Walk 1: Walk To The MyinMathi Caves Without A Guide - 4-5 hours
Tips: You may want to bring a torch or a fully charged phone as there can be power cuts in the caves! Remember the route as you walk, it will make the return voyage much easier. For extra fun you could leave markings on the route to aid you return journey :-) Bring water because there aren’t any shops until you reach the caves. Expect the walk to take 4-5 hours including 45 minutes in the cave visitor area.
The internet is very slow in Kalaw so you may want to download these notes in Bagan or Mandalay before you arrive.
• Starting from outside Thitaw Lay House follow the road up the path for 200 metres, at the turning, leave the road and continue straight into the forest towards the green building.
• Follow the gravel paved forest road for around 5 turns as the road tapers into a path, watch out for a big fig tree, follow the natural path for around 400 metres (ish) until you arrive at a Y. Take the left path.
• The path lightly descends and gradually become an ox-cart road, for those compass welding walkers you should be walking south to south-east.
• Expect to pass a little brook before leaving the forest area and arrive at a lush green agricultural valley.
• Follow the ox-cart road until you reach the MyinMathi Village where you will meet friendly villagers and high-fiving groups of children.
• Continue walking into the village for around 500 metres and take a right where the road splits. Keep walking and you’ll pass an old bridge and then the path starts to climb a small hill towards a huge monastery. Turn a slight left at the monastery to the top of the hill and then down until you reach the National Road.
• The Pagoda is visible from the road, follow the road into the cave visitor entrance where there will be many locals who have come to enjoy this religious site. We were the only westerners in cave during our visit. Give a small donation.
• Return using the same directions or grab a motorbike taxi.