Hsipaw is located in the northern part of the Shan State. It is renowned for Bawgyo Pagoda and festival. It is 200 km or 129.5 miles northeast of Mandalay and can be reached by car via Mandalay – Lashio main road. One can also take the train to Hsipaw from Mandalay or Pyin Oo Lwin to see the well-known historic Bridge “Gokteik” viaduct which is constructed over 100 years ago.
Hsipaw was once the centre of a small Shan state, the local capital of a Shan principality of the same name which according to its legendary history goes back to year 58 B.C. Bamar pronounces the name as Thibaw and the last Myanmar King Thibaw (1875-85 AD) got his name from this town. The old wooden traditional “Haw”, palace of the Sawbwa – Shan chieftain – was destroyed by bombing during the last World War, but we were able to visit the modern Sawbwa’s residence built during colonial times by Sawbwa Sao Ohn Kya who ruled Hsipaw from 1928 to 1938.Hsipaw has the central market and interesting Mahamyatmuni Pagoda.