Pyin Oo Lwin was originally a Shan-Danu village but after 1885, it was occupied by the British occupying forces. Then, the village transformed and renamed as Maymyo (the city of May) named after British officer May who was stationed here to defeat the Burmese rebellions. In 1896, it became a hill station for the European civil servant stationed in Mandalay during the hottest months, from March through May. Today, a number of residents built in Edwardian style summer cottages are still standing. Although 70-km and only 1.5hr drive from Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin is a refreshing antidote to the hot, dusty and hectic streets of Myanmar’s last royal capital. It has noticeable temperature changes as the winding road through the pine & teak forests and mountain vistas as you elevated from 74 meters central plains to the Shan tablelands at 1050 meters above sea level. Pyin Oo Lwin can be approximately 10-degree Celsius cooler than nearby central plains.
Originally developed in 1915 by a British forestry officer Mr. Charles Alex Roger, using Turkish POWs. It has only 170 acres when it opened in 1917. Then, it has slowly expended over the years to its current size of 437 acres with flower galore, forest land, and a 70 acres lake. The park ground is immaculately landscaped with flowerbeds, exotic orchids, wide-open meadows and whispering pine forest. For the nature lovers, there are walkways built on the swamp area and elevated forestland to take strolls on those. To add some more values, there are black swans and ducks roamed freely in the lake and a rare Tarkin family is also displayed. Every tree is tag with both botanical and common names, ideal for those who like to learn many of diverse and endemic plant species. The natural landmark park, portraying the miniature models of famous sights from all the states and divisions in Myanmar, is worth to take a look.
The area around Pyin Oo Lwin is known for its natural beauties, such as Pwe Kauk Waterfalls, 8-km out of town on the road to Lashio. There you can swim, or just stroll around the picnic area and interesting local market selling from fresh vegetables, fruits, to local sweet wines and visiting nearby Shan villages beside the streams with their neat farms.
This 1500m long natural limestone cave, with a stream inside, can be reached by an hour drive from Pyin Oo Lwin, some 22km east of the town off the main Mandalay-Lahio road, dotted with Shan villages and old monasteries. The cave is filled with numerous Buddha images and models of famous pagodas in Myanmar.