Kalaw is a small town that is likely on the Myanmar tourist trail due to the nearby hiking opportunities. Walking around town there are lots of places that arrange treks. Today we headed into the nearby hills and through a couple of tiny villages. Our guide was Obama. Unsurprisingly this isn’t his real name but he does bear more than a passing resemblance. He pointed out all sorts of things that grow in the local area. This equates to about half of a standard spice rack. We stopped off at a farm for a bit of exotic fruit and in a village for some tea. On the way there were plenty of friendly local people who offered us watermelon, lots of waves and smiles, and even a bit of attempted conversing in English. The scenery was nice and being at 4000ft above sea level meant that the temperature was a bit more of a pleasant 25C. The 20km walk seemed to pass in no time.

Trekking provides a good chance to talk and I had an interesting conversation with Romy from Switzerland. We spoke about UK television and Geordie Shore came up. Romy mentioned that she learnt some new phrases from watching the show and I inquired about what phrases. Many of these can’t be used in everyday conversation but “______ gets on my tits” and “well jell” sound hilarious in a Swiss-German accent!

The number one rated restaurant in Kalaw on TripAdvisor is a pizza place on the outskirts of town. It was nice rather than amazing. The pizza was easily the best I’ve had in Asia but that’s not really saying very much. As we have become accustomed to in Myanmar, the restaurant owner was really friendly and stayed open late to accommodate us. She must have apologised about ten times for the delay as they attempted to cook six pizzas in one small oven.

Afterwards we sat on the hotel patio talking about the topics that the younger members of the group seem obsessed by; sex and health/fitness. Most of the London people are what the Daily Mail would label as the London Liberal Elite and occasionally the conversation could even become a bit airy fairy for my liking. I’ve never heard so many people talking about brands of organic tea stocked in Waitress or Whole Foods, or the word “heteronormative” used so much. That said, they’re nice people, a good laugh and I’d rather talk about ketogenic diets than to bore ranting and raving about fairly trivial matters.

The hills around Kalaw
One of the nearby villages