Kalaw is located in Shan State which in turn constitutes nearly a quarter of the area of Myanmar.Because of its elevation at 4300 ft most of the state is unsuitable for rice growing, but very suitable for poppy and therefore opium cultivation-it is in the Golden Triangle!. It is in these areas that the Shan Rebel Army and Chinese opium warlords operate.It is pleasantly cool and an excellent place to go hiking amid pine forests, bamboo groves and generally rugged mountain scenery. The British Army and the Colonial administration set up Kalaw as their R&R location. The Burmese Raj Army were primarily made up of Nepalese Gurkha and Sikh Regimental soldiers and Indian support staff. As a result there are many Gurkhas, some Sikh and Indian families where excellent Indian food is available. The railroad was built to connect Mandaly with Kalaw and it still exists as the monument to British rule.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography