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Hsipaw, Myanmar This article is about the town. For the present-day administrative division, see Hsipaw Township. For the former state, see Hsipaw State.

Hsipaw (Shan: ???????; Tai Nuea: ??? ????), also known as Thibaw (Burmese: ?????), is the principal town of Hsipaw Township in Shan State, Myanmar on the banks of the Duthawadi River. It is 200 kilometres (120 mi) north-east of Mandalay.

Table of contents
  1. History
  2. Shan Saopha


The capital of Hsipaw was originally On Baung. From the 1450s, it was a faithful vasal of the Kingdom of Ava (1364-1527). After the fall of the latter before the Shans, a prince of On Baung, Sao Hkhun Mong, was crowned King of Ava (1543-1546). A few decades later, King Bayinnaung, who reigned in Hanthawaddy Kingdom, sent an army against On Baung, whose prince, like the other Shan princes, had to recognize his sovereignty to keep his throne (1557). The shans also had to cede part of their states, including Mogok, but the prince of On Baung obtained confirmation of his pre-eminence over the other shans princes.

The dynasty of On Baung was maintained, paying tribute to the successive Burmese dynasties: Toungoo dynasty (1535-1752) then Konbaung dynasty (1752-1885). In 1714, its capital was transferred to Hsipaw. Sao Kya Tung was his Saopha for the King of Burma Mindon Min, as a reward for his help against Pagan Min.

In February 2021, the Tatmadaw attacked the Restoration Council of Shan State's camps in Hsipaw Township, breaking the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) according to the RCSS.

Shan Saopha

Main article: Hsipaw State

Hsipaw State was perhaps one of the most well known and powerful saopha Shan States. According to the biography of Sao Nang Hearn Hkam (the chief wife, Madhidevi of Sao Shwe Thaik, the first president of Myanmar and another saopha of Hsenwi), Hsipaw, along with Kengtung and Yawnghwe were the wealthiest and most powerful saopha states in Shan State.

The Saophas played fluctuating roles in regional Shan and national Burmese politics from the 11th century all the way until the 1962 military coup by General Ne Win.

Hsipaw is famous for the Bowgoy Pagoda, situated in Bowgoy Village about 6 miles (9.7 km) away from Hsipaw.

Princes of Hsipaw Pretender

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