three-hour drive south of Taunggyi, will find you in Loikaw, the remote and charming capital of Kayah state. Here you will find beautiful scenery galore and a large number of distinctive tribal cultures, the most famous being the Padaung, or ‘long-necked’ Kayan. The women from this tribe are well known for wearing neck rings, gold and brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it. Using Loikaw as a base, it is possible to explore a number of these relatively untouched Padaung villages, most of which have been shut off to tourists for decades due to civil unrest. As a result of a recent ceasefire agreement, the area has become more accessible to visitors and the locals will be sure to greet you with immense kindness and open arms. For an unforgettable sunset, be sure to make your way to the summit of Taung Kwe Pagoda, a white and gold temple complex that sits pretty on top of a limestone monolith.


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