Shan state, Shan state Myanmar, Shan state Travel Guide & Tours

Shan State is a state of Myanmar which shares border with China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma to the west. With population of about 5 million and an area of more than 155,000 km2, Shan State is the largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area. The major ethnic is the Shan and the capital is Taunggyi. About geography, Shan State is a highland with an elevation of 5,000-6,000 above sea level. It is covered by green forest, pine trees, streams and waterfalls which make Shan State a beautiful land. The highest point is Mt. Loilaeng (8,777 feets) in Kentung. About rivers, Salween River is the main river of Shan State. It flows from the Tibetan Himalayas, passes China before enter the Shan State. There, the Salween River was divided into two branches, flow through Karen and Mon State before drain into the Indian Ocean.

A part of the Mekong River of Nam Khawng is considered as the boundary between Laos and Shan State for a length of 120 miles then it flows through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The biggest waterfall in Shan State is Jong – ang Waterfall with a height of 972 feet located near the town of Kengtong of Mongnai State. The second largest one is Om-pu Waterfall on the Nam Parng River in the Shan State of Monghsu. However, the most useful waterfall among numerous waterfalls in Shan State is the Marnsarm Falls on the Nam Yao River in Hsipaw Township. This waterfall is used in hydro-electric and it can create enough energy for the surrounding towns. Besides mountains, rivers and waterfalls, Shan State boasts the lakes of Inlay, 14 miles long and 7 miles wide which is the home to many floating villages, houses and vegetable and fruit gardens. The hot and cold underground springs are worth exploring as well as taking some primitive hard rock…

The weather in Shan State is quite favorable. There are three seasons in Shan State: rain season (from May to October), cold season (from November to January) and warm season (from February to April). The annual rainfalls averages are dropped between 40 and 60 inches. The average temperature is acceptable, not too high or too low, about more than 20OC.

Shan State is the area of natural resources with numerous mines of gold, silver, copper, lead, tin … gemstones and even uranium.

About the inhabitant, Shan State is the home to varieties of ethnics. Among more than 8 million people, the Shan is accounted for more than 65%, the rest is Palaung, Akha, Wa, Pa-O, Lahu, Lisu…The Shan, the major residence, is usually called Tai or Dai and they are closely related to the Thai (Tai Yai). The Shan call their land Muang Tai, not Shan State. In history, the Shan had been driven out from China before moved to Myanmar. Nowadays, the Shan appeared in many parts of Southeastern Asia such as some parts of Hanoi in Vietnam, the north of Thailand, Assam of India and Chinese province of Yunnan.

Before the 19th century, the feudal system of the Shan was very powerful with a king ruling the kingdom. The prince and princess lived in the teak place and control the provinces. Prince was called Saopha which means “lord of the sky”. He is respected by the fellow but he would be taken to the jail if breaking the rule. In the mid-15th century, some princes in the lowlands were forced to accept the authority of Myanmar kings, but the Shan peoples in the eastern plateau were virtually unaffected by this and were able to keep their traditions.
In the British colonial rule, the princes (saopha) still have powers but from 1922 to 1935, their powers was gradually reduced and replaced with a national assembly which is democratically elected. After the takeover of the army in 1962, their powers have been removed and nowadays, there is only Palace of Nyaung Shwe opening for tourists.

About tourism in Shan State, this place will be the ideal place for visitors those want to experience the life of the ethnic minorities in Myanmar. There is not so much many you can do and see in Shan State but it still worth visiting. The Kakku Pagoda is the most noticeable place in Shan State. ‘Amazing’ and ‘Stunning’ are two words to describe this place. Only with its number of pagodas, 5000, you can image how spectacular of this place and why it’s worth seeing. Besides Kakku Pagoda Complex, Shan State has a daily market where you can find varieties of goods including tourist souvenirs in the city of Kengtung. Moreover, the market is full of local residents and hill tribe people dressed in their colorful traditional clothing, and Buddhist monks and nuns with their begging bowls. A visit can easily consume half a day of people watching, shopping and bargaining.

About the eating places, there are three names of famous hotel in Shan State. The first and also the recommended hotel is Inle Princess Resort on the banks of the Inle Lake near Mangyizin village with a terrace facing to the lake and the price is acceptable. The second one is Inle Lake View Resort, a luxurious place, the view, foods, services and chiefs… everything is excellent. However, the price is quite expensive but still worth paying.  The last name, peharp, is the Paramount Inle Resort with the nicest ladies in Myanmar.

About geography, Shan State is a highland with an elevation of 5,000-6,000 above sea level. It is covered by green forest, pine trees, streams and waterfalls which make Shan State a beautiful land. The highest point is Mt. Loilaeng (8,777 feets) in Kentung. About rivers, Salween River is the main river of Shan State. It flows from the Tibetan Himalayas, passes China before enter the Shan State. There, the Salween River was divided into two branches, flow through Karen and Mon State before drain into the Indian Ocean. A part of the Mekong River of Nam Khawng is considered as the boundary between Laos and Shan State for a length of 120 miles then it flows through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The biggest waterfall in Shan State is Jong – ang Waterfall with a height of 972 feet located near the town of Kengtong of Mongnai State. The second largest one is Om-pu Waterfall on the Nam Parng River in the Shan State of Monghsu. However, the most useful waterfall among numerous waterfalls in Shan State is the Marnsarm Falls on the Nam Yao River in Hsipaw Township. This waterfall is used in hydro-electric and it can create enough energy for the surrounding towns. Besides mountains, rivers and waterfalls, Shan State boasts the lakes of Inlay, 14 miles long and 7 miles wide which is the home to many floating villages, houses and vegetable and fruit gardens. The hot and cold underground springs are worth exploring as well as taking some primitive hard rock…

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