January 21st, 2016:
When I arrived in Kalaw it seemed to be a sleepy, quiet little town only known to tourists because you are allowed to trek in the surrounding hills and sleep in the local villages without a permit from the Myanmar government. The next day, sort of unsurprisingly, when the market came to town everything exploded with activity for 7 hours. The streets that were empty the day before filled with stalls and just about every inch if unclaimed ground had a tarp or old rice sack rolled out and whatever the local people’s land produced that week was on sale. After spending the last couple weeks in the Shan state, I will say that their produce is some of the most flavorful and robust that I have ever enjoyed. I’ll easily rank the quality of their veggies up there with California or France, the land just seems abundant with flavors and textures.
The reason I came to Kalaw wasn’t the trekking though; I was meeting up with Jim Connor and his family who run the Whispering Seed NGO from here, with projects throughout Myanmar. His organization is a blog post on it’s own, so for now enjoy my tiny town wanderings and I’ll have more images up soon.