258,000 in Myanmar (2000). Population total all countries: 272,000.
South Shan State, near Kalaw; north Shan State, Kyawkme area; Lashio to the China border; Lashio east to the Salween; Kokaing area villages east of Salween river. Also in China, Thailand (Pale Palaung).
Pale, Rulai. Rulai dialect near Lashio has regular phonological changes and some lexical difference from Ruching.
Kalaw dialect tends toward loss of final consonants, could be moving to develop tones. Tense vowels change into glides with a palatal final in the Pale variety. Buddhist, traditional religion.