Hsipaw

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The principal town of Hsipaw Township in Shan State.   Situated on the banks of the  Dokhtawaddi River, 200km from Mandalay. We stayed at the Nam Khae Mao (Guesthouse) in 2002.  I liked everything I had heard about this small Shan town and I fell in love with it when I got there.   It was wet and grey for the whole of our time there but it really didn't matter.   The locals were friendly and helpful and there was plenty to see.  Along the streets are all sorts of small manufacturing operations
"Roll over Beethoven"

Quilt Factory

Don Bosco School

The clocktower beside the guesthouse chimes every hour on the hour but is shut down between 9.00pm and 6.am to enable everyone to get a good nights sleep.   We were woken by the  6.00am rendition of  Fur Elise, a recording so bad we barely recognized it.   We liked the NKO  so much I booked it again in 2005, by which time the chimes were silenced permanently and the weather was better
Nothing is wasted.   Recycled tires are made into serviceable buckets and sandals can be made to measure in a day 

 

Days begin early (darn those 6.00am chimes)  listen for the sound of a bell as the monks go about their rounds.  There is never a shortage of faithful waiting to make an offering of rice or money.  Enjoy the money wheel offerings as you will never see such pristine notes in your change.  Check out the Shan morning market

 

Park beside the market

Be early these ladies were leaving as we arrived at 6.00am

Walking with Mr. Jojo 2002

 

Mr Charles Guesthouse's scheduled walk to the waterfall was impractical because of the effects of the recent typhoon.  A different walk was substituted.  I assumed  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.  We could see the waterfall tantalisingly close across the fields

 

Flip flopping along the railway ties

Shan Village

At the small family run brickyard rows and rows of unfired bricks were lying ruined in the yard due to the heavy rains  

Any intact unfired bricks had been built into a wood burning oven,  a fire was lit within and would be stoked for three days, at which time the bricks will be ready to use

 

 

Beside the Dokhtawaddi River we met  an elderly lady sitting 'rolling her own', cheroots.   I believe the land and house she occupies belong to Mr. Charles and is earmarked for bungalows to house the tourists they hope will come.  She acts as caretaker until the elusive planning permission is obtained

Had the cheroot only been white I would have had the perfect picture of Kipling's Supu-Yaw Lat of whom he wrote 'I seed' her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot'

The fact he never went to Mandalay is neither here nor there, perhaps he made it as far as Hsipaw, I hope so

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