6 Days Trek & Train Adventure in Northern Shan State of Myanmar

Kyaukme Trek

A fascinating insight into the life of the Palaung people living in these remote hills

You can still find people who have rarely seen western foreigners before and who live according to centuries old traditions

Thrilling train ride through the Shan mountains

Explore the northern Shan State of Myanmar in the delightful Hsipaw and Pyin Oo Lwin, with hill treks that are more authentic than those around Kalaw or anywhere in northern Thailand. The laid-back town of Hsipaw remains a completely genuine northern Shan State town. Be sure to check it out before this changes.

Immerse yourself with the locals and take the thrilling train ride that passes the Gokteik Viaduct, through spectacular mountain scenery over the old railway track. As you passes by small villages and towns, vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks.

Date: 14-19 June, 9-14 Aug, 15-20 Nov, 6-11 Dec, 31 Dec – 05 Jan 2019, 4-9 Feb, 18-23 Apr 2019

Itinerary (Subject to changes)
Day 1:  Yangon – Lashio – Hsipaw
Depart from Yangon Airport by Yangon Airways to Lashio (1130/1315: Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat). On arrival Lashio transfer to Hsipaw by private car without guide (2hrs). Check in Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort 3-star deluxe room with BF and rest of day free to explore the laid back town.
Overnight Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort 3-star deluxe room with BF or similar

Day 2: Hsipaw (B)
Free day to explore Hsipaw in refreshingly mild climate for its numerous shrines nearby – dubbed Little Bagan, hilltop pagoda with great views over the river valley and the historically significant Shan Palace. You can inexpensively hire a bicycle to see these sights, as well as the waterfalls, fresh water pools and rock formations of the surrounding hills. And it is interesting to witness the rural lives of local farmers in their paddy fields and banana plantations.

You can also take a half-day scenic boat trip on the Dokhtawady River from Hsipaw with views of monasteries, pineapple plantations, fields, forests and chance to speak to local Shan farmers. Time 8:30am-1:30pm.

Overnight Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort 3-star deluxe room with BF or similar

Day 3: Hsipaw – Kyaukme (B,L)
Going local today! The local bus to Kyaukme will depart opposite the beautiful colonial all-wooden post office which is a few minutes walk from your hotel. And when we say local we really mean local… the bus is stopping at every village to let people or goods in an out and basically function a bit like the local postman (for letters, packages or big bags of rice). Expect to be surrounded (or sit on top of) vegetables, rice and anything else you can imagine, and also local villagers.

You will arrive at around 8:30am in Kyaukme at the market. Here your local guide will be waiting for you to take you to the guesthouse where you will spend the night. Embark on a full day trekking through the mountains surrounding Kyaukme during which your guide will give you a fascinating insight into the life of the Palaung people living in these remote hills. We have lunch in one of the Palaung villages. Today is a great day out in the nature in an area where you can still find people who have rarely seen western foreigners before and who live according to centuries old traditions.

Overnight at One Love Hotel – Standard with BF or similar

Day 4: Kyaukme – Pyin Oo Lwin (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will have some free time to explore the town with its colonial buildings and the busy and colourful market. Here you can buy some snacks and drinks for the upcoming train journey. The railway station is only a 10 minute walk from your hotel. You can also take a motorbike taxi with trailer for a small fee. We have reserved seats for you until Pyin Oo Lwin. Enjoy a wonderful train journey through the Shan mountains during which you will cross the mighty Gokteik Viaduct which was constructed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Steel company and was once the second highest railway bridge in the world.

The train departs at 11:05am from Kyaukme station and will pass the Gokteik Viaduct at around 1:30pm. Through spectacular mountain scenery the train will slowly move forward over the old railway track passing small villages and towns where vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks. Expected arrival time in Pyin Oo Lwin around 4pm but delays in this historic railway are not unusual.

On arrival at the colonial train station, our local representative will meet you to bring you to Hotel. Along the way you will pass numerous colonial villas Pyin Oo Lwin is famous for.

Overnight at Royal Parkview Hotel Junior Suite w BF or similar

Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay (B)
Day is free at leisure before transfer to Mandalay by private car without guide (about 1.5-2hrs).

It’s great to explore the colonial hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin (1070m) with its cool climate, including a number of magnificent waterfalls, Pyin Oo Lwin botanical gardens, 19th century country houses such as The Candacraig and the Governor’s House.

Take a ride in the colourful wooden horse-drawn wagons around town, hire a taxi (around K40,000 for a full day) or do it by yourself on a motorbike (K10,000 per day).

The Pyin Oo Lwin hot air balloon festival takes place in November – it is similar, but smaller in scale, to the festival in Taunggyi, which takes place at the same time of year.

You can choose your time to depart Pyin Oo Lwin for Mandalay. On arrival Mandaly, check in hotel and rest of day free at leisure.

Overnight at 3-star  Hotel Marvel Superior/Deluxe Room with BF or similar

Day 6: Depart Mandaiay (B)
Day is free at leisure before check out and transfer to airport.

