The first place on my list is gradually becoming more popular among backpackers in the know, largely thanks to the fact it provides the perfect gateway for trekking in the Shan Hills. Historically, Kalaw was developed as a hill station, providing the British with somewhere to hide from the characteristic Burmese heat.
You see, its climate is refreshingly cool as a result of its altitude of 1,320 m. As you might expect, another result of this altitude is the fact that you can see some pretty incredible views from here - so come prepared to be wowed!
If trekking is something that appeals to you, it's worth noting that the amazing Inle Lake - which I'll talk about in more detail below - is around 45 km away, which translates into an approximately two-day trek. An added bonus of tackling this route is that it gives you an unparalleled chance to enjoy the hills in detail, as well as pass through tiny villages and meet hill tribes along the way.
Next up we have Pindaya, which, like Inle Lake, is reachable from Kalaw with a relatively short trek. A small town nestled in beautiful countryside scenery, Pindaya is a wonderful place to discover some Burmese handicrafts (the local paper parasols are particularly worth seeing). That said, its biggest attraction is the Pindaya Caves.
These overlook the Pone Ta Loke lake, and are home to around 8,000 statues of Buddha, crafted in all kinds of shapes, sizes and materials over many centuries. The variety you can see is truly staggering, with some statues made of gold or silver, and others of teak, marble or ivory, to name but a few.
What really brings the caves to life, though, is the fact that they're very much a place of active worship. Expect to see people of all ages coming here with offerings such as flowers.
Finally, we come to Inle Lake, which I think is one of Burma's most interesting and unique destinations. I mean, it's not every day that you can see people living directly on the water in houses built on stilts, is it?
Home to the Intha people, Inle Lake is a truly remarkable sight. As well as houses on stilts, you can see floating gardens and watch the locals practise their characteristic one-legged rowing style as they go from one place to the next. Look out for the floating markets, too, which make their way around the villages throughout the week.