Maymyo, 3481 feet above the sea level, and taking its name after a Colonel May of the 5th Bengal Infantry Regiment stationed there in 1886, is delightfully perched at the head of a valley. Wherever the British went, they displayed a flair for locating and developing ‘hill stations’ to serve as escapes from the unpleasant tropical summer sun and Maymyo is one such. It was a summer resort of the British Government in Burma and though it has now lost its prominence as a summer capital there is no summer migration of the Burmese Government any more – it retains its color, mainly drawn from its natural surroundings and beauty. It is now the headquarters of the Northern Command of the Burmese Army and one of the emerging attraction can be listed in top places to visit in a trip to Burma.
Maymyo’s 17 square miles are practically hedged in by low hills, the highest, One Tree Hill, standing 4021 feet. A regular riot of rich vegetation is Maymyo. Eucalyptus, silver oak and pine lend magnificence to the scenic grandeur and on the slopes of hills, you can see coffee, strawberry and pineapple plantations. What is called “English vegetables” cabbage, cauliflower and so on and all kinds of fruits are in abundant supply. Maymyo’s flowers, especially chrysanthemum, are flown all over Burma for floral offerings at the pagodas.
One can fly from Rangoon to Maymyo, there is a biweekly air service, but the motor journey from Mandalay to Maymyo, along an excellent 42-mile road, would be a refreshing experience. Looking at the landscape all round from what is called ViewPoint midway between Mandalay and Maymyo. You will strike something that will hold you in its rapturous spell-admittedly, one of the most entrancing sights in central Myanmar and perhaps anywhere in the world.
Maymyo’s Botanical Gardens, covering a smiling area of over 350 acres, taking within their ambit the spur of a hill, which gives them a nature-bestowed setting and going down to a lake, are a major attraction. You can have a swim at the B. T. Brothers’ Swimming Pool. The President of the Union of Burma has his summer residence here-the President’s House. In the vicinity of the Gardens, there are a sericulture farm and the buildings that house the new Silk-weaving Pilot Project. Burma’s own condensed milk factory is springing up at Maymyo. In the Municipal Market and the bazaar center, you can buy a nice Shan bag and anything that you want and meet men and women from the Shan Hills in their gorgeous native attire and the peculiar-shaped hats. There is a road going around the whole town-an excellent drive. Maymyo is justly known for its convent schools.
A visit to the Anisakan Water Falls, 7 miles out and the Wetwun Water Falls, 15 miles from Maymyo would be worthwhile. Thirty-five miles on the Maymyo-Lashio Road there is the Goteik Viaduct, between two forest- studded plateau of the Shan Hills and across a deep gorge, a landscape of exotic tropical exuberance.