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Pyin Oo Lwin or Pyin U Lwin (Burmese: ပြင်ဦးလွင်‌, pronounced [pjɪ̀ɴ ʔú lwɪ̀ɴ]; Shan: ဝဵင်းပၢင်ႇဢူး ;MLCTS=prang u: lwang mrui.), formerly and colloquially referred to as Maymyo (မေမြို့), is a scenic hill town in Shan State, Myanmar, in the Shan Hills, some 67 kilometers (42 mi) east of Mandalay, and at an elevation of 1,070 meters (3510 ft). The town was estimated to have a population of around 255,000 in 2014.[1] Pyin Oo Lwin was in Shan State and after British, the town was put into the Mandalay Region along with Mogok.

Pyin Oo Lwin
Town
Downtown Pyin Oo Lwin
Downtown Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin is located in Myanmar
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin
Coordinates: 22°2′4.38″N 96°27′31.49″E / 22.0345500°N 96.4587472°E / 22.0345500; 96.4587472
CountryMyanmar
Region Shan State
DistrictPyin Oo Lwin District
Population
 (2014)
255,000
Time zoneUTC+6:30 (MMT)

NamesEdit

  • Pyin Oo Lwin(ပြင်ဦးလွင်‌)
  • May myo (မေမြို့)
  • Taung Lay Khar(တောင်လှေခါး) ('hillside stairs')
  • Taung Sa Kan(တောင်စခန်း) ('hill station') and the best-known name, Pan Myo Taw ('city of flowers')

HistoryEdit

 
Summer Palace of the Governor of British Burma, Pyinoolwin
 
Purcell Clock Tower, downtown

The town began as a military outpost established near a small Shan village with two dozen households[2] on the Lashio-Mandalay trail between Nawnghkio and Mandalay. In 1897, a permanent military post was established in the town and later, because of its climate, it became a hill station and the summer capital of British Burma. The establishment in Burma (civil, commercial and military) would move to Maymyo during the hot season to escape from the high heat and humidity of Rangoon. During British rule and through the 1970s, Maymyo had a large Anglo-Burmese population, but this steadily declined. During the Japanese occupation, as many Anglos were concentrated in and around Maymyo, the Japanese incarcerated many of them for fear of their loyalty to the British very close to Maymyo. Today, Maymyo still has one of the larger populations of Anglo-Burmese in the country. The British named the location Maymyo, literally 'May's Town' in Burmese, after Colonel May, a veteran of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and commander of the Bengal Regiment temporarily stationed in the town in 1887.[2][3] The military government of Burma renamed the town Pyin U Lwin.

DemographicsEdit

The town has approximately 10,000 Indian and 8,000 Gurkha inhabitants who settled in Maymyo during British rule. Today, Pyin Oo Lwin has a thriving Eurasian community, consisting mostly of Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indians. There is also a diverse mix of Chinese, Chin, Kachin, Karen, Shan, and myanmars and communities.

Educational institutionsEdit

Maymyo was an important educational centre during colonial times, with the GEHSs (Government English High Schools), such as St. Mary's, St. Michael's, St. Albert's, St. Joseph's Convent, and Colgate, all based in the town. British settlers and colonial administrators sent their children to be educated here, both European and Anglo-Burmese children. The town was also the location of the various schools of military education open to all ethnicities.

It is today home to the Defence Services Academy (DSA) and the Defence Services Technological Academy (DSTA). There is a large military presence in the town. Nowadays private schools such as Soe San, Sar Pan Eain, Genius and others are thriving. The Mandalay Region Private Schools Association is the country's most dynamic and forward looking group in this sector.

EconomyEdit

 
Unique horse carriages and British colonial houses make Pyin Oo Lwin stand out from the rest of the towns in Myanmar.

Sweater knitting, flower and vegetable gardens, strawberry and pineapple orchards, coffee plantations and cow rearing are the main local businesses. There has been an influx of Chinese immigrants (especially from Yunnan) in recent years. The city is a resort town for visitors from Myanmar's major cities during the summertime and a popular stop for foreign tourists during the winter season.

 
Kandawgyi National Garden at Pyin Oo Lwin

Established in 1915, the National Botanical Gardens and the adjacent Pyin Oo Lwin Nursery are attractions of Pyin Oo Lwin. A 4-acre (16,000 m2) orchid garden is planned for 2007.

Today, Pyin Oo Lwin is noted for four centres of national economic importance. It is the centre of sericulture (silkworm rearing). The Sericulture Research Centre, near the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens, has three distinct roles: the intensive planting and harvesting of mulberry trees (leaves for the silk worms, bark for handmade paper), the rearing of silkworms, and the reeling of the silk from the cocoons. It has a large research centre for indigenous medicinal plants. It has one of the country's few pharmaceutical production facilities.

Pyin Oo Lwin is the centre of the country's flower and vegetable production. The most important flowers grown intensively are chrysanthemum, aster and gladiolus, which are exported to every corner of Myanmar throughout the year. Lastly, Pyin Oo Lwin is the centre of Myanmar's rapidly growing coffee industry. A number of factories in the town process coffee beans for country-wide distribution, with a growing amount now exported.

 
Sweater store
 
Local strawberry farm
 
Young Thilashin before alms round in Pyin Oo Lwin train station.

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pyin Oo Lwin (District, Myanmar)".
  2. ^ a b Herbert Thirkell White (1913). A Civil Servant in Burma. London: E. Arnold.
  3. ^ Crosthwaite, Sir Charles (1912). The Pacification of Burma. Routledge, 1968. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7146-2004-6. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit