5-Day Loikaw Hilltribe Discovery

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Tour type

Tour Level: High Level

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • Feed and bathe elephants at the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
  • Admire the stunning scenery of the Karen Hills
  • Enjoy the magical atmosphere of Inle Lake
  • Visit important monasteries and pagodas in traditional villages

tour details

Travel where few visitors have ever gone as you discover hidden tribes throughout Kayah State. Your journey begins with a stop at the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp. Then, you’ll continue to Kalaw, where you’ll visit the local market. The next day, you’ll admire scenic countryside while driving to Loikaw. In the morning, you’ll explore the capital and the surrounding area, stopping at a museum, the morning market, and the Thirimingala Pagoda. Then, you’ll travel to the Padaung villages of Pan Pae, where local women still wear traditional brass rings. After a stop at the Taungdaing Standing Posts, you’ll return to Loikaw. The next day, you’ll visit a weaving centre before boarding a boat to Sagar on Inle Lake. In this village, you’ll see wheelwrights at their work and visit a pagoda.

In the morning you are picked up from the airport at Heho and driven via Kalaw and on through the hills to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp in Magway (approximately 2-2'bd hours). Receive a welcome from the team with refreshment and a briefing about the project. A short walk brings you to the river, where you can join in feeding and bathing the elephants - they love the water and being scrubbed and washed clean! You are also welcome to join in the camp's forest conservation programme by planting a teak tree here.
Enjoy lunch at Lunch at Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, with a view of the valley and the opportunity to see butterflies, birds and orchids. In the afternoon, drive back to Kalaw, formerly a British hill station (approximately one hour). Visit the tiny railway station, the market and drive along the leafy lanes of British-era bungalows, red brick and half-timbered.
Accommodation at Royal Kalaw Hill Hotel (Deluxe Room) or similar, Kalaw.
Today there is a full day drive to Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State. On your way through scenic countryside, enjoy a midday lunch at local restaurant. Late afternoon arrival in Loikaw. The town is in the Karen Hills, near the State's northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu River. The inhabitants are mostly Kayah (also known as Karen).
Accommodation at Loikaw Lodge (Superior room) or similar, Loikaw.
Spend the day exploring Loikaw and the surrounding area. This quiet city has a charming morning market which should not be missed. Another attraction is the Kayah State Cultural Museum which displays bronze drums used in wedding and funeral occasions, traditional dress, silverware and musical instruments of the Kayah people. In the centre of town there is an impressive rock on which stands the Thirimingala Pagoda (Taung Kwe Zedi). The climb up (over various steep steps) is worthwhile, for a great view over the city and the nearby hills.
Next, drive about 45 minutes towards the Padaung villages of Pan Pae. Padaung women, sometimes known as 'giraffe women' or 'long-necked women', traditionally wear a great many brass rings around their necks and ankles, starting from the age of six or seven, and added each year. The original purpose was to repel prospective kidnappers. Today only elderly women still wear these rings, as the younger generation no longer follows the tradition. Picnic lunch.
From the road an easy 45-minute walk on a track brings you to the first village where you'll see Padaung women. Visit the Taungdaing Standing Posts at Chikel village, which celebrate ancient fertility rituals. You can also continue another 45 minutes on foot to the next village, depending on the time available and your interest. Return to the car (1'bd hours) and drive back to Loikaw for the evening.
Accommodation at Loikaw Lodge (Superior room) or similar, Loikaw.
This morning you can visit one of Loikaw's weaving centres, where beautiful Kayah longyi patterns are made. Mid-morning you'll travel 30 minutes by road for Phekhone, where you board a boat for the village of Sagar, in the southern part of Inle Lake, a journey of about 1'bd hours through a beautiful landscape. This route is not often taken by travellers and is unspoiled. Lunch at A Little Lodge in Samkar.
This pretty village is known for its wheelwrights, and this afternoon you'll visit a workshop and see how wagon wheels are made. Stroll through the village, observing daily life, and meeting friendly locals of the Pa-O, Shan and Intha ethnic groups. Visit Tha Gaung Relic Pagoda, where numerous stupas make an impressive sight, and see other ancient religious monuments.
Accommodation at A Little Lodge in Samkar (Sagar House) or similar, Sagar.
In the morning, continue by boat to Inle Lake, a voyage of about two hours, so long as the channel is not blocked by water hyacinth, in which case an overland drive will be arranged. Lunch at Green Chilli Restaurant.


Our tour prices are included of:

  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services with private air conditioned car/coach as detailed in our itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast and L=Lunch)
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the programme
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally-stationed guides
  • Boat fees
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Accommodation at hotels as above mentioned or similar
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour


Not included are:

  • Domestic airfare
  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Surcharges for throughout guides (English and other languages)
  • Accommodation in Inle Lake
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Peak season in general is between 15 December to 15 January and 13-17 April
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness)



  • Hotel prices for packages are quoted bases on hotels as mentioned or similar. Higher or lower categories can be requested and the price will be adjusted. The hotels featured in the package tour are subject to availabilities at the time of booking.
  • Meals at respective hotels are also included in the hotel prices if the itineraries mention lunch or dinner at hotel.
  • Additional charges during Festive Season: Christmas, New Year and the Water festival period may apply.
  • Supplements for compulsory Gala Dinners will be advised at the time of booking.
  • All hotels have special booking and deposit conditions and will be indicated at the time of booking. Nonrefundable deposits may be required.
Tour code: HEHDI5LOI

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