Kengtung Travel Guide

Comprehensive travel guide to Kengtung, Myanmar, including places to visit, activities, hiking/biking routes, food, accommodations, local culture, safety and health, transportation, excursions and more.

Kengtung Travel Guide: A Comprehensive Tour Guide

Kengtung, located in Eastern Myanmar, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers. It features stunning natural scenery, a unique local culture, and a growing tourism industry. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about Kengtung, including places to visit, activities, hiking/biking routes, food, accommodations, local culture, safety and health, transportation, excursions and more.

Introduction to Kengtung

Kengtung, also known as Kyaing Tong, is a small town in Eastern Myanmar. It is located near the border of Thailand, Laos, and China, making it a melting pot of cultures. The town is famous for its beautiful landscapes, colorful temples, and unique local culture. The town is accessible by plane or bus. Kengtung has a tropical climate, with monsoon rains occurring from May to October.

List of Places to Visit in Kengtung

Kengtung is a town rich in culture and history. Here is a list of must-visit places when you are in town.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Wat Zom Kham: A stunning Wat, or temple, built in the Shan style. It features wooden carvings, gilded Buddhas, and intricate murals.
  2. Shan Palace: A beautifully restored palace from the 1920s, showcasing the traditional Shan architecture and lifestyle. It features antique furniture, ancestral halls, and courtyards.
  3. Kengtung Market: A bustling market where you can find local handicrafts, traditional clothing, and fresh produce.

Natural Attractions of Kengtung: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Trekking to Akha villages: Take a hike to the remote Akha villages for a cultural immersion in the Akha tribe’s lifestyle. Enjoy scenic views along the way.
  2. Pin Tauk Waterfall: An impressive waterfall that has become popular with both locals and tourists. It is a short walk from town and is ideal for picnics.
  3. Naung Tung Lake: A peaceful lake surrounded by towering mountains. Rent a boat and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kengtung

  1. Ho Kyin – Kholam – Wan Pauk: 3-day trek through the Shan hills and rice paddies.
  2. Hike to Wan Nyut – Akha village: Short hike to the Akha tribe village, featuring stunning views of the surrounding forest.

Best Things to Do in Kengtung: Activities and Tours

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides: Float above the picturesque Shan countryside, taking in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rice paddies.
  2. Motorbike Tours: Rent a motorbike and take a tour to the Hill Tribe villages surrounding Kengtung.
  3. Cooking Classes: Learn how to prepare traditional Shan dishes at a local cooking class.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kengtung

Here is our suggested itinerary for a weeklong stay in Kengtung:

Day Activity
1 Visit Shan Palace and Wat Zom Kham
2 Hike to Akha villages, explore their culture
3 Pin Tauk Waterfall, Naung Tung Lake
4 Hot Air Balloon Rides, Motorbike tour to Hill Tribe Villages
5 Cooking Class, Visit Kengtung Night Market
6 Visit Kengtung Museum
7 Relax and Sightseeing

Food and Drink Scene of Kengtung

Kengtung is known for its unique cuisine, mixing influences from the Shan, Akha, and Chinese cultures. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages.

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Shan Noodles: A rice noodle dish with pork or chicken, garnished with herbs and spices.
  2. Larb: A spicy Akha-style minced pork salad.
  3. Mohinga: A popular Burmese breakfast dish featuring rice noodles in a fish soup.

Local Beverages

  1. Shan Tea: A special tea made with pickled tea leaves, peanuts, sesame seeds, and other spices.
  2. Rice Wine: A potent local alcoholic beverage made from sticky rice.

Where to Stay in Kengtung: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kengtung has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Here are some popular choices:

  1. Princess Hotel: A beautiful hotel with spacious rooms and excellent facilities.
  2. Golden Land Hotel: A mid-range hotel that offers decent rooms at affordable prices.
  3. Pin Tauk Guesthouse: A guesthouse with basic amenities, but with friendly staff.

What to Buy in Kengtung: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Kengtung is a great place to buy souvenirs and local handicrafts. Here are some popular options:

  1. Shan clothing: Traditional clothing, including jackets, trousers, hats and shoulder bags.
  2. Silverware: Handcrafted silverware, including earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
  3. Shan Paper: Handmade paper products made from the bark of the mulberry tree.

Local Culture and Customs of Kengtung

Kengtung has a rich culture, with a mix of Shan, Akha, and Chinese traditions. It is customary to dress modestly and remove shoes when entering temples or houses. Tipping is not expected, but appreciated.

Best Time to Visit Kengtung

The best time to visit Kengtung is during November to February, when the weather is cool and dry.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kengtung


  1. Respect the local culture and customs.
  2. Dress modestly while visiting temples or public places.
  3. Try the local food and beverages.


  1. Touch someone’s head, as it is considered disrespectful in the local culture.
  2. Disrespect temples or religious sites.
  3. Use or carry drugs, as it is illegal in Myanmar.

Safety and Health

Safety in Kengtung

Kengtung is considered to be a safe town for travelers. However, it is recommended to take precautions against petty theft and pickpocketing.

Health in Kengtung

Kengtung is a high-altitude town, so travelers should be aware of altitude sickness. It is also recommended to drink bottled water to avoid getting sick.

Getting to Kengtung: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kengtung

  1. Kengtung Airport: A small airport with limited flights to other towns in Myanmar.

Bus Stations Near Kengtung

  1. Kengtung Bus Station: A central bus station, with frequent buses to nearby towns and cities.

Other Options

  1. Private Taxis: Private taxis are available, but it is recommended to book with a reputable service.

How to Get Around in Kengtung

The best way to get around in Kengtung is by motorbike or bicycle. You can also hire a taxi or tuk-tuk for short distances.

Where to Go Next from Kengtung: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Inle Lake: A picturesque lake famous for its floating villages and local fishermen. It is accessible by bus or plane from Kengtung.
  2. Golden Triangle: A region where the borders of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet, famous for its opium trade and scenic views.


Kengtung is a hidden gem in Eastern Myanmar, with a rich culture and stunning natural scenery. We hope this travel guide has inspired you to plan your next adventure to Kengtung and explore the beauty of this hidden town.