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Published: December 12th 2016
Thinking about it I reckon the photos tell the story of this journey pretty well, so I'll just fill in a few bits. We bought our tickets from the foreigners office 30 mins before departure and were advised to book upper class (£1.65 each) by the booking clerk, which we were more than happy to do - it was a 6 hour journey after all. The train arrived on time but we had to wait 5 minutes for the additional upper class coach to be brought along and coupled up. By now the stations busy and huge sacks of produce are being loaded on up and down the train and it was all quite exciting.
Our seats were comfy and there was no glass in the windows so it was lovely and cool, I was still digging bits of assorted flowers and bushes out of my clothes once we got to our hotel!
The scenery was lovely, passing lots of villages, farms, pagodas, waving children and the mountains in the distance gradually getting closer. The train must have averaged about 20mph and it swayed a lot and was bumpy at times but nothing like we had been expecting. I
The Train from Pyin to Hsipaw
Love this train timetable with it's 'guess' timings!
had been feeling a bit sick so I took a couple of travel sickness tablets and managed ok.
I was trying not to drink to much as I was dreading using the loo but still had to use it a couple of times, it was western style but there was no way I would have sat on it! It was not easy I can tell you the train was swaying and it was pitch black in there!
In our carriage were 2 monks, 1 novice and a Dutch lady who was travelling with them, a couple from Hong Kong, a couple from India, a few more western back packers and a massive group of young Chinese tourists, who produced a guitar and sang most of the way up to the viaduct......oh and a couple of mice who kept darting across the aisle under the seats, much to the the Dutch lady's horror and mine and the novices amusement.
The station stops were interesting, some were just a shack, others had lots of people getting on and off with their goods and loads of people hawking food and drinks both on the platform and on the train.
The Train from Pyin to Hsipaw
Howard loves all things trains!
We got our first glimpse of the famous Gokitek Viaduct and the train weaved back and forth down the valley side towards it. There was much excitement when the time came to cross it, police got on the train to stop anyone opening the doors and the tension built......and everyone hung out the windows instead ha ha. It was a long way down like.
At the station on the other side most people got out, which only left the monks, novice, Dutch lady, indian couple, us and 3 backpackers left to carry on to Hsipaw and finally after 7 hours - very good by Burma standards I gather, we arrived in the small town of Hsipaw.
Out hotel Lily the Home had sent a tuk tuk to collect us and others who were staying there and a few minutes later we arrived. We were given a choice of 2 rooms, Howard had booked us in basic I discovered, as we were led out to the courtyard with all the cars in it and shown rooms in what looked like a converted garage. I was not happy! Plus there was a big gap under the door, perfect for creatures
of the night. So I got us moved and for £8 more we were in the main building, 3 floors up, lovely big room and fantastic views 😊
We went down to the riverside restaurant for sunset and the view was gorgeous and it was all tranquil and peaceful. The food was a bit naff but I didn't really feel like eating much anyway. So the sun set, the mosses bit through the layer of deet and we went back to the hotel.
Then it all went wrong, suddenly I was freezing and feeling really sick and so it went on, I was not well At all.
The next and only day in Hsipaw I spent in bed, drinking water and running to the loo, gutted!
Thankfully by the following day (12th dec) I was feeling ok, couldn't eat but ok, just as well as it was 6 1/2 hours by shared taxi back to Mandalay and here we are.
Tot: 1.151s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 11; qc: 60; dbt: 0.037s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb