Hsipaw was a wonderful break from the big cities we had previously visited. The drive from Mandalay was a bit nerve wracking, but the end was worth it.
It is clear that Hsipaw is trying to adjust to a new tourist industry, but it still has unspoiled charm. We enjoyed the trekking to nearby Palaung villages, a visit to the Shan Palace, and riding bicycles through the area to visit sights. We also found a great coffee shop on the river, Black House, that provided a necessary refuge to relax and enjoy the afternoon after morning activities. We found the Shan people of Hsipaw to be the friendliest we encountered in Myanmar.
A great little hidden gem. Really enjoyed the guides taking us to different areas and telling us about the local and indigenous culture.
Beautiful surrounding areas. The people are wonderful, friendly and very welcoming.
we stayed 1,5 days (2nights) in Hsipaw. Looking back it was not really enough. You can easily spend 4-5 days there.
Once there you can go to a trekking trip to Padaung villages. A walk around Hsipaw to see the Shan villages and rice fields is also very pleasant. Near by there is a nice waterfall. We spent some time in the garden of Mrs Popcorn - her fruit juices are amazing. She also made us sticky noodles dinner which was very good. Back in town another great juices place is Mr. Shake.
We went for a bit of (lazy) trekking, looking for origanal dresses etc. In Myanmar bike-renting is forbidden but in rural Hsipaw the police kindly turns their eyes away, so we had two days of biking around (6 dollar/day) Never found 'real' hill tribes, and perhaps better so.
upon thought, it's a strange kind of tourism, being voyeur of desperatly poor people. But still overwhelmed by the beauty of the region, and, still more, by the utter frienliness of the most welcoming village people with their peanut-oil machines etc...
Great Shan food. Wonderful people from a variety of ethnic groups. One of a kind candle-light market from 2 till 6 am.
Fantastic walks through the mountains to visit ethnic minority villages. Lily guest house clean, helpful and comfortable. Lots of recent Shan royal and other history...
Hsipaw is an interesting, small city with attractive, rural Myanmar culture, history and trekking adventures available.
We got there by car and so had more flexibility to visit the surrounding area. The city itself is small and would be easily visited within a day or two but the hotel we stayed at, Mr Charles Guesthouse was a good location to set out daily to see the surrounding countryside.