Kyaing Tong is about 456km from Taunggyi, the capital city of Shan State. Kyaing Tong is inhabited by ethnic tribes such as Wa, Shan, Akha and Lahu. Kyaing is full of temples, colonial buildings, lakes and is the most scenic town in Shan State. Kyaing Tong also carries the definition of "Walled City of Tung". It is built around a lake. And as the legend say, there was a powerful magician called "Tungkalasi" who used his magic staff to drain a lake of near-sea proportion. Then the city was built around it. The original city walls and gates can still be seen today.
Kyaing Tong lies in the valley between the high misty mountains of the Shan Plateau and the Mekong and the Thanlwin Rivers. It is the home of the Gon Shan, the Akhas, the Lisu, the Wa and the white and black Lahu.
It was said that from 1243 A.D, to the last Sawbwa (the Chieftain) reign there were altogether 45 Sawbwas who ruled here. Although there are many ethnic majorities and minorities living in this area having faith in different religions, Buddhism is the main religion of this area.
Kyaing Tong is reputed to be a very powerful city during its time. There is the famous Palin Gate in the city. There were tales saying that one Sawbwa when ruling Kyaing Tong, was not able to go to the Dat San Lwe Pagoda because ther is a curse on them.
Mong Lar border town of Myanmar China can be reached by overland from Kyaing Tong. Now it is one of the most developing frontier towns with the new project leading to improve the regional facilities and border trading. It can be done day return trip from Kyaing Tong or even one night stop is fine.
The border between Thailand and Myanmar is a narrow stream. It's widely reported that Burmese wade across the stream but are tolerated on the Thai side as long as they return to Myanmar before sunset and are not in huge numbers.
Thai immigration is on one side of the bridge and Burmese immigration on the other, with the bridge being a no man's land.
Strangely, when you enter Myanmar, you must leave your passport with the Burmese immigration office there, whereby they give you a computer generated pass with your information on it. You pick up your passport when you return to leave Myanmar. You can stay inside Myanmar up to 14 days. The officials are pleasant.
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