Loikaw (Burmese: လွိုင်ကော်မြို့; MLCTS: lwing kaw mrui., pronounced [lwàikɔ̀ mjo̰]) is the capital of Kayah State in Myanmar. It is located in the Karen Hills area, near the State’s northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu River. The inhabitants are mostly Kayah (Karenni). Myanmar’s largest hydropower plant built (by the Japanese as war reparation) is located about 20 km east of Loikaw at Lawpita Falls.
The town of Loikaw comprises 13 urban wards, namely Naungya, Daw-ukhu, Mainglon, Mingala, Dhammayon, Zaypaing, Shwetaung, Landama, Dawtanma, Dawnoeku, Shansu, and Minsu wards.
Welcome to Loikaw and the capital of Kayah State. Situated among the endless green rice paddies, the locals here seem to be better storytellers than anywhere in Myanmar. It truly is an experience to listen to the elderly people. Here goes one story: Once upon a time, in a dense forest, lived a crocodile and rabbit together. One day, the rabbit told the croc that there would be a severe drought in the coming summer. Believing in his friend, the croc followed the rabbit and traveled until they reached a top of the hillock. However, the rabbit ran away leaving the croc to his fate. Luckily a water buffalo passed by to whom the croc asked for help to take him to where he could find water. The Buffalo replied that there was water nearby. The croc now had to decide his fate. He then had a bright idea and asked the Buffalo to dig a pond in which he could wallow in. The Buffalo agreed and relieved the reptile of his suffering. As luck would have it, water spurted from a subterranean lake bringing rejoice to the croc. The thankful crocodile then bestowed a blessing onto the Buffalo that he would never again have to suffer from the lack of water, which is why buffaloes no longer have to worry about the scarcity of water.
Accompanied by different ethnic groups and many options to explore the countryside, the Loikaw area presents a great opportunity to explore one of the untouched sides of Myanmar.