To take the train to Hsipaw, it is easier to go via Pwin Oo Lwin since the train departs from Mandalay at around 4 am and 8:20 from Pwin Oo Lwin. There is no hostel here and because of the diahrrea, I got myself a hotel to chill for 2 nights. The bus ride turned out to be 3 hours longer but luckily I survived. The pass climbing up was a giant construction field and it was interesting to see the buses and trucks form a line of lights in the dark.
Pwin Oo Lwin is in the hills and thus a lot cooler than other places. It is mixed with muslims, christians and monks. You can find mosques, churches and even chinese temples.
I didn’t do much except going to the botanic garden and trying to get a burning man ticket at 2 am but was unfortunately unsuccessful.
The local cafe shop beside the hotel was a really nice place. The food is cheap (Maybe not too clean) and the people are super friendly. Amongst the guests you can find different ethnicities as well. It doesn’t seem to be a problem that all can live happily together.
The train ride is of course the highlight of this trip. The pictures speak for themselves.
On the train, I met a local girl who is 1/4 chinese. In these regions I guess it makes sense since Yunnan is very close. And We were actually staying in the same hotel. She offered me some snacks in the beginning which started the conversation. I was offered some snack as well in the flight from taiwan to hk. It is a good way to initiate a conversation.
Me, still in Luang Prabang in a cafe