Photo: Hilltop views.

Eat and meet

For the early riser looking for a good local experience, check out Shwe Ya Ti Tea Shop near the smaller bridge crossing the river near Loikaw’s central lake. Samosas and traditional breakfast is what you’ll find here, starting at 1,000 to3,000 kyat. It’s open right through to late into the evening, offering midday and evening traditional Burmese cooking too.

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Another breakfast option is one of the teashops crammed in near the river on the main road leading into town. Kaung Kyaw Hein stands out for baking their bread daily. It’s a great stop if you need a break from rice and curries, but be warned that they’re still cooking in a local style -- their bread is very sweet.

For a more varied menu, one of the more popular spots for locals and tourists alike is Loikaw City Restaurant, which offers very tasty food at reasonable prices with draft beer and wine. There’s an upstairs with not much of a view and a downstairs with very little parking, but they make up for it all with service. Their menu is massive, boasting Thai, European, Chinese and traditional Burmese dishes that will cost 2,500 to 7,000 kyat a main dish. We didn’t try their European selection but can highly recommend almost any prawn dish on the menu. This place also seems to stay open the latest in Loikaw, closing at 23:00, or a full hour longer than any of the other places.

Another option is Shwe Ya Ti Restaurant (not to be confused with its sibling Shwe Ya Ti Tea Shop), on the road that branches off from Loikaw’s main entrance road and leads past the lake. It has an open-air patio with a view of Taung Gwe Pagoda. Though not a spectacular view thanks to the trees that shade the restaurant, you’ll find it a good spot for lunch, an early dinner or a bottle of beer. It serves traditional buffet Burmese food cooked up in the morning, so the earlier you eat, the fresher the food will be. Main dishes start at 2,000 to 3,000 kyat.

Last but not least, KKS offers Chinese/Thai/Burmese style dishes near Moon Joy/Loikaw City Restaurant. Up-scale for Loikaw, you’ll be sure to find it packed with locals treating themselves to a delicious dinner and a few beers. Expect main dishes to cost 2,500 to 6,500 kyat.

Kaung Kyaw Hein: 30 Shan Su Quarter, Lawpita Rd; T: (09) 42 800 2355; (09) 4940 2235; daily 07:00-17:00
KKS: Yan Myo Aung St, Daw U Khu Quarter; T: (09) 421 757 898; daily 07:00-22:30.
Loikaw City Restaurant: Khu/A-135, Daw Oo Khu 3 Street, No. 4 Main Road. T: (08) 323 051; (094) 100 7651;; daily 08:00- 23:00
Shwe Ya Ti Restaurant: 91 Sa, No 4 Highway Rd, Daki U Khu Quarter; T: (0942) 800 1895; (092) 5403 6036; daily 10:00-21:00.
Shwe Ya Ti Tea Shop: 2/1, Pa Daydar Rd, near Oattatar Yoh Bridge; T: (09) 4280 02470; daily 04:00-21:00.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Loikaw? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

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