A two-hour drive east of Mandalay takes you through the foothills of the Shan Plateau to Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly known as ‘Maymyo’), where the British established their hot-season capital in the 19th century. At an altitude of 1,070m (3,510ft), the town is cool year round. A fine collection of evocative mock-Tudor mansions survives amid its leafy lanes, several of which have been converted for use as heritage hotels.
The big attraction here though is the National Kandawgyi Gardens, which were founded in 1915 and still host nearly 500 species of flowers, shrubs and trees, set around lush lawns and lakes. Sightseeing in Pyin Oo Lwin is traditionally conducted in old-style covered horse carriages, or ‘wagons’.