Hsipaw

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The East Haw (Shan Palace)

 Built in 1924 in the grounds of the Shan Palace, for the elder son.  The palace was destroyed by the Japanese during their occupation and the royal family moved into the much smaller East Haw.

Today it is the home of 'Mr. Donald' nephew of the last prince and 'Fern' his wife  daughter of the last prince of Monywa 

The house is sparsely furnished. All the possessions  left behind by the family of the former Sawbwa have been sold off  to maintain the  building.

 

Fern shows Barbara some of the books  written by and about the family.  Sao Kya Seng the last Sawbwa of Hsipaw brought his Austrian bride Inge Sargent here in 1953.  She didn't know she was the Mahadevi until her arrival in Burma.  

Together they set out to improve farming methods.  Conditions improved and the child mortality rate declined, but it was not to last.  In the coup of 1962, the prince disappeared.    Inge and her daughters eventually left for Austria, then settled in Colorado where she had met her prince.  Her memoir 'Twilight Over Burma' is a must read.  

Fern (Sai Sarm Hpong) is an avid reader and loves to receive paperbacks.

Mr. Donald (Sao 0o Kya) taking advantage of the last of the light to plough his fields.   

Fern and Donald are 'At Home' to visitors most days.  Walk to the house in the late afternoon and you should find the gate unlocked.   Be sure to leave a small donation to help with the upkeep.

On September 30th 2005 Mr. Donald was sentenced to 13 years in prison for "operating as an unlicensed tour guide, defaming the State and being in violation of restrictions imposed under the Habitual Offenders Act"

Street art, obviously aimed at visitors as well as locals.  We loved the very distinctive Burmese script. 

2005 Update.  Mr. Donald was arrested by Hsipaw police in August and sentenced to 13 years in jail on September 30th.

 

Now who in Hsipaw can afford the very latest Ford truck?   The answer - a senior officer in the Shan Army.
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