Ecotourism (Nature Tourism) in Myanmar

Trekking in Putao, Kachin State

(text compiled by Paul Bates, Harrison Institute)

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Trekking in Putao, Kachin State

Putao is a small and picturesque town in northern Kachin State. Situated in a flat valley in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 440 metres, it has an international reputation as a trekking centre and as the starting point for both soft and hard trekking tours - the latter requiring considerable stamina and technical skills in the higher mountains.

Most treks provide opportunities for visitors to see local village life and experience the culture of the Lisu, Kanti Shan and Rawan tribes people. Depending on the length and scope of the trips, there are also opportunities to visit wilder, more remote areas. Here trekkers can enjoy walking through forests, crossing streams on a range of suspension bridges, observing the rich bird fauna (further information), listening to wild gibbons calling, photographing wild flowers, and staying overnight in simple village accommodation, guest houses or tents. For the most intrepid, treks include climbing to the snow line on mountains such Hkakabo Razi, which at 5,881 metres is Myanmar/Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, and Phongan Razi (3,635 metres), which is snow-capped from November to April.

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It should be noted that permission is needed to visit Putao and this may take up to two months to obtain, so visitors need to book ahead. At times the security situation in the area surrounding Putao may give cause for concern and no permits will be issued. It is also worth noting that accommodation in Putao may be full at peak times (November to April), so again it is a good idea to book early. In the rainy season (May to November), there are very few visitors, travelling is difficult and many tourist facilities are closed.

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Trekking tours from Putao include:

Myanmar Eco Travels and Tours Company Ltd Tour 1
Mountain Kingdoms Tour 1, Tour 2
SST Travel Tour 1, Tour 2, Tour 3
Let’s Go Myanmar Tour 1
Columbus Travel and Tour Tour 1
Bravo Travels and Tours Co. Ltd Tour 1, Tour 2, Tour 3, Tour 4
Go-Myanmar.com Tour 1
Travel Expert Tour 1
Indochina Holidays Tour 1
Green Tea Asia Travel Tour 1
Authentic Myanmar Tour 1
Tours in Myanmar Tour 1, Tour 2, Tour 3, Tour 4
Marco Polo Travels and Tours Tour 1
Nandar Kan Travel Tour 1, Tour 2, Tour 3
Asia Central Link Tour 1
Ideal Land Travel Tour 1, Tour 2, Tour 3, Tour 4
AMB Travels and Tours Tour 1
Yangon Tours Tour 1
Myanmar City Star Travel and Tours Tour 1
Expeditions Myanmar Tour 1, Tour 2
Golden Pagoda Travel Tour 1
Miraculous Myanmar Travel and Tours Co Ltd Tour 1

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Visitor Reports

There are some interesting reports on trekking from Putao posted on the internet, including a gentle trek (further information) and a longer trip (further information).

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