The Khun and Shan-Gyi are closely related and of Thai-Shan extraction. To the east of the Thanlwin River, the percentage of Khun speakers is high, while to the west, the percentage of Shan-Gyi speakers is high. Both the Khun and Shan-Gyi have their own writing and literature.
Khun villages outside of Kyaing Tong City are built almost entirely of stilted houses. The roofs are made of thatch and bamboo. The pillars are wood or bamboo, planed by hand with axes and other tools, while the walls and floor are made of split bamboo. The construction uses no nails and the materials are all natural. The "Tsaleo", a star-shaped good luck charm to ward away evil, hangs in the entrance of each home.