"Hsipaw: a backpackers favourite" Myanmar (Burma) Things to Do Tip by Bonobo2005
Myanmar (Burma) Things to Do: 464 reviews and 930 photos
Hsipaw is a friendly and laid back Shan village in the hills of Northern Shan State, a popular backpackers hang out where you can soak up rural Burmese life.
There are no striking highlights in Hsipaw, situated 7 hours by cargo bus or much longer by train from Mandalay on the way to China (crossing = closed to foreigners).
Most visitors stay at Mr. Charles Rest house, which has a fantastic veranda, and from where every day excursions are or can be arranged to waterfalls, a monastery, rural minority villages, an elephant farm, a cigar factory and such things. The walking tours are usually free, if using the river you have to share the boat cost.
However, the area is also perfectly suitable for exploration by yourself. Bicycles are for rent.
You may also like to visit Mr. Book, who also arranges trips and is a good resource for info on the region and its history. But he is apparently not friendly if you stay at Mr. Charles...
As Hsipaw was, before the military takeover in 1962, an autonomous region with its own royalties, theres still the Palace that you can visit. Talking to Mr. Donald, a descendant of the Prince, or his wife, is really an eye-opener!
For the evenings you may like to visit the cinema. When I went there they just played Congo, a terribly movie featuring blood thirsty gorillas. In English, and enjoyed by dozens of parents with their little children.
About opposite was a backroom of a restaurant having a TV where they daily played sports videos (until 10pm, after which electricity goes off). For a small fee you may enter.
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