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Join our 6-day tour of Northern Shan State by Train exploration which gives you a soft introduction about Northern Shan State. You will take the train over the Myanmar’s most famous bridge “Gokteik Viaduct” and discover the former British Hill Station Pyin Oo Lwin before explore Hsipaw with its remote village life and walk your way through the jungle. Amble through rice paddies to meet friendly farmers and take a boat down the pristine waters of the Dokhtawady River.
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DAY 01: MANDALAY – PYIN OO LWIN
This tour starts in Mandalay with a 2-hour scenic drive to Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), the former British hill station of Myanmar. Pyin Oo Lwin was a summer retreat during British rule. Its altitude of 1,070 m and relatively cool climate allowed the British ruling class to escape the fearsome heat of Mandalay and lower Myanmar. The hill station features many examples of colonial architecture including brick and timber houses, transport in traditional stagecoaches and a beautiful botanical garden.
Upon arrival in Pyin Oo Lwin, pay a visit to Church of the Immaculate Conception. This 100-year old brick church is one of the oldest church buildings in Pyin Oo Lwin. Then we visit Candacraig Hotel, an unspoiled example of British colonial architecture in Asia, originally built in 1904. This beautiful and atmospheric colonial relic in peaceful grounds is also used as a filming location by local film maker.
After that, we will stop at Botanical Gardens (National Kandawgyi Gardens) - 177 hectares of leafy gardens home to a diverse mix of botanical species from around the world. In 1915, a forest researcher Mr. Alex Rogers founded the Botanical Garden. He planned, chose, located, and established it as an international garden.
After leisurely stroll around the gardens, explore the colonial town centre by horse-drawn wagons for a time travel.
Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.
Kandawgyi Hill Resort Hotel Maymyo Hotel Akimomi
DAY 02: PYIN OO LWIN – HSIPAW
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Pyin Oo Lwin train station for a 7-hour locomotive scenic journey to Hsipaw via the Gokteik Viaduct, the highest bridge in Myanmar. The train passes between beautiful Shan Mountains, rice fields, flowerbeds, strawberry farms and small villages. Along the train ride, it is possible to point out farmers working on their farmyard.
Arrive at Naungpeng Station, meet with your driver then have a short transfer to Hsipaw by car. Hsipaw, or Thibaw in its other name, is a pleasant small town on the banks of the Dokhtawady River. An ancient capital of the Shan State, it is nowadays a great place to take leisurely strolls on foot while exploring local cultures and see Myanmar in a different way!
This morning, you will be transferred to the trekking point in outskirt of Hsipaw (northern part) by tuk tuk. The ride will take about 20 minutes.
Upon arrival, start our full day trek towards villages of Lisu ethnic people. The trek takes you through the most unique and remote villages and panoramic landscapes, lush green hills, perfectly tilled farm plots of all manner of vegetables, lots of sunflowers, farmers working their land with buffaloes, perfectly manicured rice paddies.
Along the way you will also have to chance to explore tea plantations, which brings the main income for the Lisu and Palaung people. Lunch will be served at a local house.
After lunch, our guide will give you a wealth of information on the indigenous populations of the area, their agricultural habits and other interesting tidbits of knowledge. Meet with friendly farmers who are working hard with buffaloes on their terraced rice paddies. Following the 10 km trek, we arrive in the final destination of today: our homestay. Drop your bags off and meet the friendly host. With the help of our guide, you will be able to learn more about their culture and tradition.
Enjoy dinner prepared by villagers: Lahpet pickled tea salad, Shan chickpea tofu, stir-fried vegetables, with rice.
Overnight in Lisu Village.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight at homestay in Lisu Village.
DAY 04: PALAUNG VILLAGE – HSIPAW
The Shan State trekking today begins with an uphill walk, passing through beautiful mountain ranges to reach a village of Palaung ethnic people.
Along the way, you will visit a local monastery and have an opportunity to learn about the life of the local monks. We also meet friendly tribal people from different ethnic groups who are working on their fields. Our guide will tell you stories, lives and traditional custom of the Palaung people.
Upon arrival at the Palaung village, visit one of the local house and learn the interesting process of making wet tea, dry tea and sweet tea powder from the fresh green tea. Your lunch will be prepared by villagers, with traditional dishes of Palaung people such as leaf soup, beef curry, fern leaf stew…
After lunch and a short break, it's time to say “good bye” and travel back to Hsipaw, our starting point. Then you will be transferred back to hotel by tuk tuk.
Wake up early and pay a short visit to morning market, one of the most attractive sights for a morning walk in Hsipaw. This is where all the nearby villages would come to buy and sell produce such as potato, tomato, beef, pork, chicken and other products. It is also a good chance to explore the local daily life.
After that, visit Shan Palace to learn more about the town and its history. The palace is still well preserved. It was built in 1924 for Sao Kya Seng who was the last Saopha of the Shan State. On the way to the palace, we will wander around town, pass through beautiful landcapes of this peaceful town and Dokhtawaddy River.
Then, head to Bamboo Buddha Monastery which hosted a 150 year old Buddha statue made entirely out of bamboo and covered my many layers of gold. We also take a look a Nat Shrine and Hsipaw Little Bagan, ancient brick stupas, some overwhelmed by vegetation in vaguely Angkorian style.
For sweeping views across Hsipaw and the Dokhtawady river, we will drive to Thein Daung Pagoda, also known as Nine Buddha Hill or Sunset Hill. Enjoy dawns in Hsipaw with the panoramic view of the tranquil valley below and the peaceful river.
Free at leisure at hotel, check out from your hotel then be transferred back to Mandalay via the beautiful scenic roads. Upon arrival, your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight or destination.
Private Tour (for 02 pax, cheaper if more)
Tour Price Includes
05 night hotel accommodation
Local English speaking guides
Meals as mentioned
Train ticket Pyin Oo Lwin - Hsipaw
Trekking in Hsipaw
All sightseeing as specified and entrance fees included
Bottled drinking water per touring days
Tour Price Excludes
Travel and medical insurances
Visas if required
Other meals not mentioned in the program
Other domestic and international flights
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, etc.
Tips for your guides and drivers
Any camera or video fees at any sites
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary