This is the Shan Palace in Hsipaw, Myanmar. Not the typical grand luxurious palace you would expect. It is more like a big house, albeit kind of rundown. It was stated in some travel guides as a tourist attraction. But when I walked to the palace for the first time, the gate was closed with an iron chain around it. Then some locals told me that I could just remove the chain and open the gate and go it. And that’s what I did.
When I was taking photo of the house and wandering around its big compound, a middle age woman came out to invite me into the house. She told me she’s the wife of the nephew of the Shan’s prince. I was quite taken aback when the lady gave me tea then proceeded to tell me stories about the Shan’s prince. I felt so privilege to be listening to the family history, a history of a race, first hand. And she very kindly and openly answered all the questions I had. I couldn’t imagine her doing this every time a tourist or traveler knocked on her door, but that’s what she did. She told me that they had to close the gate because too many tourists were visiting them and the authority was giving them problem.
Hsipaw itself was amazing, a breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively) from the stifling big city of Mandalay, but what made Hsipaw interesting for me was meeting a relative of the Shan Prince and being invited in for tea and stories in their ‘palace’.
Wish u were here,