Pyin U Lwin is 42 miles from Mandalay and, at an elevation of 3,500 feet, feels much cooler than the stifling town. After capturing Mandalay during the Third Anglo-Burmese War, the British set upon Pyin U Lwin (then known as Maymo or May Town) and made it their hill station, and it remained as such until the end of British rue in 1948. The town is still quite charming and is best enjoyed by bicycle or perched in a colonial-style horse-drawn carriage. Start off in the town
center where you'll see the Purcell Clock Tower (1936) and redbrick All Saints' Church (1912). Mandalay is a desert compared with Pyin U Lwin, so soak up the green at the 435-acre National Kandawgyi Gardens, which were built in 1915 and in which can be found nearly 500 plant species. There's a lovely lake, a butterfly museum, an orchid garden, an aviary, and a swimming pool. (Note that the gardens are owned by government crony Tay Za). The best place to see Pyin U Lwin's old colonial buildings is along roads Circular and Forest, which you can cycle or bump along in your horse-cart. Buildings run the style gamut from Tudor to plantation and both the Candacraig, Hotel (once the British Club) and the former Croxton Hotel are worth an ogle. A private car to Pyin U Lwin should cost K30,000–K35,000; a shared taxi, which leaves from downtown Mandalay (27th and 83rd streets) should cost K7,000/person; the trip takes two hours. A more scenic, albeit bumpy, trip can be made by train, which leaves around 4 am and arrives just before 8 am; tickets are $3.