If you’re visiting Nyaungshwe or Inle Lake, you’ll be within reach of the mystical site of Kakku. With nearly 2,500 spires assembled into a tightly compacted hillside, the area is visually stunning. You can walk among the narrow passages between the pagodas and get a good look at their sometimes ancient engravings.
It takes quite a few hours to reach Kakku, but the fact that it takes a journey down a bumpy road to get here keeps it from seeing a huge number of visitors. Kakku’s remote location has allowed this religious site to retain much of its original mystique.
Kakku is believed to date all the way back to the 12th century, although the majority of the pagodas date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Each stupa has its own elaborate design, and you’ll see different levels of wear and tear around the site — some of the stupas have been reduced to rubble by earthquakes, while others have been patched up in a well-meaning restoration.