Be prepared to be astonished: travel deep into the Shan hills to the hidden ‘forest of temples’ at Kakku. Traveling from the flatlands around Inle Lake, drive higher and higher into the hills, crisscrossing the railway line and villages. The journey is rewarded when reaching Kakku: more than 5000 stupas from the 11th-century rise high above a plain. Wander amid these mysterious stupas, far from the tourist trail.
Your adventure begins in the morning after breakfast. Set off from the low-lying lands at Inle Lake toward Taunggyi, then head into the rolling hills toward the east of the lake. The drive is spectacular, crossing over the railway line and through small villages inhabited to the Pa-Oh people. This area was closed to visitors for many years and even now only a few intrepid tourists make their way through here.
After two hours you’ll arrive at Kakku. The first view of Kakku is breathtaking: there are more than 5200 individual stupas, some of which are 20 meters high, and several Buddha images scattered throughout. There are no clear facts about the history of the stupas but most date back to the 11th-13th century, the same period when Bagan was thriving. Wander throughout the temples, taking your time to enjoy the wonder and awe of this site and discover the intricate carvings and details on the structures.
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