Route: Yangon – Hsipaw – Kyauk Me – Pyin Oo Lwin - Mandalay
Validity: 16 November 2017 – 30 September 2018
Day 1: Yangon – Hsipaw (Public bus) (-)
Our representative will meet you at your hotel at 3 PM and will escort you to the Aung Mingala bus station to make sure you will easily find the reserved seats in the air-conditioned night bus to Hsipaw that leaves at 4 PM. At around 7 PM the bus will make a 30 mins stop for dinner (we recommend you the “Feel” restaurant – just point out at the buffet the food that looks good to you). Toilet stops are made (on request) and at 4 AM an early breakfast stop is made in Kyaukme where you will receive a refreshment towel and toothbrush. Around 5 AM the bus will stop at the main road in Hsipaw (before continuing to Lashio) to let you out opposite the Catholic Church.
Overnight at on the public bus
Day 2: Hsipaw (B,-,-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Upon arrival in Hsipaw you will be met by a representative who will make sure your luggage is sent to the hotel while you can stretch your legs and walk to the fresh produce market at the riverside which is starting right now. Make sure you bring your camera. Continue to the large central market where Shan and other tribal people come in the early morning from nearby villages to trade. Continue to Mr Charles Hotel for breakfast and check-in.
Free time to take a nap and a shower. You can also make a walk around the town or rent a bike to visit the bamboo Buddha or the area with overgrown temple ruins called “Little Bagan”.
At around 1330 you will embark with your guide on a 4 hour walk through a panoramic scenery of paddy fields and other seasonal crops passing small creeks, Shan villages, local schools, the grave of the first prince of Hsipaw, a local nunnery as well as a wooden monastery. The guide will explain in detail about Shan life around Hsipaw and show you some home industries like cheroot (cigar) rolling and bamboo weaving. He will explain why each Shan village has a spirit house build at the entrance of the village.
Return at Mr Charles Hotel around 5:30PM.
Overnight at Mr. Charles Hotel – Superior Room
Day 3: Hsipaw (B,-,-)
Breakfast at the hotel. The river passing through Hsipaw town is called the Dokthawaddy River. This morning your guide will take you for a boat ride up the river through amazing mountain scenery. During this trip you will observe plantations along the river and typical scenes of village life in this interesting part of Myanmar. We get out of the boat for an hour walk to visit a 150 years old Shan monastery, set in the middle of the forest. There is time for a swim at the river confluence. On the way back to Hsipaw we visit a charming traditional Shan village. A 5 hour guided excursion that will give you an insight in Shan life.
The rest of the day is free at leisure to visit any of the other interesting places in Hsipaw on foot or by bicycle.
Overnight at Mr. Charles Hotel – Superior Room
Day 4: Hsipaw – Kyaukme (B,L,-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Going local today! The local bus to Kyaukme will depart opposite the beautiful colonial all-wooden post office which is a 3 min walk from your hotel. And when we say local we really mean local… the bus is stopping at every village to let people or goods in an out and basically functions a bit like the local postman (for letters, packages or big bags of rice). Expect to be surrounded (or sit on top of) vegetables, rice and anything else you can imagine, surrounded by local villagers.
You will arrive at around 8:30 in Kyaukme. The market is the final bus stop. Here your local guide will be waiting for you to take you to the guesthouse where you will spend the night. Embark on a full day trekking through the mountains surrounding Kyaukme during which your guide will give you a fascinating insight into the life of the Palaung people living in these remote hills. We have lunch in one of the Palaung villages. Today is a great day out in the nature in an area where you can still find people who have rarely seen western foreigners before and who live according to centuries old traditions.
Overnight at One Love Hotel – Standard
Day 5: Kyaukme – Pyin Oo Lwin (B,-,-)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning you have some free time to explore the town with its colonial buildings and the busy and colourful market. Here you can buy some snacks and drinks for the upcoming train journey. The railway station is only a 10 minute walk from your hotel. You can also take a motorbike taxi with trailer for a small fee. We have reserved seats for you until Pyin Oo Lwin. Enjoy a wonderful train journey through the Shan mountains during which you will cross the mighty Gokteik Viaduct which was constructed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Steel company and was once the second highest railway bridge in the world.
The train departs at 11:05 from Kyaukme station and will pass the Gokteik Viaduct at around 1:30 PM. Through spectacular mountain scenery the train will slowly move forward over the old railway track passing small villages and towns where vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks. Expected arrival time in the Pyin Oo Lwin – the former summer capital for the British colonial administration – is at around 4 PM, but be warned: be delays on an historic railway like this one are not unusual.
On arrival at the colonial train station a representative is waiting for you to bring you to the Royal Parkview Hotel. Along the way you will pass numerous colonial villas Pyin Oo Lwin is famous for.
Overnight at Royal Parkview Hotel – Superior Room
Day 6: Pyin Oo Lwin (B,-,-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Mandalay by shared taxi. (About 2 hours).
*** End of Our Service ***