On my third day in Loikaw, I decided to visit around town by bicycle. I have already done the things I wanted and has there isn’t a daily bus to Taungoo, my next destination, I need to stay one day longer. But that was not a problem. I had a fun day anyway on this bike tour.
I decided to explore around by bicycle on my own, but it wasn’t easy as I decided to go a bit far. I went from my hostel by bicycle through very bad streets. But, luckily, the major part of the path had good streets. On this day I decided to visit Kone Thar Ywar Haung (on maps.me). This village is 13km away and I have no idea what is there. I just wanted to wander around, maybe see some locals with fancy clothing and smile for them. That was my plan. But, unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the village.
Kone Thar Ywar Haung Loikaw
The bike tour to Kone Thar Ywar Haung is long and I chose the worst path. If you decide to go there by bicycle, please don’t choose the same direction as me. Anyway, I wouldn’t go there by bicycle again, but going by motorbike would be just fine. The problem is that at some point that street was so steep that it was impossible to ride a bicycle. I needed to carry myself and the bicycle under 40º for about 30 minutes in the middle of nowhere. It was hard and I don’t advice.
If you do this street in the same direction as I did, you will be exhausted. *See map above
On the other hand, if you do it the opposite direction, all you need is good breaks and you are good to go.
Once I finish this steep uphill, I met a big street at the junction that is also steep but down. I am extremely happy about it, but at some point, I realize that I will have to go all the way back, which means carrying the bicycle, not riding it. I keep on gaining velocity on my way down and I don’t see an end on this steep downhill. Besides not being that far from Kone Thar Ywar Haung, I decide to stop. I definitely don’t want to walk uphill even longer, pushing my bicycle all the way up. So, I stopped and went back. I didn’t mind much because on the way here I already had a bit of what I was looking to experience.
The bike tour was among villages where the kids were waving goodbye and the adults were looking at me very surprised. It was fun to see their faces and smiles. And the streets have some pleasant views. I could see the mountains around, rice fields, and many palm trees. It was a nice ride.
Aung Tha Pyae Cave Loikaw
It is still very early this day, so I decided to go to Aung Tha Pyae Cave that is about 6km away from where I am. It is not that far, so I decided to pay a visit.
The street to reach the cave was downhill, which was recomforting for me. I’m feeling a bit tired already. There is not much going on in this cave and not many visitors too. Not one single foreigner of course. Outside there is a monk sitting and a chained monkey that gathers the attention of the few people that are there. The cave is not that big, but it still was a refreshing visit from the outside heat. I wouldn’t say it is that worth a visit… but if you are out of activities to do in Loikaw, this is a pleasant option. Outside the cave is a very tall Buddha statue that faces the view of the mountains. The view is lovely but I’m not alone. Above the statue, on the mountain are various beehives denounced by the buzzing around the place. I have never seen beehives like that, glued to the rock and with those weird formations. It was surprising and fun to watch as it was something new for me.
After 30 minutes exploring the cave, I sat around the complex, took a break, and ate. I have got some snacks in my backpack, and that was my lunch. I didn’t see anywhere around where I can eat. Later on and after a long pause feeling very relaxed, I get back to my bicycle and continue my bike tour all the way back to town. The town is about 13 km away but I have plenty of time. I took the main street on the way back and I’m glad I did as it was flat.
On my way back to town I found this lady selling some fruits on the street next to Christ the King Cathedral and I decided to stop. I’m hungry and tired so I went inside the cathedral complex and sat there on the kid’s playground eating my fruit. The place is empty and silent. I couldn’t wish for anything else at the moment.
Loikaw local fair
Next, I went to the Loikaw local fair that I know happens near the University of computer studies. It happens every Sunday and I wasn’t expecting it to be so big. The area is huge and the police are barricading the entrance of cars. It looks more like a festival haha. Here I could finally eat, and a lot. There are people selling the most varied things. From fried meats to sweet cakes, samosas, or drinks, this place has everything. There are people selling clothes, toys, bedwear, decoration, and this is where you see how far behind Myanmar is. There is no sense of design. Everything is very ugly! They sell things That look like the ’60s. Here is the real feeling of how Myanmar is behind from the rest of the world. But I’m glad for it. Even the train rides for kids denounce how Myanmar is still in the ’60s. It is fun to see how they still have fun in a ride that takes 30 seconds to make a loop. This is a journey back in time and I loved it. People were surprised to see me, others don’t even care. But they smile back. I left the local fair with a bag full of food. Everything is so cheap here!
Myo Nan Pagoda Loikaw
The day is not far from finishing, but before that, I went to the most popular pagoda in Loikaw: Myo Nan Pagoda. I can clearly conclude its popularity by the number of people gathering here. There are so many people at Myo Nan Pagoda. There are Myanmar buses arriving and leaving constantly. The pagoda is beautiful but not that big, so you don’t need a lot of time to visit around. There are many youngsters taking pictures. I think some are trying to capture me on the background of their picture. The pagoda is a bit different from others I have seen. I sat next to it just to chill a bit longer and eat the delicacies I just bought. The sun is setting. I’m exhausted. It’s time for me to go back to the Amazing Box hostel and finish my Loikaw bike tour. The next day I have a bus to Taungoo at 6 am.
I really enjoyed visiting Loikaw. It is such a peaceful town, relaxing, beautiful, full of history and traditions. It is so diversified. Loikaw is more than worth a visit.
Here is my video of this Loikaw bike tour: