The gateway to the hills of the Shan State, the picturesque town of Hsipaw is becoming a go-to destination for adventurers who want to get off the beaten path and experience rural life in Myanmar (Burma). Once a royal hot spot, Hsipaw is where the old Shan Palace of the saopha - the Shan Chiefs (royals) - is located, largely empty since the military coup of 1962. Connected to the center of Myanmar by rail, Hsipaw was once a popular trade destination for the British, and an entrypoint to connect with the remote villages of the Shan State hills. Visitors can delight in the many attractions of Hsipaw, while also taking in the natural beauty and serenity of its quiet surroundings.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

Central Market

Guests will have an authentic Myanmar experience at the Central Market in Hsipaw, as the merchandise is truly directed at villages, not tourists. Meet members of several different local tribes and peruse some local goods, including traditional Shan clothing. Just make sure to get up early - the market opens at 3:30am, closing by 6:00am.

Pagoda Bawgyo

Just 8 km out of town, the Pagoda Bawgyo is a must see for visitors to Hsipaw. This Shan-style monument - a Buddhist place of worship - is said to be more than 2,000 years old, and features four sacred Buddha images, locked inside but brought out once a year for an annual festival.


Travelers can catch an extraordinary sunset from one of two nearby hills, Five Buddha Hill and Nine Buddha Hill, about 2 km from the town center. Visitors can access the hills by biking alongside the picturesque Myit Nge river.

Take the Train

Visitors should be sure to arrive to or depart from Hsipaw by train, as the railway into town is not only of historic significance - it was built by the British to connect the center of Myanmar to the remote Shan State - but the slow ride features incredibly stunning vistas of the nearby hills and beyond.

The Shan Palace

Visitors can take a tour of the old Shan Palace, where the Shan Chiefs (royals) resided until the military coup of 1962. Guests will marvel at the palace’s intricate architectural design and learn about the town’s history from a royal insider - the wife of the nephew of the last royal family member at the palace.

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