Hsipaw Hotel Tips by planxty
Hsipaw Hotels: 4 reviews and 3 photos
Bedroom, Myat Yatana Rest House, Hsipaw Myanmar.
OK, forget the name in the title of this tip - everyone knows it as Mr. Charles. If you get lost, or even if you aren't, the locals will all ask you "Mr. Charles?" and set you in the right direction. It's one of those place I am always slightly unsure about. It has reached something approaching iconic status amongst backpackers, and deservedly so - it's a wonderful place to stay. I'm just slightly concerned that the other places in town (there aren't too many), or any new ventures will never have a chance to compete against it. I have seen the phenomenon elsewhere as well.
As for the accomodation itself, well, it is excellent. If you're on a tight budget, there are very cheap rooms with shared facilities. I took a look at the facilities, which were spotless and modern. Not being too financially constrained, I took a room in the new annexe at the rear of the complex, and you can judge for yourselves from the photos. I thought it was good value. As elsewhere in Myanmar, power is sketchy and, although they do have a generator, it sometimes goes down at night so a torch is essential. I found this only added to the charm of the place somehow - elsewhere I'd have been livid. By the way, candles are provided.
The staff couldn't bee more helpful. When I arrived (without a reservation) I was shown a choice of three different rooms at varying prices - no thought of trying to foist the most expensive on me, which was a big plus right away. They are also knowledgeable in regard to local activities. Mr. Charles drew me a map by hand when I expressed a desire to go hiking by myself (I'm not really one for organised groups) which proved to be spot on. It is also really easy to organise transport from the hotel - they reserved me my train ticket back to Mandalay for nothing. If you're going that way, it's only a ten minute walk to the station.
There's also plenty of hot water at all times which is a bonus in the hills as it can get a bit chilly in the evening. Breakfast is included, although I never quite managed to make it.
Unique Qualities: This is one of those quintessential backpacker places that travellers will meet up in Berlin, New york or Timbuktoo and talk about - "Oh, you've been to Hsipaw, did you stay at Mr. Charles", that kind of thing. Absolutely totally geared to the independent traveller.
Address: 105 Awtha Street
Comparison: about average
Directions: From the main road, pass the restaurant strip, cross the bridge and look for the sign on the left asking locals to give travellers all possible assistance! Down that road it's 70 yards on the right. Or else just ask for Mr. Charles - everyone knows it.
Other Contact: 80407 (fax)
Price: less than US$20
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