- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
For me, Hsipaw has two main attractions.
Firstly, you'll be next to a stunning, Burmese mountain range, where you can go exploring in all directions. Whether you head out for just one day or for several at a time, you'll get a real feel for local life and, if you like, can spend nights at local villagers' homes. You could even have the chance to take part in official ceremonies - I was invited to a marriage! And don't forget to treat yourself to a Burmese massage after a long day's trek.
Secondly, it sits at the end of the line of a magnificent railway and I recommend that you take this slow train to get there instead of travelling by road. It took some time (12 hours instead of 7), but I passed through breathtaking countryside and I loved the chugging rhythm; a rugged way of travelling, so different to what we are used to.
And then there are other upsides - wandering the streets, trying local dishes, stumbling across the Mr Book bookstore... Make sure you pay Hsipaw a visit, trust me, you won't regret it.