HSIPAW - PYIN OO LWIN
There’s not much to Pyin Oo Lwin - there’s a military school so you see quite a few young military officers in uniform. I rented a bike and pedaled around town. It was kind of difficult because the map was in English but the street signs weren’t. I had lunch and eventually found my way back to the main area.
I drank a coffee at The Golden Triangle, the local cafe. From there I walked back to a lively market.
As I arrived I caught a glimpse of at least 100 monks walking single file through the market. They didn’t seem to be taking the most direct path and walked up and down the various aisles before heading to another part of town. I went back to the hotel and had a shan cafeteria style dinner at a restaurant down the road.
And a few more shots of Pyin Oo Lwin:
The next morning I caught the first train to Hsipaw. The first class ticket cost only $6. The seven hour train ride was incredibly bumpy and the train bounced in all directions - up, down, left, right, front, and back. I thought I’d have some free time to write but it was so bumpy I couldn’t even read. At the various stops - and there were quite a few - the locals would hop off and buy noodles, fish, and whatever else was available. The highlight and primary reason for taking the train instead of a bus was the Goteik Viaduct - a steel bridge over a steep ravine. The viaduct was completed in the early 1900s to link northern and southern Myanmar and is a marvel of construction. The train crawled to an even slower pace as we went over the viaduct but this turned out to be the smoothest part of the ride and I was able to take in a closeup view of the viaduct and the ravine it crosses. I had the window down and was hanging out for most of the viaduct stretch of rail.
Once I arrived in Hsipaw I walked from town out to the Shan Palace. The Shan’s are the largest minority group in Burmese controlled Myanmar. The last Shan prince “disappeared” during the 1962 coup d’etat and the current caretaker of the palace is his sister in-law. The palace was constructed in the 1920s to resemble an English style residence. The original, grander palace was destroyed during WWII.
On the walk back to Hsipaw, I passed through a group of temples called Little Bagan. One temple had a tree growing through it.
Hsipaw city scene:
For additional Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw photos see FLIKR ALBUM.