Untouched nature, tourist deserted villages and great trekking is what recommendations promissed us. They where right to some degree. The Guesthouse Mr. Charles was a very friendly and well run place. Most of the foreigners where staying there as it was one of the few nice and cheap choices in the town of Hsipaw. Tourists come here for the trekking to small villages in the mountains and the relaxing atmosphere. So did I and arranged a two days overnight trek on my first day. Our group set off the next day at 9am to walk up the hill to the villages. We were walking at a rather fast pace alonge rice paddies and farmers working in the field. Some of us stayed behind to take pictures of the scenery. Further up the hill white stones divided the fields on them was written “Excavation prohibited”. It was a Chinese oil pipeline running to China exporting oil to the nearby country. We continued and listened to our guide’s stories.
It started to rain heavily, which was nice as it was much cooler but made it harder to walk on the muddy path. It took us some six hours until we had reached Pankam village where we stayed for the night. Pankam has around 100 inhabitants and most of them are little kids. They seem to dominate life in the village somehow. You see them playing every where with rubber bands and flipflop. Even the young monks are out and about or are fooling around the monastry. Hectic at times but very interesting and nice to see. We watched village people pass by from the porch of our guesthut.
Before sunset we ventured out to explore the village and meet local people. They live a basic life in bamboo huts surrounded by gardens. Most houses have one big room with a fireplace in the middle. Our guide showed us many places and pointed out the various plants on the way.