Blogs from Hsipaw, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia


Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw September 19th 2017

I trekked in rebel territory. But, before we go there, I shall regale you with a woeful tale of my planning fail. The Planning Fail As you may recall from my last entry, I flew south from Mandalay to Heho, my jumping off point for Inle Lake. I had initially intended to go to Kalaw from Heho Airport to do a three day trek from there to Inle Lake, but I changed my mind because it rained most of my last full day in Mandalay and I realized I did not want to deal with rain and mud for three days. As it turned out, it did rain a fair bit during the three days I was at Inle Lake. But, this decision left some slack in my schedule. While I was at Ostello Bello in ... read more
Hsipaw Trek
Hsipaw Trek

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw December 10th 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 ... read more
The Train from Pyin to Hsipaw
The Train from Pyin to Hsipaw
The Train from Pyin to Hsipaw

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw January 1st 2016

We woke up early the next morning and I was glad of my cute fluffy hat! After a quick breakfast of copious amounts of coffee,peanut rice and egg, we were off. There were five of us in our group, us, an Ozzy guy called Gavin, his French friend Julie and our local guide Jimi. He was dressed in typical Shan fashion, wearing colourful baggy trousers and a straw hat :) Our first stop was at a noodle factory to see how the noodles are made, we seen them from their hanging out in the sun in sheets to dry to their packaging. I was again surprised at just how young the factory workers were. We also passed a shop on wheels, there’s an early morning market in Hsipaw (2-4am!) and people purchase essentials here and take ... read more
Noodle factory
Shan countryside
Shan farming

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw December 30th 2015

A few more Burmese habits became clear to me when we reached the city of Mandalay. We seen that the majority of Burmese people wear face paint (men, women and kids!), we found out later it's to keep them cool and protect them from the sun. I also learnt that parasols here are multi-functional, not only working as a guard against the sun but as a shield for kissing privately. Public displays of affection aren't tolerated well and so couples will kiss with their parasols tilted forward to hide them! I found this both incredibly confining and romantic at the same time! We stayed at the Nylon hotel which was nice enough and cheap for Mandalay at 18 dollars a room with breakfast. Our hotel, like many in Myanmar is run by teenagers! I mean they ... read more
cute plane
funky Burmese money
First taste of myanmar beer

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw March 31st 2015

I've had a cough for the last few weeks. It started well before I left for Myanmar, but the 24 hours flying and little sleep during the whole ordeal made it worse. I wake up hacking up green phlegm and coughing so hard i have tears coming from my eyes. it was worse in Yangon but now simply attacks as it sees fit throughout the day. Katie thinks its a URI with the dusty streets making it worse. I think its the black lung. But coughing up stuff every morning isn't much of an issue. However I recently started getting the GI issues that accompany any real overseas travel. It's not been pretty but it was expected. The real treat comes in their combination though. I've never experienced the two problems together. A good coughing fit ... read more
Smoky landscape
Shan women working in the fields

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw February 20th 2015

Hsipaw Viele fahren nach Hsipaw um auf eine Trekking-Tour zu gehen. Ich bin da nur wegen der Zugfahrt und der großen Brücke hingefahren. Aber nachdem ich schon dort war, hab ich mir ein Fahrrad ausgeliehen und bin ein bisserl durch die Gegend gefahren. Das Shan-Museum war leider geschlossen. Deswegen kann ich hier nichts über den letzten Shan-Prinzen und seine österreichische Prinzessin erzählen. Aber dafür hab ich ein schweizer Fernsehteam getroffen. Und im August oder September wirds im schweizer Fernsehen eine Doku namens "Burma Road" zu sehen geben (evtl. auch mal auf 3sat). Vielleicht spiel auch ich darin eine Nebenrolle ;-)... read more
little Bagan
little Bagan
little Bagan

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw November 20th 2012

Whilst Yangon was entirely unremarkable, Mandalay seemed to be screaming out to be noticed. The posher districts had gone neon crazy. Why have a small sign saying Shoe Repair when you can have a five-metre flashing neon sign declaring SHOE REPAIR!!! Even the banks had a piece of the action and were lit up like Vegas casinos. Our hotel district on the other hand was all grime and dust, filled with old buildings without any style or charm. However, this brought certain benefits, because at night this area exploded with street food stalls. But these weren't just any street food stalls. These were major operations, with entire kitchens brought onto the streets, and chairs and tables laid out on the pavements. The food was also predominantly Indian. There were enormous vats of biryani, huge pots of ... read more
Street Kitchen
Off to work

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw July 31st 2012

Having returned to Mandalay, I headed to Hsipaw, where I intended to meet a Shan friend. His home village is just outside Hsipaw and he is currently there, so it seemed an opportune time to talk about libraries in Burma with him. Not fancying a horribly early start to a very long train ride, I decided to go by shared taxi up to Pyin U Lwin (known in colonial times as MayMyo). It has plenty of old colonial houses, since it was the summer hill station, but also now lots of BIG military training establishments on the outskirts. Since I'd done the touristic things back in 1978 when I visited, this time I contented myself with a stroll around the town, and a couple of cups of tea. The horse drawn carriages are still there to ... read more
Asian Bee colony
Another market, another smiling vendour
View from a train

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw June 27th 2012

Llegamos por la noche, y al día siguiente me fui en bici con Spela y Marta (solo conseguimos 3 bicis para alquilar), queríamos ir a unas aguas termales, pero nunca conseguimos el camino... conseguimos uno entre los campos de arroz, pero era intransitable para las bicis porque tenía mucho barro; en el camino de regreso al punto de partida nos conseguimos a una pareja de franceses que nos habló de una fábrica de fideos de arroz en donde también los podíamos comer, y como se acercaba la hora de almuerzo decidimos ir a comer ahí, y fue así como encontramos los mejores noodles de todo Myanmar (y ahí almorzamos los otros 2 días que estuvimos en Hsipaw, de paso eran súper baratos, menos de 0,40$); luego nos fuimos a pasear sin rumbo por el campo, en ... read more
paseo en bici por el campo
un buda de bambú
Pequeño Bagan

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Hsipaw May 2nd 2012

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Where to go and what to do next... We were already half way down of our stay in Burma when we had to decide if we wanted to make a stopover in Mandalay or head straight to Hsipaw. We heard that trekking in Hsipaw is much more picturesque than the one from Kalaw to Inle Lake so we opted for this place. Yet before that we spent two days in Mandalay just to see what this place is about. People don’t say anything great about it but we were really surprised how much we liked it. It is big but rather small, had good local transport to see the neighborhood and some very interesting old cities around. We loved the very impressive Mahamuni Paya and old Amarapura City with famous U Bein’s Bridge(longest ... read more
love the way they look;-)
man paying his respects to golden Buddha statue
wow, that is a big group;-)

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