From Mandalay Central Station, trains to Lashio start via Pin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw and vice versa. Today, two passenger trains run by Chinese CKD7B diesel locomotives travel the route daily. One to the north and one to the south. Starting the trip from Mandalay means getting up early as the train leaves the station at 4 am. Departing Hsipaw, the morning is more relaxed as the train from Hsipaw to Mandalay departs at 09:40 and arrives at Mandalay at 21:15.
Of course, you will cross the famous Gokteik Viaduct this time as well, and once again enjoy the view of this structure. However, there is no upper class on the train from Lashio to Mandalay and so you have to put up with the wooden benches on the 13-hour drive.
At the train station in Hsipaw travelers meet before the departure of the train, as well as local traders, who still offer fruits in particular. As soon as the train arrives, they are joined by the flying traders, who also offer warm delicacies, such as corn on the windows of the train. You do not have to buy everything here, which you would like to eat on the way because at almost every major station there is the possibility to buy food.