Kengtung is one of the most multicultural cities in Burma. A visit to Kengtung is a good chance for you to explore the diverse cultures there.
Located in the famous golden triangle, at the eastern border of Shan State, Kengtung is a small town which has nothing special at first sight. However, it’s the place of the cultural interference, where we even today easily find Thai and Chinese influences there. Moreover, Kengtung is the home of many ethnic minorities, which gives the city the exceptional cultural richness. During your trip to Burma, do not hesitate to explore Kengtung to meet the members of the different tribes. It’s surely an amazing experience for you!
1. How to get to Kengtung
By organizing your visit to Kengtung, you will learn that it is relatively easy to reach this mountainous city. You have a lot of choices for the means of transport.
By bus: The best way to get to Kengtung is to take a bus from Tachileik (7,5USD for a journey of about 5 hours). From Taunggyi, it will take you 15 hours. Notice that foreigners must get a permit to enter Kengtung by road. As a result, you need to check with a local travel agency to obtain it.
By plane: The number of flights to Kengtung has increased, but remained rather irregular. Normally, you can be able to reach Kengtung by plane on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays via Yangon Airways and Myanmar National Airways. It costs you 145 and 165USD from Yangon for a 1-hour flight.
During your tour in Kengtung, the best way to get around the city is to walking. Besides, you can also move tuk-tuks, moto taxis or taxis.
In term of accommodation, you have various solutions. If your budget is normally average, it’s better to choose a guesthouse room inside the city, whose price is of between 15 and 20USD. In case, you want to stay in a real hotel, you will find rooms in the neighborhood of 40USD.
For eating and drinking, it’s a good advice to taste the local cuisine, especially the Shan Khao Soi-Shan noodles, a very famous dish in the region. The Pizza Shan is also very delicious. You will find many restaurants serving these dishes with attractive prices.
2. What to discover in your tour in Kengtung
Because of being located in the mountains of Shan State, a city is a nice place for trekking on the hills. You will be able to discover the life of unique flora and fauna on these green hills. Besides, studying the diverse cultures of hill tribes, such as Akha, Ann, and Wa, is an interesting activity. You can rent a tuk-tuk and meet the members of these tribes.
Do not hesitate to get up early to discover the local market. It is open until 13:00, but the morning is an ideal time to visit. You will be able to meet women in their traditional costume selling their products. If you are a shopping lover, notice that the Chinese Yuan or the Thai Baht are the currencies most often used for transactions in the city.
For your evening, take a tour to Lake Naung Tung. In addition to an ideal panorama for your photos, the temples whose architectures are influenced by Shan, Burmese or Chinese cultures and many colonial-styled around the lake are very impressive.
During your trip to Burma, few cities will surprise you like Kengtung. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the country, where cultures mix together in harmony.