- Hsipaw has several fun trails which will take you through the rolling green Shan Hills.
- It has some of the best sunsets in the country. Don’t miss it.
- Hsipaw has several colourful and lively markets where locals sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tucked away in the lap of Shan Hills is the tiny hill town of Hsipaw, the principal town of Hsipaw township of Shan State. It is a classic countryside hill station with a laid back feel and intriguing history. Being located only 200 kilometres away from Mandalay, Hsipaw is often used as a place to escape the tropical heat of the country.
The history of Hsipaw State dates back to 58 BC when the predecessor state of Dutavadi was founded as per local tradition. The Qianlong Emperor of China invaded the Hsipaw area during the Sino-Burmese War (1765 – 69). Saopha of Hsipaw was the first Shan prince to submit to the British rule in Myanmar in 1886. Thus colonial rule prevailed. Hsipaw was administered by British Burma from 1938 to 1947. When the last ruler of On Baung dynasty who had been ruling Hsipaw abdicated in 1959, Hsipaw became a part of Shan State.
The entire region around Kawthaung was transferred to the British after the First Anglo-Burmese War (1823–1826). In 1859, Chinese and Thai settlers moved to the region. In 1865, an Arab-Malay group developed around the bay of Victoria Point. The most popular settlement during that time was Maliwan village, located 24 kilometres from Victoria Point. In 1872, a police officer was stationed at Maliwan for the first time. In 1891, the administrative offices were moved to Kawthaung since Maliwan was located beside a small creek and it was difficult for large vessels to make their way to the town.
HOW TO GET THERE
Being a laid back town, Hsipaw is a good place to roam around and enjoy a few days of solace. Myauk Myo is the oldest part of Hsipaw and has two stunning teak monasteries – Modaya Monastery and Bamboo Buddha Monastery. Both these monasteries are great to spend some time in silence and meditation.
The Nawng Kaw Gyi Lake is located around 40 kilometres away from Hsipaw and is ideal to plan a day trip. The lake has a quaint temple at the centre that can be reached through a wooden bridge. Hsipaw has breath-taking sunsets, which can be best enjoyed from Sunset Hill. The area is also known as Nine Buddha Hill due to the presence of the Thein Daung Pagoda.
Hsipaw also has several trekking routes through the green hills which will take you through hot springs and waterfalls. You can do these hikes on your own, without the help of a guide as there is a clearly defined trekking route to Nam Hu New Waterfall.