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Mr. Charles invited us to join his 'walkabout' I had somehow got the impression we would be walking around the town so Barbara and I set off in totally unsuitable foot wear.  The ground was a quagmire and we soon abandoned the flip flops and went barefoot.  The trek usually goes out to the waterfalls on the left hand side of this photo but conditions made that impractical.

Finding the terrain heavy  going we opted to walk along the railway tracks all the while listening for the morning train from Lashio.

I hoped to travel back to Maymyo on the train, mainly to cross the Gokteik Viaduct.

 The previous days train was 12 hours late arriving due to the rain. On board  armed guards had prevented the taking of photographs. 

The Shan make up  about 10% of the population of Burma and along with the Karen form the second largest ethnic group after the Burmans. They live mostly in the valleys of Shan State, a vast area in the North East of the country.  They were amongst the earliest migrants and came from Yunnan, China establishing a capital at Ava in the late 13th century which survived for two hundred years.

Hsipaw in the North of Shan State, at an elevation of 1370'feet, is cool in the evenings.  

The city has occupied several sites around the Dokhtawaddi River.  It's fertile valley an ideal place to grow fruit and vegetables.   The present town is almost 400 years old.

It's position on the infamous WW 11 'Burma Road'  makes it a favourite place for truck drivers plying between Burma and Yunnan to stop, rest and eat.  

On the strength of the trade between the two countries Hsipaw has become relatively prosperous.


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