Taunggyi is the capital of Southern Shan State. The city is situated on High Mountain, 1500 m above sea level. Taunggyi is the fifth largest city of Myanmar. Taunggyi has humid tropical climate, being situated on High Mountain, has fresh weather during summer time from February to May, get high rain fall from June to September. It has very cold weather from November to January.
Once a year there is famous annual hot air balloon festival in Taunggyi known as Taunggyi tazaungdaing lights festival. The festival date was chosen by lunar calendar; use to fall in the month of November or December.
Hot air balloon festival at Taunggyi is one of the most spectacular events in Myanmar
Fire balloon festival last for 8 days. Originally festival celebrates to honor the guardians of planet. Opean the ceremony with colorful traditional music and dance, in the afternoon around 2 pm.
When the dark falls, start to release fire balloons in the air. Two types of fire balloons for night time activities at the festival, Seinnaban (Fire balloon was well decorate by thousands of candle or lights with the form of Buddha image or whatever they want to demonstrate) and Nya Mii Kyi (Fire balloon with lot of fireworks for explosions which spark in the air as artificial fire).
Every half an hour a team of fire balloon enters to the field and wait for their turn. If weather is good, nothing happen to fire balloon, Seinnaban and Nya Mii Kyi fire balloon are released into air alternatively every hour. Celibately fire balloon festival happily from 08:30pm till dawn for 8 days.
Fire balloon festival is not only night time, there are daytime activities. Day time fire balloon is animal shaped fire balloons.
Traditionally, competition for the beauty of fire balloon (Nya Mii Kyi), how fire balloons can fly and, at which height stat to explore artificial fire is part of the fire balloon festival.
How to get Tauggyi :
There are public buses between Yangon – Taungyi, Mandalay – Taungyi, Bagan – Taungyi, Nyaung Shwe – Taungyi. Taungyi can be reach by air from Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan to Heho, then take taxi to Taungyi. There is no public transport around Taunggyi to visit around. The most famous tourist attractive place near Taunggyi is Inlay Lake. Better to hire private car from Inlay lake to visit around Taungyi.
Where to stay:
There are several hotels at Taunggyi. As Taunggyi is not all year round tourist destinations, you may not find good hotels. If you need good hotel better to stay at Nyaung shwe (30minutes drive from Taungyi). Most foreign tourist stay at Nyaung Shwe and around Inlay Lake and drive to Taunggyi tazaungdaing light festival.
There are some hotels in Taungyi :
Shwe Kyun hotel https://www.shwekyunhotel-myanmar.com/en-us
Hotel Grace https://www.facebook.com/hwlatt/
Royal Taungyi hotel https://www.facebook.com/royaltaunggyihotel/
True Treasure Hotel https://www.facebook.com/TrueTreasureHotel/
Cheery Queen Hotel https://www.facebook.com/cherryqueenhotel/
UTC Taungyi hotel http://www.ucttaunggyihotel.com/
Recommendation to visit Taunggyi fire balloon festival:
Bring local guide from Nyaung Shwe who keep you safe. Local guide knows the behaviors of balloon depend on direction of the wind, where you should go and when you need to move away.
It is warm during day time, temperature drop during night time. Bring warm clothes for night time.