Pyin Oo Lwin, formally Maymyo (literally May’s town after a colonel), was used by the British in colonial times in order to escape Burma’s oppressive summer heat. With abundant greenery and a cool climate, it’s not hard to see why the British made the yearly migration up to this small hill station. Although many of the British traces are gone, the town is still home to pleasant botanical gardens, which are surprisingly well maintained with an abundance of colour coming from the flowers and the monks that walk through it.
The original town plan has hardly changed, and Circular Road runs along the bottom of the ridge, once known as The Rides, a favourite colonial recreational area. Pyin Oo Lwin is also home to an array of colonial cottages, in a range of conditions. An afternoon spent visiting same of the best preserved homes is time well spent; with their verandas, grand staircases and teak floorboards, houses such as Candacraig are an illuminating window into an almost forgotten era.