|What could possible go wrong?
We dropped our things in our all-white, utilitarian room, freshened up a bit, and went out looking for a cold drink. After stopping in the middle of town for a beer, we went to one of hotel manager's suggested stops on the riverfront called Black House Coffee Shop. The modern, stylish café was located in a repurposed historic shophouse right on the river and boasted a lovely view out back. Seated on the patio, we shared some Shan noodles, and had some more beers while watching local fishermen and a pretty magnificent sunset reflected in the Duthawadi river.
|Sure, I'll try the Chinese beer, being so close to China and all
|Lovely sunset over the Duthawadi River
Local Ploy at Lily took considerable time outlining all there was to do in and around Hsipaw on a map for us, including hill tribe treks, "little Bagan", restaurants, river view happy hour locations, and the Shan Palace. I really wanted to go to the Shan Palace after reading a summary in the Lonely Planet. Apparently the last Shan princess still lives there, inviting guests to visit in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, we arrived too late, and would be leaving too early to visit and get to speak with her. From what I've read, the palace is frequently closed for "health reasons". That morning while Caroline was getting ready at the hotel, I took the opportunity to walk by it anyway, to see what I could see, which was nothing except a padlocked gate.
|Shan Palace - closed
|We kept running into this adorable group of young novice Buddhist nuns
The woman riding shotgun seemed to be her chaperone. We never did find out if she was an aunt, friend, mother, or something else. She spent most of the six hours aggressively chatting with our driver, a young Burmese man. We decided she must have known him as well.
It was touching when, near the end of our trip, Sadiya said, "I will never forget you." Obviously, she made a very memorable impression on us as well.
|Our new friend, Sadiya, from Lashio