Hsipaw (pronounced by the Burmese as Thibaw), is perhaps one of the northernmost outposts for tourists in Myanmar (Kachin state is out of bounds, given the civil unrest).
Hsipaw also represents the influence from neighboring China: Shan villagers have rented their fields to the Chinese, who send Chinese people to grow watermelons on these lands, using fertilizers and pesticides that are otherwise uncommon in Myanmar
Mr Charles has been responding to increased tourism and is evolving from a backpackers haven to a more full service hotel. We had the largest room in the new wing- Room 309, which is classified as a junior suite. As one enters the room, one is wowed by the large room size and the dark wooden furniture. But then, one gets the feeling that the contractors had just left the room five minutes before you arrived!
The bathroom fittings are loose: the faucet is not fixed to the underlying washbasin sink, the door knob came off in my hand, and the water definitely takes a while to get hot
That said, the staff will bend over backwards to accommodate your needs and are really wonderful people
Breakfast is, shall we say, a little unique: you may choose between a Shan soup, or a fried egg on a plate of rice and beans, or an egg with toast, butter and jam. The fried egg on rice and beans is actually not that bad, once one has overcome the internal question of "is this breakfast or lunch?". Dinner at this hotel is very basic, fried rice or fried noodles, but there are other options on the main street. WiFi is painfully slow
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