JUST ANOTHER DAY IN HSIPAW
With one day to spare before heading back to Mandalay and a flight to Thailand, I want to spend it in and around Hsipaw. A larger town than Kyaukme, it is also a jumping off point for many treks into the surrounding Shan hill tribe area.
The 6:30 am bus is only a 50 minute ride to Hsipaw. Many budget travelers elect to stay at Mr. Charles’ Guest House. However, on the advice of my good friend Jenny, I go directly to the guesthouse of Mr. Kid where Mrs. Kid fixes me up with a map of town, the surrounding villages and some advise. She also books my 5:30 am bus ticket for the following morning to Mandalay with a reserved window seat. She informs me the bus will stop right in front of the guesthouse. It’s a little funky and very friendly and cozy here. And it is definitely cheaper than Mr. Charles. SCORE!.
After settling in, I walk back into town and visit Mr. Book, a nice old man who (you got it) runs a book shop) and is very knowledgable about the history of the area and Myanmar in general.
By now it’s warming up. So off I go to meet Mr. Shake (of the famous Mr. Shake Shake) and have one of his papaya pineapple shakes. (Yes Jenny, the photo of you and Chris is still on the wall!)
We have a lively discussion about all things Burma while I slurp my wonderful shake. After making sure I have plenty of water, I head out of town using Mrs. Kid’s map. During the next 2.5 hours I amble through two villages and along the river.
Walking from village to village on the hot dusty road, one sees a centuries old lifestyle barely changed by modern times.
Afterward, I walk to Shan Palace which is rather disappointing as you can only see one room with pictures of what it was like in the day. On the way back, I stop for internet where I pay for my room at New Siam II, Bangkok, for two days. I arrive back at Mr. Kid in time to meet the German and his guide and we go for a Burmese dinner and say our goodbyes. Tomorrow will be an early day. Almost done with Burma…sigh!