A Lifetime Experience on the Gokhteik Viaduct
After having had an early breakfast at Shwe Nan Htike Hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin, we started our trip to ride the train across the Gokhteik viaduct, a railway trestle in Naung Hkio (spelt Naungcho), western Shan State. This bridge is between the two towns of Pyin Oo Lwin, the summer capital of the former British colonial administrators of Burma, and Lashio, the principal town of northern Shan State. It is the highest bridge in Myanmar and when it was completed, the largest railway trestle in the world. It is located approximately 100 km northeast of Mandalay.
We had booked a train privately ahead for our 50-people group to see the daily life of the locals and natural attractions along the way to Gokhteik. The train station was busy with the food hawkers who were running to and fro on the platforms when the train arrived. The train stopped just for a couple of minutes to pass the information to the station master and the train controller in every station.
When we arrived at the Gokhteik station, the very first thing we did was, of course, taking a group picture with the background of the Gokhteik viaduct. After that, we started riding the train across the jaw-dropping railway bridge, over 100 meters above the ground and nearly 700 meters long between two mountains. While the train was running in a slow pace, our hearts were rocked by the view of the stream which was flowing against the nature.
The train conductor stopped the train for a few minutes at the highest pillar of the bridge, and we got a chance to get off the train and take a photo of the roller-coaster green wooden forest with the sky view. Again, the train moved very slowly, passing through the tunnel where we could feel the nature in the darkness.
Finally, our Gokhteik viaduct trip came to an end at the another end of the tunnel where the train stopped one more time for us to take a group picture, and went back to the Gokhteik station, without continuing to Naung Pain Station where was on the way to Hsipaw.
Myint Ko Ko Win
Heritage Mandalay Travels