Kalaw, a small town in the Shan state, finds itself on the tourist trail mainly as the base for a trek to Inle Lake. Since we basically swooped in exceptionally late at night and swooped out the morning after, there is not much I can say about the town itself, but the trek is a pleasant jaunt across the countryside, cutting through patchwork fields, hill tribe villages and railway tracks. What is most enjoyable about this otherwise quite ordinary trek is the fact that you get to walk through villages that haven't seen any touristy development, where people are just getting on with life: working on the farms, laying out red chillies to dry, weaving their colourful headscarves, and generally standing around chatting about their day. The trek can be done between one and three days, though two is most ideal: you can pace yourself well, and you get to spend the night in the home of some locals. Its worth giving it to the leisurely pace.
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