Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Myanmar chapter on Northern Myanmar has to say about the Shan State and Hsipaw:
“The region formed by Kachin State and northern Shan State is only tenuously connected to the rest of Myanmar. Few roads cross this rugged and undeveloped area and the main conduit for freight and passenger transport is the mighty Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, which snakes south across the plain to Mandalay.
The most visited places in northern Myanmar are the towns strung out along the highway to Lashio though these are still sleepy backwaters, even by Myanmar standards. Hsipaw remains one of the most idyllic getaways in Southeast Asia.
The most important thing to remember is that travel in this region is time consuming – buses are infrequent, boats and trains move more slowly than Galapagos tortoises, and airlines fly only a few days each week.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD