Ecotourism (Nature Tourism) in Myanmar

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Introduction to Climbing/Mountaineering in Myanmar

(text compiled by Paul Bates, Harrison Institute)

 

Climbing/Mountaineering

Myanmar has great potential to become the premier centre for climbing/mountaineering in Southeast Asia.

Home to the eastern Himalayas, it is the only country in the region to have snow-capped peaks higher than 5,000 metres. It is also home to about a quarter of the 57 peaks in Southeast Asia, which exceed 3,000 metres in height (further information).

In addition, there is a strong, historical heritage of exploring Myanmar’s frozen northern mountains. In the early 19th century, the renowned botanist Francis Kingdon-Ward was particularly active in the region and published a number of accounts of his plant-hunting expeditions in Kachin.

Subsequently, in 1960, the Myanmar Hiking and Mountaineering Association was established with the primary aim of promoting an interest in climbing amongst Myanmar citizens. However, until recently, relatively little mountaineering has taken place.

Today, the Technical Climbing Club of Myanmar, founded in 2009, is once more promoting the exploration of Myanmar’s spectacular mountains (further information).

 

Currently there are three areas in Myanmar which are known for climbing.

Climbing in Putao/ Mount Hkakabo Razi

The most famous and ambitious area for climbing is in Kachin State. Here, climbers focus on Mount Hkakabo Razi, which at 5,881 metres, is Myanmar and Southeast Asia’s highest mountain. Access to the mountain is by way of Putao, which is a centre for trekking (further information) and bird watching (further information) and possesses the nearest airfield. However, with few roads and a distance between the mountain and Putao of 440 km, the round trip, including the ascent can take many weeks, a lot of porters, much expertise and a great deal of expense! There are a number of fascinating and beautifully illustrated reports published on various ascents of this mountain, namely Report 1, Report 2, and Report 3.

Myanmar City Star Travel and Tours Contact 1, Contact 2

 

Climbing in Hp-an area

Hpa-an in Kayin State, southeaster Myanmar is much more accessible than the northern mountains.

With its limestone karst scenery, huge caves and wonderful scenery, the emphasis here is less on mountaineering and more on technical climbing.

Mountain Project Contact 1

 

Climbing in Mandalay area

The rocky cliffs at Yaedagon Taung (Waterfall Hill), to the east of Mandalay, on the western escarpment of the Shan Plateau, provide a training ground for those interested to learn and improve their rock-climbing skills.

Mountain Project Contact 1