Hsipaw Palace


Built in 1924, the fading Hsipaw Palace is an English-style mansion set in run-down grounds. But if the building is infused with a melancholic air, the charming Mr Donald and his wife Fern make gracious hosts. They welcome visitors in their sitting room decorated with family photos and will relate the fascinating history of their ancestors and the sad fate of the last sawbwa (Shan prince) who ruled Hsipaw until the military junta seized power in 1962.

While there is no admission fee, a donation (given respectfully) is expected and goes towards maintaining the palace. Mrs Fern is also a keen reader and always appreciates new books in English. In theory, the palace is open for a few hours each day, from 9am to noon and 4pm to 6pm. If the gates are chained, they're not receiving visitors. To reach the palace, cross the bridge at the northern end of Namtu Rd, turn right at the police station and then left at the monastery. The palace is up the track past the immigration office.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hsipaw attractions

2. Godowns

0.57 MILES

These four column-fronted 19th-century godowns (warehouses) are located between the riverfront and Central Market.

3. Central Market

0.57 MILES

The main market in town is a busy affair in the morning when locals come to shop for produce. By the afternoon, it is usually pretty sleepy.

4. Central Pagoda

0.61 MILES

The principal Buddhist temple in the heart of Hsipaw has a shimmering golden stupa visible from several blocks away.

5. Produce Market

0.64 MILES

Most interesting before dawn, when the road outside is jammed with hill villagers selling their wares; all will have cleared away by 7am, although the…

6. Myauk Myo

0.64 MILES

At the northern edge of town, Hsipaw’s oldest neighbourhood has a village-like atmosphere, two delightful old teak monasteries and a collection of ancient…

7. Clock Tower

0.79 MILES

Looking a little like the clock tower in Pyin Oo Lwin, this is an underwhelming landmark in the centre of town.

8. Mahamyatmuni Paya

1.15 MILES

South of the central area, Mahamyatmuni Paya is the biggest and grandest pagoda in the main town. The large brass-faced buddha image here was inspired by…