The mention of Myanmar will conjure visions of hot air balloons flying over the majestic Bagan. After all, this is the reason why many travellers have put the diverse Southeast Asian country on their bucket list. Following the popularity the iconic hot air balloon tours, the company have set sail for new horizons with the launch of a new hot-air balloon flight in the remote ethnic region of Kayah State.

Kayah State is the country’s smallest, located on the eastern border of Myanmar. Formerly known as ‘Karenni’, the region is now embracing tourism — and is finally opening up to the world. Its remote and sleepy capital, Loikaw, is the gateway to the remote state.

And while the Kayah State is inhabited primarily by the Karenni ethnic group (also known as Red Karen or Kayah), a group of Sino-Tibetan people, the state is occupied by nine distinct ethnic groups. Loikaw is one of the best places to delve first hand into the authentic tribal life.

The next time you’re visiting Myanmar, choose to embark on the road less travelled instead. Here are five reasons why you should go to the culturally-rich Kayah State.

(Hero image credit: Quinn Buffing, Unsplash)