Kengtung is a town of Eastern Shan State where over 40 ethnic groups live. It has been closed off to the foreigners for a long time and recently opened up.So, it is a ‘off-the-beaten-track’ destination. There, you can see lifestyle of Shan people which is similar to those of Thai and Chinese. And, it is known as the front door of the country. The town is so beautiful with green paddy fields and terraces and colorful hill tribes. The style and architecture of the temples and pagodasis a bit different from those of the rest part of the country.
It is not too big but still worth visiting. It is great to take a relaxing walk along the lake and take a fresh breath, feeling the nice cool breeze coming from the lake. This peaceful place is very beautiful with the background of pagodas and mountains. There, you can also see the foodstalls and restaurants which offer the delicious food but not expensive. Moreover, people said that the town is named after the lake ( Keng means ‘town’ and Tung comes from ‘ Tung of Naung Tung’ ).
Yat Taw Mu Pagoda
Yat Taw Mu Pagoda is a Big Standing Buddha Image and it is pointing at the Naung Tung Lake. It is visible from all parts of the town. It is not an ancient one but has an interesting legend and the main attraction of the town. People said that in the former time, the region around image is always flooded. After building the image, it collects all the water around the region into Naung Tung Lake by pointing its finger at the Lake. Since then, the region is not flooded any more.
One tree Hill
In 1753, the three princes of Kengtung, Kenghong( now in China ) and Mailian ( now in china ), made a promise to govern the respective regions by helping each other. Then, they grew three commemorative trees on the hill for their promise. Now, only one of them which is grown by the prince of Kengtung remains alive on the hill. That is why we call the hill as one tree hill.
The image is the replica of the real Mahamuni Image in Mandalay and is housed in a temple. It is casted by the carver from Mandalay, modeling the real one in Mandalay. Inside the temple, you can see the remarkable arts.
Trekking and touching the life of hill tribes
Kengtung is famous for its trekking and its hill tribes are a gem for the region. Trek to the villages around the town will give you a great experience, passing through the green paddy fields and terraces. Explore many hill tribes. They will be interesting to you from their attire to the lifestyle.