Shan State lies in the eastern part of the country, bordered by Kachin State on the north, the People's Republic of China on the north and east, Lao People's Democratic Republic on the east, Thailand and Kayah and Kayin States on the south, and Mandalay and Sagaing Divisions on the west. Its total land area is 60,155 square miles. Of the states and divisions of Myanmar, Shan State is the biggest with the largest population.
The estimated population of Shan State in 1999 was 4,702,000 with the average density of 75 persons per square mile. The population is dense in valleys and areas along railroad and motor roads, but sparse in hilly regions where agriculture and communications are difficult.
The Inlay Lake region is an area with a strange lifestyle, and the people in the region live in houses built on the edge of the lake. There are many other national races residing in Shan State. Shan nationals dwell in river valleys and valleys throughout the state while Danu, Taungyoe, Inn-thar (Inn-has) and Bamar nationals live in the west of Shan State. Palaung (Ta-aung) live in the northern Shan State especially in Namhsan, Pindaya, Lawksawk and Mongkai townships.. Pa-O nationals are seen in the south of the state, Kachin and Lisu (Lishaw) in the north, Kokang in Kokang region, Wa (Lwela) in Hopang township on the east of Than Lwin River and Eikaw (Arkha) and Lahu in the Kengtung region.
Most of the inhabitants are devout Buddhists, although there are a number of Muslims, Christians and Hindus in the region.
Myanmar is the mainly used language in the region though various national races speak different dialects.
How to get there?
The most convenient way is to fly from Yangon to Heho, the nearest airport to Taunggyi, Inlay, Kalaw and Pindaya Caves. There are daily flights to Heho which take about one hour. The flight from Mandalay to Heho takes only 20 minutes. The trip by car takes a few hours because of the steep and windy road over the Shan Plateau but the drive itself is interesting and well-worth taking. There is also a regular train service via Thazi Junction to Heho and Shwenyaung, the nearest station to Taunggyi and Inlay Lake.