Hsipaw to Mandalay by train

Burmese boy

From Hsipaw we decided to take a train to see Gokteik railway viaduk and get new experience. Ticket to «Upper Class» cost 9 dollars, the ordinary cost 6. The difference is not so big — same train, same comfort (upper class has no aicondition and even fan). But the good thing is that it is allowed only passengers with ticket to upper class.

The train left Hsipaw train station at 8:30 a.m. Half hour later, in the middle of colorful fields we stopped with big noise of breaks.

– Wheel on the ground — withour any worries said Burmese lady sitting opposite.

myanmar train

And she was right, the wheel was on the ground and it took about 1 hour to put it back. Seems the situation like this is normal for this place, because everybody was ok about that.

The whole trip was about this Gokteik railway viaduk, marvelously constructed under deep and huge canyon.


We arrived to Mandalay in the middle of the night, the whole trip took about 14 hours.
From Hsipaw we tried to book a room in Royal Guest House, but the hotel was full. The only hotel we could find in the middle of the night was Sabai Phyu Hotel. The room are not so cheap, from 8 dollars, but very old and duty.

Vanilla sunset in Hsipaw

Our next destination was Hsipaw town. To go there we took a bus to Mandalay. For 10 dollars it was super-mega bus with air condition, large sits, free water and David Copperfield show!

Due to Myanmar tradition, the bus arrived to Mandalay at a night time. The other problem was bus station. Mandalay have few highway bus stations and all of the, located few kilometers from each other. The bus to Hsipaw will departure in 6 a.m. from the one bus station, but we arrive to another at 5 a.m. Taxis were offered for 5-7 dollars but it was very expensive for us. One local guy agreed to drive us by his motorbike for 1500 kiat.

The tickets from Mandalay to Hsipaw cost us 6000 per person and the trip took 6,5 hours.

To be honest we did not like Hsipaw so much, Kalaw was much interesting and quite. The hills around Hsipaw are also popular for trekking and hiking. We done some small treks to hot spring and through some villages, they was very good.

Vanilla sunset in Hsipaw:
Vanilla sunset