Hsipaw Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more in Hsipaw, Myanmar. This comprehensive travel guide will help plan your trip.

Introduction to Hsipaw

Hsipaw is a picturesque town in Eastern Myanmar that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich culture and natural beauty. With its serene landscapes, traditional architecture, and friendly locals, Hsipaw is a must-visit destination in Myanmar.

List of Places to Visit in Hsipaw

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Shan Palace Museum: This museum was once the home of the last prince of Hsipaw and now houses artifacts and memorabilia from the Shan dynasty.
  • Buddha’s Footprint: This ancient relic is believed to be the footprint of the Buddha, and it is housed in a small pagoda in Hsipaw.
  • Bawgyo Pagoda: This ancient pagoda was built in the 5th century and is one of the oldest structures in Hsipaw.

Natural Attractions of Hsipaw: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Nam Tok Waterfall: This stunning waterfall is located in a lush jungle and is a great spot for a picnic or a swim.
  • Bawgyo Dam: This dam was built in the 1960s and is a popular spot for fishing and boating.
  • Shan Hills: Hsipaw is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and mountains that offer breathtaking views and great hiking opportunities.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Hsipaw

  • Nam Hu Nwe Waterfall Trail: This four-hour round trip trek takes you through rice paddies, through a jungle, and to a beautiful 60-meter waterfall.
  • Lashio Road Trail: This eight-hour trek takes you through the hills of Hsipaw and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Best Things to Do in Hsipaw: Activities and Tours

  • Visit Local Markets: Hsipaw has several local markets where you can buy traditional crafts, fresh produce, and spices.
  • Take a Sunset Cruise: A sunset cruise down the Dokehtawaddy River is a great way to see the town from a different perspective.
  • Attend a Traditional Festival: Throughout the year, Hsipaw celebrates various festivals that are a great opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Hsipaw

Day Activity
1 Arrive in Hsipaw and check into your accommodation. Visit the Shan Palace Museum in the afternoon.
2 Hike to the Nam Hu Nwe Waterfall and explore the surrounding jungle.
3 Explore the town’s local markets and have lunch at a local tea shop. In the afternoon, take a sunset cruise down the Dokehtawaddy River.
4 Go on a day trip to the Bawgyo Dam for some fishing and boating.
5 Trek the Lashio Road Trail for breathtaking views of the hills and surrounding landscape.
6 Visit the ancient Bawgyo Pagoda in the morning and attend a traditional festival in the afternoon.
7 Depart from Hsipaw and head to your next destination in Myanmar.

Food and Drink Scene of Hsipaw

Must-Try Dishes

  • Shan Noodles: This traditional dish is made with rice noodles, chicken or pork, and a spicy sauce.
  • Mohinga: A popular breakfast dish made with a fish and herb broth, rice noodles, and crispy fritters.
  • Tofu Salad: A refreshing salad made with fried tofu, tomatoes, onions, and a tangy dressing.

Local Beverages

  • Shan Tea: A sweet and refreshing tea made with tamarind and ginger.
  • Rice Wine: A strong alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.

Where to Stay in Hsipaw: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Mr. Charles Guesthouse: A budget-friendly guesthouse with clean and comfortable rooms and a friendly staff.
  • The Riverside @ Hsipaw Resort: A luxurious resort with beautiful river views and amenities such as a swimming pool and restaurant.

What to Buy in Hsipaw: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Traditional Shan Clothing: Colorful and comfortable clothing made with traditional fabrics.
  • Shan Paper: Handmade paper made from mulberry bark, great for writing or creating art.

Local Culture and Customs of Hsipaw

Hsipaw is a town that values tradition and culture, and it is important to be respectful of local customs. Many locals are Buddhist, so it is important to dress modestly and remove shoes when entering temples or pagodas.

Best Time to Visit Hsipaw

The best time to visit Hsipaw is from November to February when the weather is cool and dry.

Do’s and Don’ts of Hsipaw


  • Try the traditional food and drink.
  • Attend local festivals to experience the culture.
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions.


  • Disrespect local customs or beliefs.
  • Worry too much about strict schedules, as life in Hsipaw is very relaxed.

Safety and Health

Safety in Hsipaw

Hsipaw is a very safe town, but it is important to take normal precautions like locking your doors and securing your valuables.

Health in Hsipaw

The water in Hsipaw is not safe to drink, so it is important to stick to bottled water. Mosquitoes are also a common problem, so it is recommended to use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved clothing.

Getting to Hsipaw: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Hsipaw

The nearest airport is Mandalay International Airport, which is about 190 kilometers away from Hsipaw.

Bus Stations Near Hsipaw

Buses run regularly from Mandalay and other towns in Myanmar to Hsipaw. The bus station in Hsipaw is located near the town center.

Other Options

Some travelers prefer to hire private drivers to take them to Hsipaw, which can be arranged through travel agencies or hotels in larger cities.

How to Get Around in Hsipaw

Most attractions in Hsipaw are within walking distance of each other. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or motorbike to explore the town and surrounding countryside.

Where to Go Next from Hsipaw: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Mandalay: One of the largest cities in Myanmar, Mandalay is famous for its ancient palaces, temples, and pagodas.
  • Inle Lake: A stunning lake surrounded by traditional villages and floating gardens.
  • Bagan: An ancient city known for its thousands of temples and pagodas, many dating back to the 11th century.


Hsipaw offers an authentic and captivating experience of Myanmar’s culture and natural beauty. With its stunning landscape, rich history, and friendly locals, Hsipaw is a destination that should not be missed. Plan your trip today and discover this hidden gem in Eastern Myanmar.