Example Itinerary

Mandalay to Hsipaw: Unveiling Myanmar's Ethnic Tribes by Rail

Duration
4 days / 3 nights
Price Per Person
Destinations
Myanmar

Get a rare and beautiful cultural glimpse into the daily lives of the ethnic tribes occupying rural Myanmar. Visit Pyi Oo Lwin, Gokhtike Railway Viaduct, Kyaukme and Hsipaw. Travel as ancient traders did, taking the same route they did during bustling economic times. Become one with nature and tradition as you embark on this 4-day journey through Myanmar’s ethnic tribal culture.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Colonial Pyin Oo Lwin: Known as Maymyo when George Orwell first visited as an imperial police officer, Pyin Oo Lwin is a model of British colonialism, replete with architecture, gardens, and even horse-drawn carriages.
  • Gokteik Railway Viaduct: Known as the most photogenic train pass in Southeast Asia, this century-old bridge is a highlight on the rail journey to Hsipaw.
  • Sunset on Nine Buddha Hill: After exploring the outlying villages inhabited by the ethnic minorities, travelers watch the sunset from atop Koe Su Mountain, also known as Nine Buddha Hill.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Pyin Oo Lwin »

Watch in awe as you drive through the lush, green countryside to the classic British hill station, used during British rule - Pyin Oo Lwin. Check out the quaint European-style town as you walk through the local market and snap a picture with the old clock tower. Tour the town in a charming antique horse-drawn cart. Stop and smell the fresh florals as you visit the National Kandawgyi Gardens. The soft, green carpeted land is covered in a multitude of colorful flowers, dense forests and cascading lakes. Spend a quiet evening at the Kandawgyi Lodge in Pyi Oo Lwin.

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Hsipaw »

Head to the Pyi Oo Lwin Railway Station, climb aboard, and embark on a train ride you’ll never forget. Passing above the Gokteik Railway Viaduct to Kyaukme - you have the same experience many tradesmen did as they passed between Mandalay and China in past times. At its completion in 1901, the Gokteik Viaduct was the second largest bridge in the world. Once you reach your destination, continue on by car to the historic town of Hsipaw and visit the most revered pagoda in Northern Shan - Bawku Pagoda. Spend a restful night in Mr. Charles Guest House in Hsipaw.

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Hsipaw

Day 3

Map

Hsipaw »

Make it an early morning and explore the incredible, one-of-a-kind morning market hosted by the local ethnic tribes. The market starts at 3:30 AM and wraps up just three hours later. Later, explore Hsipaw before taking a few small treks to the outlying villages inhabited by the ethnic minorities in the area. Catch the sun’s final rays as you watch it set from your prime seat atop Nine Buddha Hill (Koe Su Mountain). Retire back to the guesthouse after a full day of cultural exploration.

Day 4

Map

Mandalay »

Journey back to Mandalay on a 5.5-hour car ride along the famous Burmese road well-trodden by Chinese and Burmese traders traveling between the two countries to exchange goods and other fineries. Pause your journey to visit the charming, small town of Kyaukme, a town settled by Shan, Chinese and Indian traders. Stop by the local houses to purchase traditional products created by the families living there. Arrive in Mandalay in the late afternoon and check into a hotel to relax before your journey home the next day.

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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