- (Thibaw)One of the most important of the old Shan States, located in the northern part of modern Shan State, near Lashio. It comprised 11,891 square kilometers (4,591 square miles), and because of its geographic proximity to Upper Burma was deeply influenced by Burmese culture. Its sawbwas were tributaries of the Toungoo and Konbaung Dynasties. Well endowed with natural resources, it was one of the few Shan States to be opened to rail transportation during the colonial period, including the Goktheik Viaduct, which, when it was built over 100 years ago by American engineers, was the world's second-highest railway bridge. An important aspect of local commerce was the trade in tea, grown by upland Palaungs. The Bawgyo Pagoda, located near Hsipaw town, is one of the most important Buddhist sites in Shan State. The last sawbwa of Hsipaw, the Western-educated Sao Kya Hseng, was an outspoken critic of Tatmadaw abuses in his state, and he disappeared after Ne Win closed down parliamentary government in March 1962. Inge Sargent, an Austrian national who was the Hsipaw Mahadevi (the sawbwa's chief queen), wrote about her experiences in Hsipaw in Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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