Kalewa is a picturesque town in western Sagaing Division, perched high on the banks of the Chindwin River. Its setting is somewhat similar to Luang Prabang in Laos, surrounded by rising hills and set at the confluence of two rivers (the Chindwin and Myittha, sometimes spelt Myit Thar).

The town is centred on its main street, which runs up from the sandy banks of the Chindwin on the east side of Kalewa. Here you will find a number of restaurants and beers stations, a couple of which have pleasant river views.

Directly to the east of Kalewa is the a distinctive, beautiful and huge double bend in the Chindwin river, which dramatically cuts through the hills to the east. There is a passenger ferry that crosses the Chindwin at Kalewa, but most crossings are made by paddle boat – including if you are riding a bicycle or motorbike. The Myittha river has a road bridge.

Check out our YouTube video from the banks of the Chindwin River at Kalewa.

The road west to Kalaymyo enters a gorge through the hills and follows the Myittha river upstream, making for a very attractive route on to mountainous Chin State beyond.

Accommodation in Kalewa is limited to simple guesthouses which are within walking distance of the main street. Electricity supply is usually limited to the early evenings in Kalewa, and you are unlikely to find hot water or western-style washing facilities.

For a wider selection of photos from Kalewa, go to our Flickr photo set.

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