Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State in burma (Burma) - the home of many tribes of which Padaung is very renowned one with "long necks" women.
Loikaw is located in Karen Hill area, close to the State’s northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu river. Just by a short flight from Yangon, you can reach to a very traditional Loikaw, which is one of the best places in Southeast Asia for a sight of authentic tribal life. Another way to reach Loikaw is that you may boat from Inle lake - where you be able to observe “one leg rowing fishermen” - to Phekhkone lake, get to Sagar village on the way then drive to Loikaw. Or you drive from Kalaw/ Heho to Loikaw and you may enjoy spectacular view along the way.
Loikaw has three main tribes: Kayan, Kayah and Kayaw, especially among them, Kayan (or Padaung) women are well-known for wearing neck rings, which lengthen their neck.
To discover Loikaw, you may bring a classic tours to some particular locations or a trekking journey to distant areas.
In a burma Classic tour:
With this journey, you may visit renowned places inside and around Loikaw city. You could go to Thiri Mingala Taungkwe Pagoda, the Buddhism sputa. It is located in the middle of Loikaw, which towers over the city. Being constructed in 11th century, this pagoda situated in two hillocks. Between two hills is a bridge which connects them. You could watch desolately at the pilgrims and relax the outstanding scenery from the top, especially at sunset.
Other destination you can get to is Shan chieftain, Haw of Loikaw. This palace used as a Buddhist monastery.
If you do not have a occasion to travel tribe villages, you could bring an excursion to the Kayah State museum, which displays the traditional life styles of Kayah national races.
Besides, local markets like Demawso are also the great places where you can find Padaung tribe ladies with their truly long necks. These featured women are on the brink of extinction because of modern life, which made Padaung women do not want to keep their neck lengthening custom.
If possible, you can find out Kyet limestone cave, which is 15 km outside of Loikaw.
To make it an adventure tour:
By trekking through remote villages, you could realize the true life of local inhabitants, but this depends on regulation of authorities and sometimes it may be not permitted.
attraction of Loi Kaw journey tour is Padaung race, especially Padaung women with their extremely long necks. Tribes in Loikaw also dress colorful costumes. In the villages, you could get insight traditional living ways, unspoiled cultures and also how the villages deal with the taking ways of the military, who carry their food without payment. Travelers may explore Kayah traditional weaving industry and marvelous ritual flagstaffs of Nat (spirit) worshipers. Trekking trails also pass through fields. A long with paddy, the main crop of Kayah State are beans, pulses, maizes, sunflowers, cotton and vegetables are cultivated as well. Guides also lead you to trek through hills and thick jungle.
You can also be overnight at homestay. At these nights, you will obtain strange feelings with noisy barks of dog at shadows or distant howls from across town, which you could not uncover in a up to date city.
Spirited poles are the featured point of Loikaw. You may found them in nearly villages around Loikaw. They are worshipped once a year, around April.