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Northern Shan State by Train - 4 Days / 3 Nights
Northern Shan State by Train - 4 Days / 3 Nights

Northern Shan State by Train - 4 Days / 3 Nights

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Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin - Hsipaw - Mandalay

The six-hour ride from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw. On their way to Hsipaw guests will gross the famous Gokteik Viaduct, which spans a 300-metre deep gorge in the Shan mountains.

Day 1 - Mandalay - Pyin Oo Lwin


This morning, leave Mandalay for a scenic two-hour drive to the former British hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin (also known as Maymyo), located on a plateau 1,000m above sea-level. Many reminders of the colonial era are still present in Pyin Oo Lwin, including brick and timber houses.

Pyin Oo Lwin is home to many ethnic tribes as well as a large numbers of Nepalese and Hindu settlers who migrated during the British occupation to take advantage of the pleasant climate.

Enjoy a traditional horse and carriage ride through town. Stop at the Botanical Gardens, 432 acres of leafy gardens home to a diverse mix of botanical species from around the world. The gardens were established by Sir Harcourt Butler, former Governor of Burma.

Continue to the local market to see the multicolored flowers and vegetables on sale.

Overnight in Pyin Oo Lwin.       

Day 2 - Pyin Oo Lwin - Hsipaw (B,L)


After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the railway station for a 6-hour train journey to Hsipaw. The scenic journey crosses the famous Gokteik Viaduct which spans a 300-meter deep gorge in the Shan mountains. The views from the train are spectacular, so be sure to have your camera ready.

Lunch-box on board.

Arrive this afternoon in Hsipaw, a pleasant small town on the banks of the Dokhtawady River. Take a short evening walk around Hsipaw.

Overnight in Hsipaw.


Distances and journey time:

Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw (144 km): 3 hours

Day 3 - Hsipaw (B,L)

This morning, after breakfast, take a boat trip along the Dokhtawady. Stop at a local village along the way a take a stroll through the various farms to learn about the local crops. Along the way, stop at a monastery for tea.

From here, hop back on the boat and head to a spot where a small tributary feeds into the Dokhtawady. Not only is the scenery picturesque, but the water of the tributary is clean enough to take a quick dip.

ON the way back to Hsipaw, stop at another local village for a chance to talk to some of the Shan farmers and walk through there citrus groves. Planted in the 1950s, these groves are still productive to this day.

Arrive in Hsipaw for a late lunch (clients account)

This afternoon, visit the former palace of the last Sky Prince of Hsipaw.  A champion for democracy in the 1950s and 60s, the prince was imprisoned in the military coup of 1962 and never seen again. The property is managed by his niece and nephew to this day. They are happy to show you around, give the family history and tell the sad story of the last Sky Prince.

This evening visit Nine Buddha Hill, 2 kilometres from town centre, to watch the sunset over Hsipaw and the Dokhtawady.

Overnight in Hsipaw.

Day 4 - Hsipaw - Mandalay (B,L,D)


This morning, you will check out from your hotel after breakfast. Then visit to a colorful Shan market in Hsipaw before you depart to Mandalay. On the way, you will visit Bawgyo Pagoda, one of the most famous pagodas in northern Shan State. Another stop will be made at a view point overlooking the Gokteik Gorge which offers the perfect photo setting of the ribbon band highway. The drive then descends along the winding road into the gorge and then back up to the higher elevation.

Midday you will reach Pyin Oo Lwin. Have lunch (own account) at December Farm. Famous for their strawberry farm and dairy, December farms is a great place to try the local food, fruit wine, and even some homemade ice-cream.

Continue the drive to your hotel in Mandalay, arriving in the early evening.


Distances and journey time:

Hsipaw to Mandalay (209 km): 4 hours

Tour Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Tour Operates: Available Upon Request
Tour Price: Year Round / On Demand

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

Our services include:

  • 3 nights accommodation in a shared twin room or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English-speaking guide from Mandalay
  • All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Train Pyin Oo Lwin – Hsipaw
  • Local guide in Hsipaw on trekking day
  • Horse cart tour in Pyin Oo Lwin
  • Local boat on the Dokhtawady River
  • Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program (Pyin Oo Lwin–Botanical Garden Entrance Fee)
  • Water and Refreshing Towels while touring

Our services do not include:

  • Meals other than mentioned  (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Visits not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Credit card fees (4%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments
  • Any other items not mentioned 

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Myanmar Tour to your individual specifications.

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EXO Travel Blog


icon-quote-l  I am just sending this Email to thank you very much for organizing our trip so well. Everything worked exactly as planned, every guide was excellent, every car was there to meet us as promised, every plane was on time.  icon-quote-r


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