Back to colonial times

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January 2014

Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo)

It was the Candacraig-Hotel which attracted me most. I came to Pyin U Lwin in the northern part of Burma on a chilly January day. As many years ago, when I visited Burma the first time, the hotel was still under reconstruction. All what I could do was remembering the place in the book of Paul Theroux’s “The Great Railway Bazaar”. Theroux is a travel writer from the US and I read almost all of his books. He is something like the „Indiana Jones of American literature”. The Candacraig got immortalized by him.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASome days to chill out

Once the summer capital for the British colonial administration in Burma, Pyin U Lwin retains some of the hill station look that cities like Darjeeling and Simla in India used to have in the 1960s and 1970s. It held its role until the end of British rule in 1948. The name of the town was changed after the British departed.

Because of its history as a summer capital and a military centre of the Indian Army during British times, it has both a large Indian population and strong Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian communities. As a place near the border of China, many Chinese people are also settling down in this pleasant hill town. Marking the town centre is the Purcell Tower, a 1936 clock tower which thinks that it’s Big Ben! At an elevation of 1.070 metres above sea level, there is an abundance of flowers, strawberries, and coffee beans. I enjoyed very much my stroll around the vast Botanical Garden. It was a pleasant atmosphere for some days to chill out.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASummer residence of the British

In 1896 the British established a military post there and the village was named Maymyo (May Town) after the commander of the post, Colonel May, a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. Within a few years, after it was connected to Mandalay by rail, it became the summer residence of the British Government in Burma. A little later, it was made the headquarters of the Burma Division, a largely Gurkha and Indian division, and the remnants of that division forms the core of the “Nepali” population of Pyin U Lwin.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAToday the town is seeing a burst of investment and houses for the nouveau riche. I am just recommending you to come quickly to experience what’s left of the old calm.

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4 Antworten zu Back to colonial times

  1. valentino schreibt:

    Nice shots and amazing story.

  2. Margareta Gilch schreibt:

    Danke Sabine, für diese schönen Fotos. Ich erinnere mich so gut an diesen Ort, sehe förmlich die Erdbeeren vor mir, die wir damals gekauft haben. Das ist 18 Jahre her, wenig später trafen wir uns im „White House“, und du hast mich auf einen Mekong eingeladen, hahaha.

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