Trekking in Hsipaw
Travelled to Hsipaw on the train, leaving at 4 am from Mandalay station, and arriving in Hsipaw at 3 pm. I loved the train, it wasn’t comfortable, it was bumpy, and I was tired, but once I’d had a nap, and the sun came up, it was lovely, rumbling through the country side, passed and through the villages and towns. A lot of the land out this way is used for agriculture, mostly rice and vegetables, there were ladies that hopped on the train at a couple stops to sell thoroughly delicious noodles, so I had an excellent lunch, with a view.
Free pick up from the train station, for Mr. Charles guest house, super handy, the hostel is nice, busy but good atmosphere, and a lovely communal area, people hang out and talk of their treks and travels. The treks are easy to book, just sign up out the front of the hostels, many of the guides hangout there all day, so you can ask questions, discuss options. The 4 day, 3 night trek wasn’t available, so I opted for the 3 day, 2 night instead, and it turned to be a good amount of time, the scenery wasn’t amazing, but the villages and the locals were. The walking was fine, some parts were tough but nothing terrible, the farmers started burning off the fields a week ago, so that kinda spoiled it. It was incredible seeing the stars, in a place where there were no lights, and waking up at dawn, watching the villagers going about their morning, collecting water, moving stock, cooking breakfast, was pretty magical in a way. It such a different life, simple and wholesome, quiet but full of activity. We had a great group, and several of us played cards and talked after dinner, I forget how good it is to just chill, talk politics, culture, travel, etc.
Overall an excellent 3 days, and it has me more interested than ever in learning to slash my internet time, and social media use, I know I wont always be socialising with a group like that, but I really did not miss any of it at all. Also its made me want to keep doing stuff like this (trekking), I have met several people either coming or going to/from Nepal, the photo’s look incredible, maybe next trip!!
On the last day we had Shan noodles, I wish there was some way I could get a recipe, but I suspect it is something that is passed down verbally through the generations. When we got back to Hsipaw, we had dinner (after a much needed shower), great restaurant (the club terrace), beautiful curry, fresh, tasty, cooked well, I might just take myself back there for lunch today. I have been eaten the most ridiculous amount of food recently, I’m a little impressed with my own appetite!
I leave Hsipaw on the night bus this afternoon (28th), for Inle lake, Arriving at 5,30 tomorrow morning (they don’t seem to have figured out that they could leave at 6.30 instead of 4.30, and then arrive at a decent hour, ugh). Anyway, that’s my time trekking in Hsipaw, feeling good, loving Myanmar.
I’ve been here in Myanmar 3 weeks now, 1 week left…..