hsipaw-01Hsipaw was once the centre of a small Shan state, the local capital of a Shan principality of the same name which according to its legendary history goes back to year 58 B.C. Bamar pronounces the name as Thibaw and the last Myanmar King Thibaw (1875-85 AD) got his name from this town. The old wooden traditional “Haw”, palace of the Sawbwa – Shan chieftain - was destroyed by bombing during the last World War, but we were able to visit the modern Sawbwa's residence built during colonial times by Sawbwa Sao Ohn Kya who ruled Hsipaw from 1928 to 1938.

Hsipaw has a local market in the center of the town, with cinemas, small guest houses and restaurants near the bus stands. The Haw is at the northern end of the town and the main pagoda, the Maha Myatmuni Phaya is right at the southern end. The roads are parallel to the Namtu or Dokhtawaddy River. We can visit Bawgyo Pagoda, a very Shan-style pagoda from the 14th century, Shan Palace and Mahamyatmuni Paya. Further along the way before we reach Lashio are some Shan villages.


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