The Hill Station Train
There can be seldom more exciting or charming ways to see Myanmar than by train. The Mandalay to Lashio train traverses one of the most famous train routes in Myanmar as it carries passengers from the city to the foothills of the far north of the county on a daily basis. The ‘Hill Station Train’ as it is commonly referred to, will take you on a breathtaking journey through dense forests, green fields, steep valleys and gorges, and across the famous Gokteik Viaduct near the small town of Nawnghkio which was constructed during the British colonial period. The Viaduct crosses a gorge approximately 250 metres high and is certainly not for the fainthearted, however it offers a number of spectacular views and is a wonderfully special way to experience the countryside.
Although the train is not luxurious by western standards and is also considered a slower choice of travel, it can still be a highly pleasant form of transport that provides relaxation and cultural encounters with local passengers in equal measure. The train also enables visitors to stop at the beautiful towns of Maymyo and Hsipaw en route, which are both well-worth an exploratory visit.
The journey time is approximately 12 hours between Mandalay and Lashio but passengers can disembark in Maymyo after 4 hours and in Hsipaw after 8 hours.