With a lousy road and a sleepy village look, Namshan may appear to have always been a sleepy backwater but, not so long ago it was the capital of the Shan State of Tawngpeng (Taungbaing). The region, and its capital, have declined economically since the abolition of the Sao Pha in 1952.
A rough ride from Hsipaw on a very bad road (avoidable during the rainy season) is the only way to get to this village. The easiest is to ride pillion on a motorcycle (available in Hsipaw). The occasional truck that makes the journey may let you hitch a ride for a small fee. Update June 2012: Pickups go from Hsipaw to Namshan daily. Price: 6000 kyats per person. It takes 6 hours to drive the 80kms! Ask at Mr Kid if you are staying there(Mr Charles apparently will tell you the only way to get there is to take a tour with his guest house). In March 2014 Namhsan has been restricted for tourists since approx half a year. Special permit is needed (which obviously takes time and money to arrange) to enter the town or even start the trek to Hsipaw there
The town is small and it is easy to walk everywhere, not that there is any other form of transport available!
Trekking, either from Namshan to Hsipaw (possible without a guide, ask for map at guest house) or in the mountains around Namshan with a guide. Both are excellent, with beautiful scenary and villages. The price for a guide is very reasonable.
There are 3 restaurants in the village, at least one chinese and one burmese. These close quite early in the evening. The tea is some of the best in Myanamar.
There is only one 'hotel' in the village that accepts foreign nationals (not clear if it is licenced to do so). US$1 or US$2 for a bed and blankets in a shared room. It is unlikely that you'll have to share the room though. Update June 2012: Rooms are available for 3500 kyats per person.
None with the outside world. There may be a phone service for domestic call but, if there is one, it is not at all evident.