Northern Myanmar

Myitkyina

The capital and largest town of Kachin State is an important trade centre between China and Myanmar. It is an ideal starting point for excursions to tribal villages, jade mines and the Myitsone River confluence, about 40 kilometres north, where two Himalayan streams – Mehka and Malikha – meet to form the mighty Ayeyarwady River. Kachin State is renowned for its scenic natural beauty; from untouched jungle to Mount Hkakaborazi, the highest point in Myanmar at 5,889 metres and climbed for the first time only in 1996. This mountain area in the far north is largely untouched by tourism.The Kachin woollen bag with silver trinkets is one of the souvenir for Kachin people.

 

Bhamo (Bamaw)

Bhamo is located on the Ayeyarwady River about 186 kilometres south of the Kachin State capital Myitkyina. It lies just 65 kilometres from the border with China’s Yunnan Province and the population consists of Chinese and Shan, with Kachin people living mostly in the hills around the town. Bhamo was an important trading post with the Chinese Empire up to the 19th century, when copper coins from China flowed into Burma through the city. VOC (United Dutch East India Company) records identified these copper coins as an important source of profit, and also mention the presence of a Customs Office in Bhamo to regulate the border trade. As of 1935 the town was situated at the highest navigable point of the river, and was the terminus of caravan routes from India and Burma, by which jade, in particular, was brought into China. Bhamo was once called Sampanago, the capital of the long-disappeared Shan kingdom of Manmaw. The ruins of the old city walls, dating from the fifth century, can be found some 5 kilometres from the modern town.

 

Putao

Putao in Kachin State is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is cool the whole year round. Flowing streams and rivulets, straw-roofed houses and fences of pebbles and creek stones provide a pleasant, pastoral contrast to the scenes and sights of modern cities. Suspension bridges are the typical river crossing in this region, which features populations of Rawang, Lisu, Khamti-Shan, Jingphaw and Kachin people. It is the nearest town to the base camp for climbing Mountt Hkakhaborazi. Putao is the starting point for Myanmar's most adventurous trekking adventures and is a 30-minute flight from Myitkyina. Mountt. Hkakabo Razi, the highest snow-capped mountain in South East Asia. 19,269 feet (5881 meter) high and a very important watershed area for the eastern Ayeyarwady river (Nmai Hka). The flagship trek of the area lies more than 440 kilometer away from nearest airstrip which takes nearly 6 weeks to complete. The route passes through the 1472-square-mile Hkakaborazi National Park. Apart from this there are several smaller peaks such as Mountt. Lancrumadin of 3495 meters. Mountt. Phongun Razi of 3485 meters, Mountt. Phangran Razi of 4450 meters,Mountt. MadweRazi of 4500 meters and Mt. Slimatdin of 4800 meters etc which can be scaled by trekker with normal physical condition.