Padaung Ethnic Group Village


Posted on February 10th, by Juan in Culture & Customs. 8 comments

Padaung Ethnic Group Village - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

Shwan Ku village is in Pan Pat region, just 20 miles from Loikaw (Kayah State).

Padaung Ethnic Group Village - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials 2

It’s a small and rural village home of the Padaung ethnic group, with just a few houses and living from agriculture activities.

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials 2

Most women from Padaung ethnic group have followed their traditional culture of wearing neck rings. Girls first start to wear brass neck coils at the age of five but young generations seem not to want to continue with this tradition anymore.
Over the years the coil is replaced by a longer one with more turns. The neck itself is not lengthened, the weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage.

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman and baby - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials 2

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials 3

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman and baby - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

This is the tradition basket used in the countryside to carry vegetables, fruit or… why not… your baby!

Padaung Ethnic Group Village - Nats - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

Villagers in this region believe in spirits (nats). This is their religious site to pray and ask for good luck, prosperity, and good weather. The posts represent sun, moon and earth.

Padaung Ethnic Group Village - Nats - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials 2

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

This woman is playing the guitar and singing traditional songs.

Padaung Ethnic Group Guitar - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

In most houses you can find a beautiful guitar like this one.

Padaung Ethnic Group House - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

All houses in the village are made of wood and bamboo. In the main room they all have corn hung from the ceiling just above the fireplace. This is the corn they will use to plant and grow. The reason for placing them there is to prevent birds from eating the corn seeds once they plant them. The smoked corn seeds will not attract them.

Padaung Ethnic Group Woman inside house - near Loikaw - Kayah State - Myanmar Travel Essentials

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8 thoughts on “Padaung Ethnic Group Village

  1. Hi Juan,

    My name is Aki Masunaga. I have been travelling across SE Asia for about a month. I am in Loikaw, Myanmar with two other friends hoping to visit Padaung village. We asked some local taxi drivers how to get there and how much it would cost, they told us it would cost about 70,000 khat. I was wondering if you know cheaper ways to get to the village. We don’t have much time left in Myanmar so it would be great if you could respond as soon as you can. Thank you so much! Your photos are amazing!

    Aki

    • Hi Aki,
      These villages are not very well connected in term of buses and public transport… I have been to 2 different Padaung villages, to this one in this post I came by car with a local friend and to the other one near Hsipaw, I did a 5 hours trekking…
      Regarding a taxi, I think that’s the right price in Myanmar for a private one for the day.
      If you have time, I suggest to go to Hsipaw and find a local guide to do a trekking. In Loikaw I’m afraid it must be by car.

      I hope you are enjoying Myanmar!
      Happy travels!
      Juan

  2. Hi Juan,
    I am also curious how to reach those Padaung villages in Loikaw. I just cannot find musch information on the internet/travel forum. I wonder whether there are guides there, just like in Kalaw/Hsipaw. Since I’m interested in traditional textile, do you know if they weave their fabrics there?

    • Hi Jalans,
      Yes, they weave their beautiful fabrics. You can see how they do it and also buy from them.
      About how to get there, you would need to find a local guide in Loikaw. It is not as tourist as Hsipaw/Kalaw but it will be easy to find one.
      Happy travels,
      Juan

  3. How was your encounter with the ladies/villager, Juan?
    I read reports that they are not quite hospitable as villagers in other parts of Myanmar, even they ask for money when we take their photos.

    • They were very nice and friendly to me. It’s true they don’t speak English and some of them not even Burmese, they just speak their dialect, and for this reason you might get this feeling of not as friendly as other villagers. Also, there are many tourists that don’t respect them at all. They just go and take pictures without asking and not even smiling, so I guess they are fed up of this too. I’m sure if you smile and show interest in their village, traditions, culture, and not only in their rings, they’ll be very friendly! ;)

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