Itinerary (Subject to changes)
Day 1:  Yangon – Lashio – Hsipaw
Transfer to Yangon Airport for domestic flight to Lashio (1130/1315: Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat). Your Shan guide will pick you up from the airport for a 1.5 hour drive through Shan state towards Hsipaw. Arrive in this small town in Northern Shan state known for the beautiful scenery which happens to have one of the last remaining residences of a former Shan prince.
Shan village walk
In the late afternoon your guide will take you for a 2.5 hour walk through a panoramic scenery of paddy fields and other seasonal crops passing small creeks, Shan villages and local schools and monasteries. The guide will explain in detail about Shan life around Hsipaw and show you some home industries like cheroot (cigar) rolling and bamboo weaving. He will explain why each Shan village has a spirit house build at the entrance of the village and make sure you will get to know the spirit of the local people in Northern Shan state.
Overnight at Tai House – Deluxe room

Day 2: Hsipaw (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel. The morning is free at leisure and at 10:00 we start the boat tour on the Dokthawaddy River.
Living the royal history in a former Shan Kingdom
We start the tour by boat on the Dokthawaddy River in direction of the Ban Jyo pagoda where the family’s Buddha statue is currently situated. From here we drive to a monastery built by one of the princes for the Hsipaw royal family where a traditional Shan lunch is served. The kind of food the last prince of Hsipaw would have taken it. Your guide will take you to learn the history of the Shan Palace in Hsipaw where you will walk around the gardens, see the former praying house at the riverside and be welcomed in the guest room of the residence. Mrs Fern, the wife of Donald who is the cousin of the last prince of Hsipaw, will welcome you and tell you her family history (if she is at home, if not the guide will explain the history). This interesting story is also documented in the book “My life as a Shan princess” from Inge Sargent and starts like a fairy tale for the Austrian born writer when arriving in Myanmar but ends in a tragedy. Recommended reading material!
Overnight at Tai House – Deluxe room

Day 3: Hsipaw (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel
A walk through the fields visiting Palaung tribal villages
One of the most colourful tribes in Shan State are certainly the Palaung people who are famous for their high quality tea plantations. Especially the older women still wear their traditional costumes. During this full day walk we visit 2 or 3 different villages and have a simple lunch in a local village on the way. Total walking time today is about 5 hours through tea plantations, colourful fields and forest – sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill. Transfer to starting point will be by local tuk-tuks. An enchanting day in nature discovering some of the interesting tribes of this part in Myanmar. Return back to Hsipaw at end of the day.
Overnight at Tai House – Deluxe room

Day 4: Hsipaw – train over Gokteik Viaduct – Pyin Oo Lwin (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel
Train ride over Gokteik Viaduct
Enjoy a wonderful train journey through the Shan mountains crossing the mighty Gokteik Viaduct which was constructed in 1901 by the Pennsylvania Steel company and was once the second highest railway bridge in the world. The train departs around 09:30 AM from Hsipaw station and will pass the Gokteik Viaduct around 1:30 PM. Through spectacular mountain scenery the train will slowly move forward over the old railway track passing small villages and towns where vendors will enter the train to sell drinks and local snacks. Expected arrival time in Naung Cho is around 14:00 and we then continue by private car to Pyin Oo Lwin but be warned: be delays on an historic railway like this one are not unusual. Simple lunch boxes are provided on the way in the train.
Overnight at Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin – Deluxe room

Day 5: Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel
Botanical gardens and a high tea
Your Pyin Oo Lwin guide will pick you up from the hotel by horse carriage for a short ride to the beautiful botanical gardens to enjoy a stroll around this park which has hundreds of different flowers, plants and butterflies. After a 1 hour stroll we continue by private car to discover more of the colonial buildings that this former British hill station is famous for. We visit the market, the forest museum and the Anglican Church and stop at a local coffee plantation. High tea is taken at the Club Terrace before continuing by private car in about 1,5 – 2 hours to Mandalay where you arrive at the end of the day
Overnight at 3-star  Hotel Marvel Superior/Deluxe Room with BF or similar

Day 6: Depart Mandaiay (B)
Day is free at leisure before check out and transfer to airport.

6 Days Trek & Train Adventure in Northern Shan State of Myanmar
Tour Code: MYA-TTANM06

LAND COST PER PERSON IN SGD

Pax SGL123-45-78 & above*
Classic Adventure +1801000880650640890
Luxury Soft Adventure +26021901350122010801280

Flight cost estimate:
SilkAir: Singapore – Yangon; Mandalay – Singapore ~ from S$ 350

* 8 pax and above comes with a X-Trekkers leader from Singapore

Price Includes:

  • All transfers and transport as per the program
  • Domestic flight Yangon – Lashio
  • All accommodations as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)
  • Service English speaking station guides
  • All meals as mentioned (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • All entrance fees on tour
  • Briefing prior departure
  • 15% discount for gears at X-Boundaries

Price does not include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Air tickets+ taxes
  • Personal belongings and expenses
  • All drinks
  • Tipping to the guides\
  • Other expenses that not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Any compulsory and peak season surcharge (New Year and Christmas)

A deposit of $ 400 per person is required to confirm your booking and balance amount to be paid at least 30 days prior your departure.

Download PDF for our extended tour
9 Days to Bagan & Inle Lake