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Shan State

Photo © Daggi.Oli

Travel Guide Asia Myanmar Shan State

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Introduction

Road to Namhsan

Road to Namhsan

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The Shan State was created as an area for the Shan people, an ethnic minority in Myanmar. The Shan people controlled most of Myanmar from 13th to the 16th century. After that time, they split into many different tribal groups and became different tribute groups to the Bamar King.

Often during the 20th century, different Shan groups tried to separate from Myanmar. Most of the time the rebellions ended quite quickly. Today, most of the Shan State is rural with small villages. There is some limited mining, but drug production sadly remains a major part of the economy. The Shan State is considered part of the Golden Triangle and local drug lords control some areas of the country side, although most of the Shan State is very safe, and has quite stunning sights with wonderful people. This area of Myanmar should be on anyone's must see list when visiting the country.

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Geography

The Shan State is the largest administrative region in Myanmar, by land area, covering about a quarter of Myanmar. The Shan State is in the eastern central part of Myanmar that borders Thailand, Laos and China. Most of the Shan State is a plateau with mountains to the north and south. The Thanlwin (Salween) River runs long the eastern edge of the state.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Inle Lake

Leg Rowers of Inle

Leg Rowers of Inle

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Inle Lake is one of the best sights in Myanmar. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar and is framed on both sides with stunning mountains. The banks of the lake, which is a marshy reed land, is home to several villages built on stilts with homes connected by bridges and boats. There are also 4 cities that are little bit more modern. The entire lake area is considered the Nyaung Shwe Township. The lake is the home to the Intha people, around 700,000, which are a minority group that are famous for rowing their boats with their legs. Other then riding on boats around the lake and villages there also other activities. A favorite activity is day hikes around the country side. This can be a great way to see the the lives of people in the countryside of Myanmar. There are also some great handy crafts to buy including bags and wood work. Remember to try some local food and see some farms on the water!

Other Sights and Activities

  • Pindaya Caves
  • Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (Jumping Cats)
  • Thaung Tho Kyaung

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Shan State has a hot and humid tropical climate. Temperatures are well above 30 degrees Celcius during the day and mostly around 20 degrees at night, except for the highest areas wheren temperatures are somewhat lower. Temperatures from mid March to May can reach close to 40 degrees in the lower parts of Shan State making this time rather unpleasant for visiting the city. This time is often called the hot dry season.
From June to October is rainy season. There is massive amounts of rainfall this time of year
The best time to visit is during the cool dry season which is December to February. During this period there is still warm and pleasant weather with pleasant nights between 13 and 16 degrees, colder in the mountains though. It usually is dry and rather sunny during these months.

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Getting There

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Getting Around

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Eat

Some of the best food in Myanmar originates from the Shan State.

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Drink

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Sleep

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This is version 27. Last edited at 12:33 on Jun 28, 17 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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