Jun
2017

Off the beaten path in Burma: Lashio

Published on 09/06/2017 by Paul Depagneux

Over the weekend our Travel Experts based in Burma, Amandine, Bastien, and Paul, went on an adventure to discover one of Burma’s lesser known regions: Lashio.

Lashio and its surroundings are real El Dorado for lovers of natures, sports and authentic encounters. It is the largest city in northern Shan State, not far from the Chinese border and the Himalayas. Paul tells you about this wonderful experience.

Having bravely faced the 16-hour bus that separates Yangon and Lashio, we were met on Saturday morning by Byron and his family who have lived in Lashio for 5 years and have created Myanmar Adventure Outfitters. These lovers of traveling in unknown lands have brought to life this long-standing project, and offer tours and activities off-the-beaten-track in the vicinity of Lashio. But this is not all, the couple is invested greatly in the local social life, investing funds but especially time to improve the daily life of children in the region.
Once we arrived at Byron’s, we quickly changed into our swimsuits and headed for the first attraction of the weekend: the waterfalls. After an hour drive through beautiful scenery, we arrived in a timeless place where the train rails from Mandalay split a small village into two parts.

The reception of the premises was (as always in Myanmar) fantastic, with smiles to the ears that make the heart warm. We will have a local “Shi Noodles” (local specialty) before we headed down to the waterfalls to discover this magical. The kaleidoscope of colors and the stunning waterfalls created an image that will stay with us forever: paradise, or a utopia even, in the middle of nowhere. 

So we descended these cascades in a rather sporty way, some of us jumping and other sliding! We headed back to the village along the train tracks.
We then left in the afternoon to another village lost in the Shan valley, where we spent the night with the locals. The welcome was again incredible, and we quickly accustomed to the local life, made of simplicity and joy of live. Children play soccer, men work in the fields and women are busy restoring the whole world. Speech exchanges are succinct due to the language barrier, but good humor and curiosity quickly makes you forget this. After having a shower in the river, we ate local specialties with the village chief, always with a great sense of hospitality.

The night was good although the comfort is minimal. However the beautiful atmosphere and sense of calm here compensates for that.

On our second and last day, we left the village on foot for a short hour of walking through the splendid landscapes of the region, before Byron met us in his pickup truck to take us to the starting point of a two hours trek into the Shan Mountains. The immensity and calm during this walk is soothing. It wasn’t a challenging trek so we were able to enjoy the beautiful views and take in the stunning surroundings.

After two hours trekking we finally arrived at a natural lake where paddled out to enjoy a picnic in the water – don’t believe me? Check out our pictures! As the sun begins to set we head back to the Lashio’s small bus station to face the 16 hours bus journey that separates us from Yangon. It’s not as bad this time round, with wonderful memories in our mind as we chug along.