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States and divisions - Kayah state

Kayah State
Kayah state | Map | Google map

Kayah state is bordered by Shan mountains to the north, Thailand's Mae Hong Son province to the east and Kayin (Karen) state to the south. Kayah is also called Red Kayin (red Karen or Kayin Ni) and are well-known for its long neck women or Padaung people. The land is beautiful rugged mountains, river streams, lakes and waterfalls. Transport and communication are difficult.

Belu stream originates at Inle lake in southern Shan state flows pass Loikaw and joins Nam Pun river (also from Shan state) which in turn flows into Thanlyin river. Nineteen kilometers below Loikaw is the site of Lawpita hydroelectric power plant that powers the national grids.

The state is fairly well provided with Kyun (Teak wood) and other hard woods such as Pyinkado (Ironwood), Padauk and Ingyin. Other forest products are lac, resin and honey. Tin is found in the southern state. Marble is also a product of Kayah. Agriculture is one of the main economy of people. Rice, wheat, maize, millet, ground nut, sesame, cotton, soy bean, chillies, onions, garlic, tobaco, orange, bananna and vegetables are grown.

Tourism and transport
Local tour and travel operators can arrange a trip to Loikaw, the capital of the state. Normally tourists could travel form Inle lake area using boat and car. The car roads from Taungoo (Bago division) and from Kayin state are not recommended due to lack of safety and bad road conditions. Around Loikaw visitors can visit Taungwe pagoda (twin peaks of hills with a pagoda on top of each), two lakes and the market. Flight to Loikaw are made by Myanmar Airways Domestic which is seldom used by foreign tourists due to its bad safety record.

Much of the state is yet to be open up to the foreign tourists. If it opens in the future it is extremely important to do sustainable tourism with alot of attention to the local culture, environment, hamony with the tradition, and above all income, work and decision making authority distribution to the local people.

It is also important to protect the Inle lake waters from getting less and less, as it directly effect the life of all those downstreams including the power output of Lawpita plant. More trees need to be planted. Systematic waste disposal and reduction of garbage, plastics, foams, chemicals, noice, etc. must be done.

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