“The Shan Hills, is a vast mountainous zone that extends through Yunnan to Myanmar and Thailand. The whole region is made up of numerous mountain ranges separated mostly by narrow valleys as well as a few broader intermontane basins. The ranges in the area are aligned in such a way that they link to the foothills of the Himalayas further to the northwest.”
“Most of the Shan State is a hilly plateau, the Shan Plateau, which together with the higher mountains in the north and south forms the Shan Hills system. The gorge of the Thanlwin River cuts across the hills. Inle Lake where the leg-rowing Intha people live in floating villages, in the great Nyaung Shwe plain, is the second largest natural expanse of water in Myanmar.”
“The Shan Horse or Shan Myinn is a breed of small mountain horse or pony from the Shan Hills, in eastern Myanmar. It was traditionally bred by the Shan people of that area. It is one of two horse breeds in Myanmar, the other being the Burmese Horse. The Shan Horse is a small, sturdy mountain horse, well adapted to hot and humid conditions and to altitudes of up to 6,000 metres.”
Myanmar’s biggest minority
The Shan people, also known as the Dai or Tai Yai, are a Tai ethnic group of Southeast Asia. Primarily live in the Shan Hills, but also inhabit parts of Kachin State and Kayin State, and in adjacent regions of China (Dai people), Laos, Assam (Ahom people) and Thailand. ‘Shan’ is a generic term for all Tai-speaking peoples within Myanmar. The Shan are traditionally wet-rice cultivators, shopkeepers, and artisans.