Kalaw | Myanmar

Kalaw Countryside Trek to Pein Ne Bin Village

Southeast Asia Tour 2015

Kalaw | Myanmar

02 Dec 2015 | Wed

Day 14 of 46

  • Flight | Bagan Nyaung-U to Heho | Drive to Kalaw
  • Arrive | Town of Kalaw
  • Dream Mountain Resort Kalaw
  • Kalaw Countryside Trek to Pein Ne Bin Village

Kalaw Countryside Trek to Pein Ne Bin Village

Begin Our Trekking Journey

After checking into the hotel, it was time for our six-mile Kalaw countryside trekking journey to Pein Ne Bin Village (Palaung ethnic hill tribe).  After a short drive, we arrived at our trek start point – a beautiful farming community surrounded by incredible mountainside views.

Farmhouse View Overlooking Countryside

Our trekking journey consisted of a big loop that started on a gravel path/road until we reached the Pein Ne Bin Village. After walking a few hours along the gravel path/road, we came out of a curve and were able to get our first glimpse of the Pein Ne Bin Village, home of the Palaung ethnic hill tribe.

Pein Ne Bin Village

Pein Ne Bin Village is located in a stunning mountain range near the town of Kalaw in Myanmar. Home to the Palaung ethnic hill tribe, this tiny village is an important cultural site for the people of Kalaw and beyond.

Pein Ne Bin Village – Home of Palaung Ethnic Hill Tribe

This remote location provides a unique opportunity to observe traditional life as it has been practiced for centuries by the Palaung people; weaving, farming, and trading on the local markets are all part of everyday existence. Here one can immerse oneself in culture, admiring ancient temple sites and taking part in traditional ceremonies and festivals. And although modern development projects have threatened some aspects of life here, Pein Ne Bin Village remains remarkably unchanged since its founding long ago.

The beauty and serenity found in this hidden corner of Myanmar offer an unforgettable experience that will linger long after your journey ends.

When we first walked into the village, we passed by several young children that appeared to be walking to school.

Village Children Walking to School

The homes throughout the village are an eclectic mix of old traditional Palaung/Burmese huts and houses to several more modern-styled designs. Like a lot of ethnic tribe communities throughout Asia, they are slowly being forced to adapt to new modern ways of technology. With this taking place, the older generation does their best to hang on to their old Palaung culture and traditions. The village elders actively attempt to pass their traditions down to the younger generations, but unfortunately, they tend to resist. The current younger generation actively desires the “shiny lights” of modernization (like cell phones, the internet, social media, and video games).

The Palaung (Burmese: ပလောင် လူမျိုး [pəlàʊɰ̃ lùmjó]; Thai: ปะหล่อง, also written as Benglong Palong) or Ta’ang are a Mon–Khmer ethnic minority found in Shan State of Burma, Yunnan Province of China and Northern Thailand. In China, they are referred to as the De’ang (Chinese: 德昂族; pinyin: Déángzú also spelt Deang) people.

They live mainly in the northern parts of Shan State in the Pa Laung Self-Administered Zone, with the capital at Namhsan.

The Ta’ang (Palaung) State Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Palaung ethnic group, began fighting against the Burmese military in 1963. It entered a cease-fire agreement with the central government in April 1991, but is currently continuing the insurgency. Both the government and the rebel armies have derived benefit from poppy cultivation, which has caused serious drug addiction among the local people.

– Wikipedia Palaung People

After walking through the village, our trails turned a bit more intense and challenging. Near the end, we passed through large orange groves where many locals (mostly women) were harvesting.

Mountainside Orange Grove

The land here is so rich and fertile, everything grown here flourishes – as if everything is larger than normal. Along our journey, we saw endless fields of fruits and vegetables that included cabbages, dragon fruit, coffee trees, tea, avocados, potatoes, rice, and oranges.

Young Girl Carrying Basket Full of Oranges

While hiking, we came across what we thought was a small snake, it turned out to be an earthworm!  Yes, this is a 12″ long Myanmar earthworm (see below)!  We ended up seeing many of these along the trip.

12″ Earthworm

This region of Kalaw was so beautiful – colorful landscapes, vibrant farming, magnificent views, and a wonderful glimpse into the rural life at Pein Ne Bin Village.

YouTube Video

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