Pyin Oo Lwin is a city located in Central Myanmar. It is a 7-hour train journey from Hsipaw. While it is a faster journey by bus, I can’t help but recommend using the train. It is an incredibly amazing journey like no other. The rail line goes through steep hills, local villages, an iconic viaduct and a breathtaking gorge! There is only one train a day from Mandalay to Lashio and sames goes with the Lashio to Mandalay journey.
The Goteik Viaduct is a railway trestle located approximately 60km of Pyin Oo Lwin heading towards Lashio. The Goteik Viaduct is the highest bridge in Myanmar and a masterpiece of engineering that was overseen by Sir Arthur Rendel. Back when it was completed in 1899 by the Pennsylvania & Maryland Bridge Construction Company, it was the largest railway trestle in the world. The Mandalay-Lashio rail line was primarily designed to bring trade and strenghen the influence of the British Empire in the Northern Shan State. Not only the views from the viaduct are stunning but the whole train journey is amazing!
Pyin Oo Lwin used to be the summer capital of the former British colonial administrators of Burma. There are not much to see around the city. A few sights include the Dat Taw Gyaint falls (aka Anisakan Falls), the National Kandawgyi Botanical Garden and the Pwe Kauk waterfall. If using maps.me, be extremely careful! I have had the scariest experience in a long time. I went off track in the wild jungle about 50m after the Dat Taw Gyaint heading towards Yonatan’s waterfalls in a 70% steep and extremely slippery path. A wrong move and I would have ended up 200m lower. I can’t tell if maps.me did not updated my location correctly or if the path is inaccurately designed on maps.me. The path is easily identifiable counterclockwise. Play it safe and start the loop from the eastern side (through Yonatan’s waterfall first)!