KATHA TOWN: George Orwell’s House Burmese Days

The small lively Ayeyarwady port town, Katha is situated in the northern part of Myanmar. This charming remote riverside town was silently hosting a large number of wooden colonial-era buildings until the 1990s, a handful of foreign tourists who made it carrying their own maps, looked like searching for something or someone. Someone, it turns out, by the name of George Orwell.

George Orwell House in Katha
George Orwell House-in Katha

Katha is now known for having inspired Kyauktada, the fictional setting of George Orwell’s Burmese Days. But in truth, Kyauktada, was not entirely fictional. Orwell served five years in Myanmar (Burma), as an officer. Two of the years (1926-1927) were spent in Katha District. The locations mentioned in the novel, police station, town jail, British Club are still standing.

For nature & animal lovers, there is an elephant camp called Nat Pauk Elephant camp in the surrounding hardwood forest, about 20 minutes’ drive from town.

Elephant Demonstration: Working with logs

As the Burmese Days town of Kyaukta(Katha) still resembles, reaching Katha by the river and a day’s train ride away from Mandalay. Although most of the town part remains the same, Myanmar has been rapidly modernizing and Katha is no exception. Today there are new shiny bank branches and new hotels.

Bernard_house in Katha(Since 1890)

Most visitors to Katha come by cruise ship to trace the footsteps George Orwell. But there is also a 13 hr train from Mandalay and alternatively, you can get there by 8hr private car or night bus from Mandalay.

Katha is not only the setting for George Orwell’s “Burmese Days”, and also the place wherein 1942, hundreds of Irrawaddy Flotilla company’s ships were scuttled before the Japanese could seize them.

Keen to visit the setting for Burmese Days? Contact us