Our Favorite Playground: Trekking in the Mountains of Kalaw

I think there’s really nothing quite as wonderful as trekking in the mountains in cool weather, and Kalaw was perfect in December.

The idea is to wear light clothes with layers for when you’re under the shade as it could get a bit chilly, but sweaty hot under the sun. The long pants and leggings  also protected the kids against insects and itchy blades of grass and weeds.

We were extremely lucky to have been assigned a real gem of a guide, Kyaw La (pronounced “Jola” or “Chola”), who was a kid magnet and had a lot of awesome tricks up his sleeve. The whole 9-hour hike was actually little more than just an amazing day of playing and learning about tools, medicines and play things you could make out of whatever you find in the forest.


Kyaw La (far left) was mostly the reason why this part of our Myanmar trip was the family favorite 🙂
Kalaw mountains looking dreamy with this photogenic cow



See that charming little house up there?



Kyaw La showing the kids how to make herbal tincture (for wounds and scratches) by making holes out of some leaves and squeezing out the juice (but not before making that super amazing “pop” sound you make by loudly slapping your open palm on the leaf!)
And of course, toys! 
A cool bow and arrow made from twigs
A jump rope made from a bendable twig
This was already somewhere near the top of the mountains, where we had a short snack break of fruits, granola bars and a local delicacy brought along and shared by our guide
Promise weeds are flowers, too
Breathtakingly beautiful


So much loveliness, no?


Fresh guacamole made by Kyaw La (yeah, he also does a fierce dish like he could even be more perfect)
Truly wasn’t expecting much from the food at the view deck at the mountain top, but this lunch of fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, chips, cold soda and beer was a great big surprise of scrumptiousness even my picky kids loved!


Fruits and potato chips!


They played jump rope but the rope it broke /  So they just sat around telling knock-knock jokes / The ladybugs twelve / At the ladybugs’ picnic




It was our eldest son Bommy’s 17th birthday then, and Kyaw La gave him this sweet present handmade out of a small piece of bamboo, with Bommy’s name and a birthday greeting also carved on the other side of this little drinking water receptacle.




Our magician could handle anything, adults, a teener and young kids, questions about vegetation, animals, Buddhism, history of Myanmar, culture, medicines…And got a wood splinter on your finger? No problem!



Playing baseball with sticks and pine cones


Playing javelin throw with sticks and blades of grass


Our magician Kyaw La also made a broom, and for each of us a walking stick and a whistle!

Yeah, it was pretty amazing —never a dull moment, no complaints, not even of being tired.

If you’re minded to check it out, please do say hi to Kyaw La for me, will you?

What about you?

Do you enjoy hiking in the mountains? What about with children?

Thanks for stopping by!

See you again,

Much love, Fcg





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  1. Hey you! Love your blog. You know I`ve always been a fan of your writing, and now your photos, too. So don`t stop doing what you`re doing. Cheers


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