The beautiful traditional longneck women of Myanmar are some of the last known members of this dying tradition, and if you go to Myanmar you can see it firsthand in the villages where the custom first began.
The Pan Pet Villages are a short two hour drive from Loikaw with Loikaw being a long 6 hours from Inle Lake by bus, or a 12 hour overnight bus from Yangon, but once you get to the Loikaw, the actual drive to the villages is straightforward. If you use the Maps.me app, then you can see exactly the road to the four Pan Pet Villages via GPS.
The draw towards visiting Loikaw is primarily based on visiting the Longneck Villages – the original location of this tradition. There are equivalent locations in Thailand called the Karen Long Neck Tribe, but these are survivors who fled from previous wars within Myanmar. Visiting this unique place opens your eyes and lets you see something that no other tourist has seen.
On one hand, it’s a very enriching experience, but if I was to return, then I would contact a guide to translate, as the language barrier meant that we could not speak with the women without using gestures.
If anything, I regret not buying one of the fabrics within any of these photos. It’s a reminder of the journey to get here and it also helps to support their economy. We purchased some other gifts instead, but looking back at these photos, I don’t know how I missed how spectacular the color of the fabrics looks.
If you plan to make it out there, then let me know!
More Myanmar Guides Here:
These are my other guides for Myanmar:
Explore the whole country: Your Travel Guide to Myanmar
Explore Bagan: Your Travel Guide to Bagan
Explore Inle Lake: Your Travel Guide to Inle Lake
Explore Loikaw: Your Travel Guide to Loikaw
Explore Hpa-an: Your Travel Guide to Hpa-an
Explore Yangon: Your Travel Guide to Yangon
Get Inspired for Myanmar: Top Five Reasons to Visit Myanmar