A return journey up the Ayerawady River from Bagan to Mandalay and onward by rail up into the mountains of Shan State. 41 minutes.
We visit the old hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin and then resume the rail journey across the daunting Gokteik Viaduct to Hsipaw. We trek to villages in the nearby hills, have an informal chat with the doyenne of the Shan Palace and wander through the pre-dawn market. We return to Mandalay for Christmas lunch in the shade of the famous Teak Bridge.