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Not too many travellers pass through here, only those who come here for treks or hikes or visit the places where a famous writer like George Orwell spent long months in the area away from the humid heat of Mandalay. A small mountain village with its own market, several hotels and a variety of restaurants, the Law Chan is really worth a visit for its draught beer and shops on the main road.
Tourism is hardly noticed, but as in most countries this is changing. It is worth taking an afternoon walk through the village and buying fruit at the market, such as pineapple, perhaps the sweetest and best we have ever tasted. On the other side of the village, in the opposite direction to the hotels, there are several schools and a temple, interesting points if you have a lot of time and don't know what to expect on a "boring" afternoon for the next day's trek.
After we had seen several hotels at the end, we stayed in the Mr. Charles Guest House, a small house that not only stands out from the surrounding houses, but also has comfortable rooms with air conditioning and TV, a luxury for about 35 dollars without haggling. Normally the routes are rented in the hotels themselves, where they inform you about the various routes in the area.
With the route attached to this article, it is not necessary to hire a guide, but you will need a GPS or smartphone to follow the route. Concerning the prices, the full day trekking with food is 10.000 cats, on a 10 hour route, and the half day trekking is about 5.000 cats.
We recommend the routes that lead through the surrounding villages, as this is the best way to see Hsipaw, its inhabitants and the rice fields. After all, hiking in these places consists of visiting villages, climbing a hill and seeing how people work in the countryside.
If we had to highlight some things on the route, it would be the fog, the mud, the small villages and the people. The fog, because it covered almost all the mountains of the track, a shame. The mud is the only setback that makes a long but easy stretch a little more difficult.
And people, people looking out the window, behind a fence, in the country..... and seeing travelers passing by. In only 10 years, according to the guide, they have developed from mules or horses to small Chinese motorcycles, the only thing that does not bring such a place to a standstill in time.
The route we have taken is a full time route, about 32 km, through rice fields and several Shan villages. He' s driving from the Mr. Charles Guest House to a village 1,150 meters above sea level. When does it start? When we were in Myanmar, we could see this bad weather first hand, with mud and fog, although I have to say that the second part of the route we took was under the bright sun.
Exist for a Hsipaw. In a comfortable bus for about 5,000 kat from Mandalay city centre or in a shared 15,000 kat cab from any of the hotels. What to take? It is a city that specialises in hiking trails, so it is important to wear clothing suitable for long distances and unforeseen events such as rain or mud.
There are several accommodations on the main road, but the most famous and where you can be informed about the available routes every afternoon is Mr. Charles Guest House. The rooms are comfortable and very comfortable, but it is not the cheapest in the area. It is best to take out insurance for such a trip.