The iconic landmark of the great British-built railway running from Mandalay to Lashio over the Shan Plateau is the Goteik Viaduct. When it was erected at the end of the 19th century, the trestle bridge – famously described by writer Paul Theroux as “a monster of silver geometry” – was the highest in the world, towering 102 metres (335 ft) above river level.
Trains slow to almost walking pace for the dizzying traverse, which affords superb views over a jungle-filled ravine below. We don’t generally recommend train travel for our clients in Myanmar, but this trip is a worthwhile exception. You board the diesel locomotive in Pyin Oo Lwin after breakfast, and proceed for two-and-a-half hours through wonderfully unspoilt hill country to the viaduct, on the far side of which your car and driver will be waiting for the onward journey.