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Hsipaw, Myanmar

Written on: Monday February 19th, 2007

A journal entry from: Southeast Asia

If the train ride was an indication that we were getting off the beaten track, then the dusty roads, the lack of electricity, tourists, e-mail and yet another language, confirmed it. We travelled eleven and a half hours on a rocking train (circa 1940s?), the only tourists on board. We entertained the locals with digital picture taking, many never seeing this technology before. We arrived at Mr. Charles Guest House and the next day enjoyed a six hour stroll with him over rice fields,  through Shan villages and monasteries, visiting homes to observe local livelihoods: cheroot cigar making, peanut oil, blacksmithing, basket weaving... all done without machines or electricity. Hsipaw may have numbered more oxen powered carts than automobiles. People smile, laugh, and enjoy friendship perhaps looking forward to the rainy season when the electricity returns.