Taungyyi, the capital of the Southern Shan State lies at 1,430 meters above sea level. Taunggyi maintains an ethnological museum where cultural objects, musical instruments, traditional dresses, household and farm implements, paintings, sculptures, arts, and crafts unique to different ethnicities residing in Shan State are displayed. The most significant festival is the annual Tazaungdine Lighting Festival (Oct / Nov) where various candles are lit and hot air balloons are released throughout the city. On this occasion people also enjoy themselves by hosting firework competitions in different parts of the city. Hot air balloons are also released during the day, these balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas or animals (elephant, dragon, or ducks) while the night balloons are usually huge elongated paper lanterns.
Kakku is a hidden treasure that hosts an unusual magnificent collection of Buddhist Stupas previously unknown to historians. This pagoda complex lies in the deepest parts of the Pa-oh territory, 26 miles south of Taunggyi. There are more than 2000 stupas closely packed together in ranks covering an area of approximately one square kilometer. Every year, a religious festival is held at Kakku which normally last about a week. The climax to this festival usually falls on the full-moon day of Tabaung (Mid-March) every year. The Kakku pagodas festival draws thousands of visitors from all parts of Shan State.
After Mogok became famous for its ruby and gained a name as the Ruby-land, Mongshu stone tract at Lihsaunghtauk hills started attracting a large number of local and foreign gem lovers. The main markets for the gems found in Mongshu are in Taunggyi and Tachilek. Some jewelers like to call the Mongshu ruby as 'red diamond' for its deep red color and extremely crystalized appearance. Mongshu is a day and a half car ride to the northeast of Taunggyi.
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