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The North of Myanmar

by Sue Rivet, USA

Global Mark : 12.61

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 


2 4 2 2 4 2 2 2 3 10.22

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend  Range AVER.
1 100% 100% 100% 15 15.00

Description :
Lashio is a town north of Mandalay, heading toward the China border. If you are a traveler interested in culture clashes and underbellies, Lashio is worth a look. You will see Burmese, Shan, Indian Sikh, and Chinese jockeying for position.

What to do ? There is not much in the way of sites here. The interest lies in hobnobbing with the locals, listening more than speaking, learning more than teaching.

What you may not like ? Lashio is somewhat grubby; much of the town is new, within the last 30 years. You will soon realize that all of the very new development in the town has been built by the Chinese.

Where to stay ? There are not many places that take foreigners; of those that do, we found that the first 2 we tried were full that night, so don't let the taxi driver slip away until you get a bed! Thi Da (sp? was $3 each in a double with 2 beds, as was Ya Theik. Most of the rooms at Ya Theik were more expensive, which are the rooms that they like to sell to foreigners, so if you want the cheaper room with shared bath, you have to keep insisting. Also, their English is weaker than most hotel staff in Myanmar, so be gentle.

Where to eat ?

How to visit ? The best part of my stay there was the result of meeting up with a Sikh fellow whose son now runs their tea shop. I don't know the address, but it's in town near the gambling house. He is an older fellow who delighted in showing us all around Lashio, and gave us a good rundown on the cultural history and goings-on there.

Communication ?  Don't even think about it. 

Leaving Lashio ? Buses may go everywhere, but there may only be one per day, so don't miss it like we did.

[Note from Passplanet : The train leaves Lashio at 5:30am and should reach Mandalay at 8pm via Hsipaw (9:15am) and Pyin U Lwin (15:30). It is recommended to take it up to Pyin U Lwin only and then switch for a pick-up to Mandalay (K300, 2 hours) as the final part is real slow and the train often late]

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