continued from Part 1: Kalaw to Inle Lake Trek
Hsipaw is one of the most popular trekking routes in beautiful Myanmar. When you see it, you begin to understand why so many have called it one of the best treks available in the world today.
What makes Hsipaw so interesting is the fact that the region is completely self-sustaining. It’s one of the few accessible locations for trekkers to see authentic rural Burmese village life. You won’t find ancient ruins or temples or other relics of antiquity here. The roads are mostly unpaved. Ox carts outnumber vehicles. The local market features truly local products.
Our Itinerary (A Pictorial Journey)
Day 1 : We started trek by Tuk Tuk for 10 minutes, then started walking from an agriculture farm. We trek to a local Shan village, walking up along the mountain and take a break for tea and snacks – enjoying overviews of corn field mountain immensely. We continued trekking to the mountain-top village and enjoying the agriculture farm and the lime rock mountain along the way.
We had lunch and rested at Ta Ang-Palaung, a village called Pan Kham. After lunch, we through a tea forest and trek down to jungle – a hybrid rain forest and bamboo forest. Walked up to mount plateau, passed rice paddy and corn fields before stopping for a short break at Shan villages called O Mu.
9. “When you do the trek, you will get to see how the local villages live, what makes up their main sources of income, and learn more about their culture.” – Hazel
After a nice lunch and interaction with the local villagers and soldiers, we trekked to Manlwel village to spend the night at family home. We had a fantastic serving of shan dishes for dinner and a great time of fellowship by the fireside.
10. “Must do: Apply thanaka on face . Must eat: crispy nut salad with watermelon” – Francis
(Thanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face)
It was a 2 days 1 night trek at Hsipaw. After breakfast, we trek along the plateau and enjoyed the views of the agriculture fields and rocky mountain range. We ended our trek at a Shan village called Ho Mor for lunch.
11. “Blending into local life, getting to see more of the lives of local villagers, taste their local tasty (sometimes spicy) food, beautiful scenic views, and vegetation. This is why I would recommend a visit to Myanmar. Plus you’re meeting and making new friends with other travelers / trekkers.” – Kimberly
12. Join us with an open mind and positive attitude and you will experience authentic kampong lifestyle in the Burmese traditional way. The hospitality of the villages will excite you with plentiful of dishes to tiltilate your taste buds. Simple toilets , showers and pooping in the wilderness. Shiok! – Chow
A few additional thoughts from Sucan, our trip leader:
Never judge a book by its cover really applies for this group. I was initially a little skeptical at some members, but turns out those people are the most positive throughout this trip and helped to keep the group atmosphere up.
Always be prepared and stay ready. There is never enough preparation for any emergencies. I learned that it is easy if you are travelling alone but to handle emergencies occurred in group, you need to be much more diplomatic and quick witted.
Be open to suggestions. There were times when I thought my way was the best as I am more experienced, but lots of suggestions actually surprised me (such in the case of hunting for missing phone).
Be more understanding to other people, I learned that at times I need to be more understanding on others need and not force them into a situation. You never know why they respond in such a way until you are really in their shoes.
Finally, the world is always full of mystery and there is no such thing as a fully explored place. Through this trip, I have learned much more about Myanmar culture and nature than in my 8 other previous trips combined.
Your beauty resonates with every footstep taken on this adventure. Your call to return for another adventure resounds in our ears.
One day, hopefully much sooner than later, we will listen and return.
Until that day comes, may the sun warm you. May the winds guide you. May the rains fall softly on your fields. May the harvest be full. May Mother Nature hold you in the palm of her hand.
May we meet again.
Our trip highlights on Youtube: