The Train From Hsi Paw To Pyin Oo Lwin Across The Gokteik Viaduct

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Julie Kern / June 2017

This is the story of our trip over the Gokteik Viaduct in Shan State, Myanmar.

Contrary to popular IG accounts, travel is not a curated adventure. It’s bumpy, and dirty, and full of long travel days where you don’t get to eat a hot meal. Sometimes you aren’t sure what’s waiting for you on arrival, and many times you don’t even know when you’ll actually get there. That’s why we’re committed to showing you guys what it’s really like on the go.

Today were excited to share a long-lost photo series from our 7-hour train ride from Hsi Paw to Pyin Oo Lwin in Myanmar, a challenging country to travel in. The rickety train rocked and bumped our way south and we cruised over the tallest train trestle in the world called the Gokteik Viaduct:

Photo 1: Moving very slowly at 820 feet up in the sky over the viaduct

Photo 2: Vendors selling watermelon and oranges to train passengers while the train was stopped at the station

Photo 3: The ticket prices for tourists listed in the ticket office. It was 2750 Kyat (pronounced like ‘chut’), which is equivalent to about $3 each for first class. Notice that second class is called “ordinary class”

Photo 4: Locals chatting through the window at a stopover. Sometimes it felt like we spent more time in the stations than actually moving on the tracks

Photo 5: More views of an unknown station

Photo 6: The ticket office – notice this man’s red stained mouth from chewing betlenut. It’s a very common, albeit gnarly habit of many Burmese

Photo 7: The main train station in Hsi paw

Photo 8: Waiting for our train – nothing is ever on time. Notice the signs are Burmese, which is a very beautiful, circular looking language

Photo 9: Beautiful landscape out the window although trees kept smacking us in the face as their branches whipped through the windows. It was a miracle no one was injured

Photo 10: The view from our seat down the carriage. It was hot as hell, and all the windows were down, creating a wind tunnel in the train. One of the ladies across from us had 6 toes and offered us some of her rice for lunch 

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Tags: Asia, Backpacker, Gokteik Viaduct, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Train

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