Haikpa waterfall, one of cultural heritages in Mongshu Township where Tainwe and Palaung ethnics reside in unison in southern Shan State, is formed with seven to nine steps of waterfall. It is a natural scene filled with various species of wildlife and birds, said locals.
Travellers wishing to visit Haikpa waterfall need to take a four and a half hour drive from Loilem. People from Yangon and Mandalay may pay visits to Haikpa waterfall along Loilem-Laikha-Mongnawng road via Taunggyi. Moreover, visitors from Lashio and Muse may roll on Namlang-Kehsi road or MongyaiMongshu road. If visitors come from Tachilek and Kengtung, they need to go along Kunhing-Wamsein-Mongnawng road. Nowadays, these all roads have been repaved with asphalt thanks to fruitful results of peace.
Haikpa waterfall is located about one mile from Haikpa Village. An asphalt road repaved in the village reaches the new bridge of the village. A temporary road links between the new bridge and the waterfall passing through paddy fields. In the rainy season, small vehicles may face some difficulties in damage of the road. Visitors may see voluntary activities of local children in repairing the road with the use of hoes. Hence, some visitors give tips to those children.
Regularly, travellers can be seen at Haikpa waterfall all the year round but number of travellers declines at the waterfall in the rainy season because they face difficulties in walking along the way to the waterfall passing through the paddy fields. In general, the waterfall is opened in the month of Tazaungmone (between November and December) and closed in the month of Kason (May). In fact, Haikpa waterfall, an origin of Nampan Creek which flows to Kunhing region streaming in a large number of ravines and jungles, is embraced by Loikhuk Hill, Loifalyan Hill and Loimonmun Hill.
Thousands of visitors flock to the waterfall on a daily basis but number of picnickers reaches tens of thousands on office holidays and during the Maha Thingyan festival period. Visitors may take a relaxation at the waterfall with services of temporary guesthouses, restaurants and souvenir shops. They may taste domestic cuisines such as sour pork and beef meals as well as fried fish captured from Nampan Creek.
Number of vehicles between 300 and more than 1,000 carrying travellers per day enter the region of Haipa waterfall. Local authorities collect K3,000 per vehicle for the fund of regional development and repaving of the road to the waterfall. But, motorbike riders have exemption of collecting cash.
Moreover, local authorities arrange motorboat services for visitors to wonder around the places of Nampan Creek to be able to enjoy natural scenes and taste domestic foodstuffs. Charge of motorboat is set at K2,000 per passenger and charge of chartered boat K40,000.
Travellers from four corners of the nation may take a relaxation in enjoying beautifully natural scenes at Haipa waterfall and its environs while tasting famous Shan traditional foods such as sour pork and sour beef meals.
By Maung Yin Kyay
Translated by Than Tun Aung