After the market we had a 2 hour drive to the town of Taunggyi, in Shan State, where we had to stop at local Pa’ O people’s collective center. There, we had to pay an entrance fee to the area and hire a local guide (which makes sure that some tourist dollars make it back into the local community). Our guide changed from a modern young woman’s t-shirt and jeans into a traditional outfit before getting into the car with us. From there, we drove another hour or so to Kakku.
While Kakku has been here for hundreds of years, the area has only relatively recently opened to tourists. In fact, my guide book didn’t even cover it. There are supposed to be over 2400 stupas at Kakku and I certainly wouldn’t want to try and count them to confirm. I’ll just take their word for it.
After walking around the complex, we went across from the entrance to a large, but empty restaurant (no surprise because there were virtually no other tourists there). The food was affordable and very good.
We ordered the traditional tea leaf salad which was yet a completely different version, but still enjoyable.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which is well known for it’s circular windows.