Hiking the Inle Lake Trails to Kakku

Hiking the Inle Lake
Trails to Kakku

Tucked away in the Shan Hills, Kakku has kept its stupas hidden for years.
Still, little traffic moves to this magical place near Taunggyi, for reasons unexplained.
Hiking through the lowlands and into the hills to reach Kakku puts the icing on the cake.


Kakku didn’t receive the nickname ‘forest of temples’ for nothing. Located away from the lakeside action of Inle, this Shan Hill surprise contains thousands of stupas, almost perfectly aligned at some sections and dating back to the 11th century. Its remote location in the hills forms the backbone of a full day hiking and trekking towards Buddhist magnificence.

The region was not too long ago untouched and unexplored, so treading walking paths and entering this mecca of spiritualty nearby Taunggyi on foot adds only more excitement in this full-day active version of seeing Kakku from up close.


Hiking the Inle Lake Trails to Kakku

08:00 - 18:00

The day starts early in the morning at your Inle Lake or Nyaung Shwe hotel by meeting your trekking guide and driver. We start the day with heading out to the starting point along the Inle Lake shoreline which you will reach by boat. The hike through the Burmese landscape commences here with an approximate 3.5-hour hike uphill towards Hti Ne, a small settlement where you will enjoy a simple lunch at a local monastery. Throughout the morning’s walk, a combination of low-lying lands and the beauty of the Shan Hills are seen as the perfect warm-up before reaching your final destination.

After lunch, another 1.5 hours of adventurous walking lies ahead, ending at Neung Ke, locally known as the centre of making traditional Shan musical instruments such as gongs and drums. Most of the inhabited villages by the Pa-Oh ethnic minority come with a rich history. It is here where you will meet the driver for the final stretch towards Kakku. The road up to the thousands of stupas is bumpy, yet rewarding once you reach the area, once was closed to visitors for many years and even now only a few intrepid tourists make their way through here.

Dooming up from behind the horizon, the first impression of Kakku is and remains the same – breathtaking. Over 2000 individual stupas adorn the landscape, with the main stupas towering 40 meters above the ground, and several statues of the Lord Buddha are dotted throughout the region. It remains unknown the exact history with indications leaning towards the 11th – 13th century. Ample time is given to wander around this blissful place, admire the details on the various structures and thoroughly enjoy the awe and splendour of Kakku. We end the day with a stop at Htan Pha Ya village and nearby cave, home to numerous Shan Buddha images. Time to head back to Inle Lake and by car and boat you will reach your overnight address in the late afternoon.




  • A full-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • Return boat transfers from and to the start of the hiking trip
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • A simple lunch at a local monastery is included (food only)


  • Inle Lake zone fees.
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside Nyaung Shwe and along Inle Lake. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside this area such as Kalaw, Taunggyi, Pindaya and the domestic airport are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions
  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this excursion; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of local restaurant
  • We regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • To respect local customs and respecting the religious sites and temples on this tour, it is customary for guests to take off their shoes before allowed entrance. Your guide will inform you in advance for which of these sites this is applicable.
  • Part of this excursion includes walking over unpaved roads and paths. This may not suit guests with walking issues.
  • Bear in mind that such paths may turn slippery / muddy after a rain shower. We suggest wearing good walking shoes, preferred closed shoes.
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pickup and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sunrays still have an immense power.
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the excursion in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests.
  • The protection of the country’s flora and fauna is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities for guests that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.
  • The total hiking time is approximately 5.5 hours with climbs up to 450 metres.


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