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The lovely Ohnmar is in charge. When Sampan first visited we were quickly invited to settle down to a cup of strong Pa’O coffee and fluffy banana bread – apparently, our guide whispered to us, the best in Kalaw. Ohnmar showed us the pine-cone handicrafts she had made that day as well as her own coffee-scented soap. A wizened dog with a silver snout sidled over to us and after a quick inquisitorial sniff slumped at our feet with a wheezing sigh. It felt like we were home.
There are 17 rooms – each a little different and each delicately decorated. Each comes with two pillows, wardrobe, en suite bathroom with shower and bathroom amenities. Two pillows, comfort linen, and duvet for those crisp winter evenings.
Hillock Villa offers a private and cosy atmosphere with its thriving kitchen garden and its redesigned lounge in alpine look with fireplace and sofas. Bike rental is available, and hikes and strolls can easily be made into the surrounding woods. There is a terrace and garden and although near to the town’s “attractions”, at Hillock Villa the tranquillity of Southern Shan State can be savoured.
FLASH POINT: It’s not just the banana bread that rocks. There is also the famously scrummy Shan noodles for breakfast. The best in Kalaw? Quite likely.
Set amongst the pine trees since 1903, with a bold “Green Vision” for the future.
A bamboo lodge in a village north or Kalaw; best for hiking and the sound of frog song.