Hiking the Inle Lake Trails to Kakku
Hiking the Inle Lake
Trails to Kakku
Tucked deep 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 low lands and into the hills to reach Kakku is the icing on the cake.
WHY THIS TOUR?
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.
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.