Hsipaw and the Shan State

Why you should visit HsIpaw

  • Walk in little visited rural villages
  • Visit off the beaten track monasteries and palaces
  • Delve into the history of the last Shan Princess
  • Cruise on the pretty Dokthawaddy River, a peaceful alternative to the Irawaddy

 Our specialists must do

Our Myanmar specialist Joe recently travelled by rail from Hsipaw to Pyin Oo Lwin crossing the Gokteik Viaduct. The scenery is magnificent and the gentle pace of the train offers a pleasant alternative to flying to Mandalay.

A little more about Hsipaw

Hsipaw, in Myanmar’s northern Shan state, is a fascinating and idyllic region to explore.  The main highlights of the area are outside of the town where small villages dot the landscape and the fields are rich in crops and local varieties of fruit. A wide variety of flowers add colour to the landscape.

A typical day in Hsipaw starts with shopkeepers setting out their wares while young monks walk slowly past asking for alms. There is a wonderfully authentic market which tribal minorities from across the region attend to sell a wide range of exotic and essential items from around Myanmar. Less touristy than the markets around Inle Lake and Bagan excellent photo opportunities abound.

Walking or cycling is the best way to experience the peace and beauty of the area. Local people tend their crops and as you pass will always warmly return a smile and wave. There are several monasteries in the area to visit as well as the Shan Palace. A late afternoon cruise on the Dokthawaddy River is the perfect way to end a day.

When to go

The best time of year to visit Hsipaw is October-March during the dry season.


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