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Set spectacularly on a mountain ridge, Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State and home to a large number of traditional ethnic tribes, including the Intha and the Pa-O – who in fact outnumber Shan here. The city hosts a bustling market, where you will find large numbers of Pa-O, instantly recognisable by the colourful towels that the women wear on their heads. There are also a variety of tasty local Shan dishes to be tried out, as well as a range of wines at the nearby Aythaya vineyard. The dazzling fire balloon festival that takes place in November and the thousands of pagodas that can be found nearby at Kakku are other reasons to visit

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