Many people we’ve met have told us that riding the train in Myanmar is a must. Specifically, taking the train to Hsipaw (pronounced see-po, I believe) over the Gokteik Viaduct shouldn’t be missed. The Gokteik Viaduct was completed by the British in 1901 and was the largest rail trestle in the world. It still retains the honor of being Myanmar’s highest bridge at 102 meters (and 689 meters long). It took no time at all for us to decide to take the trip. We took an early morning taxi a short ways from Mandalay to Pyin U Lwin, where we got on the train (we could’ve boarded in Mandalay, but we got to sleep in a little longer by taking the taxi. Trains in Myanmar are slow.)
We sat on our hard wooden seats once we were on the train and watched the world fly by. Well, not quite fly… as I just mentioned, the trains in Myanmar are not fast! We’ve heard and read several accounts of trains being delayed for many hours due to some repair needing to be made, it fortunately we avoided his on our trip. We didn’t avoid bad weather, however. It rained through most of our journey and was quite chilly (I enjoyed the temperature, but Michelle and Bonnie were frozen!)
So, clouds robbed us of some of the magnificent views of the viaduct, but it was still a worth while trip that we won’t soon forget.