The old town on the hilltop 4,050 feet above sea level is now officially known as Thandaungyi (meaning Great Thandaung) to distinguish it from the new town which had usurped the name and its township headquarters status. The town is quite small, only 1.57 sq-miles (1,007 acres) and you can easily walk around the whole area. The total population is only 3,766, but some new people are arriving. The Kayin people mainly Bwe’ live there, but other Kayin races such as Sgaw, Paku, Moebwa, Palaychie and other Myanmar people can also be found living in complete harmony with each other. They can be distinguished by their different coloured dresses. The town is divided into six wards and has 354 households. The beauty of the town lies in its extensive views to be seen from all parts of this small attractive place. There are more hills and mountains to the north, east and south, while the Sittaung valley can be seen to the west with sweeping views right to the Bago Yoma hills beyond. Visitors who have been to Chiang Mai, the Doi Suthep mountain and Mae Sa valley to the west and north of the city will be able to visualize the type of scenery to be found around Thandaung as the two mountain ranges are in the same latitude, and are only about a hundred miles apart. In Thandaung, nature is entirely unspoilt; there are few people and all is green, the environment tranquil. Only the calls of the numerous birds and wild animals can be heard. The only man-made scenery around Thandaung really adds rather than detracts to her beauty. They are the pleasant groves of tea and coffee plantations on some of the slopes around Thandaung. There are 640 acres of tea plantations; the high altitude, the cool climate and abundant rainfall produce some of the best tea leaves of Southeast Asia. There are still many uncultivated hill slopes for investment in tea cultivation. The coffee grown here too is one of the best in the region, although at present it is well known only within our country. The time will soon come when these plantations are expanded to produce ample coffee and tea for export. Plans to expand tea cultivation by 500 acres are already being carried out. Around Thandaung can be bought huge delicious red or maroon bananas called Shwengapyaw or Golden Bananas. Many other tasty fruits and vegetables can also be obtained freshly and cheaply. Visitors will appreciate the cool climate, with annual average temperatures of about 65’F. The copious rainfall averages 225 inches annually. The winters are mild and like most areas in Myanmar the months from October to the end of February is the best time to visit Thandaung. Visitors to Myanmar during the heat of March to mid-May would feel pleasantly cool if they go to Thandaung. A new modern hotel is being built for visitors. The simple mountain folk, the various races of local Kayin people as well as the Gurkhas who were brought by the British and who now live around Thandaung, will warmly welcome visitors from far and wide.