Pyin Oo Lwin was formerly known as May Myo. It is a resort town in Mandalay Division in Myanmar, located some 67 kilometers east of Mandalay, and at an altitude of 1070 meters (3510 feet). It was initially a Shan village situated between Naungcho and Mandalay on the Lashio-Mandalay road. Pyin Oo Lwin is also known as " Pan Myo Daw", means "The City of Flowers", for its different species and colorful flowers grown intensively.
Pyin Oo Lwin is relatively free of the ubiquitous pagodas. Some colonial Tudor style houses still stand (mostly around the National Kandawgyi Gardens), albeit in poor condition, and walking around is an interesting way to see how the Raj lived. There are many churches as well, the oldest dating back to about 1910.
Around Pyin Oo Lwin
National Kandawgyi Gardens established in 1915 by Alex Rodger as the Maymyo Botanical Gardens, the garden has a rich and diverse collection of flora, including many English plant varieties, and is without a doubt among the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. A rose garden, a stupa in the middle of a pond, and an orchid garden are amongst the highlights. Seeds are available if you want to carry them back to your home country. A popular spot for the locals, the gardens are about 1.5 km south of the city and you'll need your own transport (walk, bike, carriage, taxi) to get there and back.
Purcell Tower - the clock in this tower is reported to copy the chimes of Big Ben (or so says Lonely Planet). The tower is on the main intersection in Pyin U Lwin, across from the Mandalay pickup and share taxi stand. You can't miss it.
English Cemetery - way across town, beyond the tracks and the train station lies the old English cemetery. The cemetery is in very poor condition having been 'nationalized' by the junta and most of the headstones are in disrepair with unreadable inscriptions. Still, a few survive and will be worth the time spent if you are a history buff. St. James church, once Anglican but now catholic, lies across the road. Drop in and see the plaques to the various British lives lost in various wars. The friendly chaplain will show you around. Take a bike or a horse carriage since the cemetery is quite far.
Shiva Temple - Hindu temple to the god Shiva, on the road behind the clock tower.
Chinese Temple - South of the town (close to Candacraig) is a large and colourful Chinese temple built by the many Yunanese immigrants to the town. The Candacraig (now the Thiri Myaing Hotel) - colonial mansion built as a guest house of The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation in 1904.
Anisakan Falls - nestled in a rugged gorge and framed at the base by a Buddhist temple, Anisaken Falls make a good half day hike from Pyin U Lwin.
Pwe Kauk Falls - known as Hampshire Falls in British times. Not much to look at by the standards of falls elsewhere but they are a popular picnic spot and seeing Burmese families picnicking and enjoying themselves is the main reason to go.
Pyeik Chin Miang - further along the road to Lashio are these deep caves full of Buddhas. Almost everything is new so don't get carried away! A huge pool a little way down is a popular swimming hole. Share taxis to Pwe Kauk Falls often make the trip here as well.
Shan villages - if you're not planning to go on to Hsipaw or Kyaukme, you can stop by at the Shan villages of Mogyopit, Yechando and Ye Negye on your way to Pwe Kauk Falls.