Let the natural mineral springs of Lashio sooth your aches
IF YOU are contemplating relaxing at a hill
resort for your misty December holiday, you should spend your time
at the hot spring in Lashio in Shan state.
Lashio lies on Mandalay-Muse road that serves
as a trade link between Myanmar and China. Being a hill town, Lashio
is shrouded in mist. To those from the plain, the way the people there
behave is like a good film. Not only is Lashio accessible from Mandalay
by train, but it can be conveniently reached through a newly-built
road by car as well. One can go from Mandalay to Lashio in a van.
It takes only six or seven hours to get to Lashio if one takes a passenger
car. The distance between Mandalay and Lashio is just over 170 miles.
A passenger is charged Kyats 6500 for
the front seat next to the driver’s seat and K5500 for a rear seat.
The roads built at an elevation of 2000 or 3000 feet on the sides
of mountains are very exciting for those who have been living in the
plains for a long time. When the car passes through Goadtwin gorge,
one can recall the Kyaukme Akyintha film starred by famous
actor Win Oo. If a car, after leaving Mandalay, has snaked its way
along the mountain for 42 miles, it will see PyinOoLwin called the
town of flowers. It takes only another one hour to get to Naungcho,
a Shan town which is 36 miles from PyinOoLwin.
The words "As big cars run on the roads, they
are in bad condition" do not hold true for a motor road built by a
private national company. Vehicles, big and small, are plying along
the wide, smooth road to trade at the Myanmar-China border. Shortly
after the car passes Nawnhkio, it starts descending along the road
built across the bottom of Goadtwin gorge, which is located between
two big mountains. Crossing the gorge is like descending from one
mountain and ascending another mountain. For trains, a bridge has
been built over the gorge between the two mountains. When a car begins
descending along the road built across the bottom of the gorge, it
can be said that clouds are over the mountain, and the mountain is
also over clouds. While a car is descending, the gorge is sometimes
on its left and sometimes on its right. After 20 minutes, Goadtwin
creek between the mountains comes into sight. When the car passes Goadtwin
gorge, it reaches Kyaukme, and then Hsi-paw. Before the car enters
Hseinwi, it has to pass Bawgyo, where there is a historic pagoda
called Bawgyo Pagoda by the motor road. "If a Shan belle is beautiful, no
doubt she is from Hsi-paw," so goes the saying. When the car goes
out of Hseinwi, it has to cross the Doakhtawady river. At the top
of the bridge, turpentine vendors are plying their trade. When the
car leaves Hseinwi, the motor road runs parallel to the Doakhtawady
river. The car gradually leaves the river behind, and the climbs up
to the mountain. The sight of teak trees on either side of the road
is spectacular, filling one with a sense of cherishing the abundant
natural riches of the nation. When the car goes past Kontha town,
the road is lined with garden crop stalls of Shan girls. It gives
everybody great pleasure to take a rest and eat fruits under teak
trees for a while. The fruits are also as sweet as the voice of Shan
girls. Kontha pineapple is noted for its sweetness. The car which
leaves Mandalay at about 6 am reaches Lashio at over 1 pm.
As Lashio is teeming with traders and merchants,
it is a busy town. Manhsu Pagoda is famous. The downtown Lashio is
called Nweyoe by locals, and the lower part of the town is called
Lashiogyi. After the car leaves and continues for about half a mile
through an airport, it gets to the hot spring. According to locals,
a Chinese man found the hot spring and used it as a place for relaxation.
Hot water, measures 52 degree centigrade, comes up from the bed of
the creek. At the hot spring, a lake has been built to enable holiday-makers
to swim. There are also small bath compartments and family bathrooms.
There are two hot water springs about 1000 feet apart. Visitors can
wallow in the hot water. They can also take a bath with the use of
the water mixed with hot and cold water. According to locals, during
the cold season the hot spring is crowded with visitors who come there
to have a hot bath. K300 is charged for a bath compartment for half
an hour. Foreigners are charged three FEC. The water at the hot spring
contains sulphide, chloride, fluoride, silica, phosphorous, calcium,
sodium, potassium and magnesium, among others. Having a bath at the
hot spring is conducive to good health, and can cure skin diseases.
According to locals, aches and pains in the back, joint pains and
muscle pains can be cured by having a bath at the hot spring, without
having to apply pain relief ointment and take pain relief pills. So,
if you have been nursing an idea of going on a trip during the coming
December holiday, I would urge you to go to Lashio hot spring for
relaxation and recreation.