Once one of the most powerful saopha kingdoms in the Shan State, these days Hsipaw isn’t so much ‘on the map’, yet incidentally this makes up part of its current day charm.
Getting to Hsipaw is half of the adventure, going via one of the greatest rail journeys in the world, from Pyin Oo Lwin via the Goteik viaduct to Hsipaw then onto Lashio. It can also be reached by road.
Once here you can soak up that satisfying feeling like you’ve strayed somewhat from the beaten track, surrounded by wonderful countryside to hike through and a bustling town with a vibrant central market and friendly locals. Hsipaw is also well known for its food, from small cafes to restaurants and market food stalls. Try the Shan noodle with some khawpok and dry tea.
Other attractions include the beautiful Bawgyo Paya pagoda, the now modest Shan Palace, nearby waterfalls, hot springs and Nawng Kaw Gyi Lake. Hiking day excursions to several days of full trekking can be easily organized with great local guides from Hsipaw.
WHEN TO GO
Hsipaw has a warm and temperate climate, with less rain in the winter months November - April.
What to do
- Bawgyo Paya Pagoda
- Travel there by train from Mandalay or Pyin Oo Lwin
- In Hsipaw itself: the Shan Palace, Central Market and taking in the sunset from the Five Buddha hill or Nine Buddha Hill
- Hiking, trekking , waterfalls and hot Springs