Somewhere in Asia travel blog

Prisoners doing heavy labour in the background

Hsipaw fire station

Water buffalo and a little lady

Dance fog over a little village

Some homes in the distance

Heading home

Evening light

Sun set with ways to go

We didn't rush. Left Kyukme for Hsipaw after 10am, following a slow breakfast, chatting with locals and going to the market (happy B-day Cin). We headed out of town thinking we didn't have very far to go, and that it was all going to be downhill. Never trust a local who owns a scooter if they tell you a road is mostly flat and downhill.

Hsipaw lacked the feel of Kyaukme, and had a number of more tourist-oriented establishments, as well as a number of tourists. We couldn't figure out why it was so much more popular than Kyaukme, but we were happy to keep it our little secret. The funny thing is, that you have to pass through Kyaukme to get to Hsipaw, and that is why we hit it first coming in on our bikes. All in all it was good to check it out for a day.

We had some food at Mr. Food's restaurant, and later found a café owned by an Australian woman, for some real coffee. She had a beautiful home, right on the river. Unfortunately, her Burmese husband is currently a political prisoner, and was scheduled to be relocated to do heavy labour right across the river from her property. She spoke softly about the Myanmar government, and whispered after pointing out a government official sitting in her café at the time. She has learned, through experience, to trust no one.

We rode out of town around 4:30pm. The scenery around us looked more beautiful than on the way in. The sun was setting. Cows and water buffalos were being walked home. There was a haze bathing a distant hillside village, and stacks of rice in the fields. A number of monks were heading home to Hsipaw, some on foot, some on scooters. Then it became dark. We carried on without stopping, until we got to the Greenland restaurant, just 3 miles out of town. There were no other lights around, and the place looked really inviting and homey. We shared a lovely mustard leaf dish, while hanging out with a bunch of kids all studying Burmese kickboxing, with the restaurant's owner as their master. We showed them a card trick, while they showed us some of their moves outside. They ranged in age from about 6 to 16, and all hung out together. The smallest guy was especially cute, carrying his flashlight everywhere. As we were leaving one of them handed us each a stick of gum, and we were on our way.

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