Northern Myanmar

Welcome to Myanmar Himalayan region and Putao valley !  Northern most part of Myanmar is truly one of the last unexplored wildernesses in Asia waiting for adventurers and explorers. 

Putao town is located in flat and fertile valley at 457m (1,499ft) altitude. Putao is small slow paced sparsely built town by the Namlang River where you may see cows on the streets than cars. On clear day you will see in the far horizon snow capped rugged Himalayan Mountains.

Putao is access point for trekking expeditions and climbing trips to the highest mountains in South East Asia. Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m (19 294ft) tall has been only climbed by only few mountaineers. The expedition to reach the base of the mountain takes at least one month.

Myanmar’s northern most part shares border with India Arunachal Pradesh, China and Tibet.

trekking in putao

Nature in Myanmar Himalaya and Putao

Putao valley and surrounding region’s nature, flora and fauna are very special. Some orchid enthusiast make their way here in search for the rare Black Orchid.  Eastern part Himalaya has been haven for wildlife due to its remoteness hard accessibility. Many areas are still uncharted and scientists are discovering in average three dozen new species annually.

The vegetation varies greatly with altitude. When trekking in Putao you will start from thick subtropical forests and bamboo groves and ascend to cloud forests with rhododendron trees covered in moss and lichen, on higher mountain slopes you will arrive to sub-alpine forest and will meet the tree line at around 3500m altitude.

Trekking in Myanmar Himalaya

People in Putao and Myanmar Himalaya

Kachin, Rawang and Lisu ethnic people dominate this region. Most of the people here are Christians but follow some animistic traditions and believes in their daily lives. Like elsewhere in Myanmar the locals are welcoming and friendly.

We encourage you to visit some villages outside Putao town to experience traditional and authentic ways of life. These encounters are great for both when they are conducted respecting local culture.

trekking in putao

Trekking in Putao & other activities

All trekking tours start from Putao whether short treks or expeditions to remote peaks. Putao is also good base for white water rafting and kayaking trips on the Namlang and Malikha rivers.

Trekkers can enjoy day walks to villages and return back to Putao for comfortable accommodation for the night.
On multi-day village treks  accommodation will be in simple local trekking lodges or village houses. The longer trekking peak trips will require camping in the wilderness.

trekking in myanmar

Flights to Putao

Several airlines fly to Putao weekly. Asian Wings and Myanma National Airlines (previously know as Myanma Airlines) fly from Mandalay to Putao with a stop in Myitkyina.

It is also possible to fly from Yangon. The aircraft will always make stops in Mandalay and Myitkyina before continuing to Putao. With flights to Putao you need to be aware that if there is fog or low visibility air traffic control may delay or even cancel flights until weather clears up.

Permits to Putao

Putao is still considered special region and pre-arranged travel permits are required for travel to Putao and beyond. The permits will be obtained from Naypyitaw in advance by your local travel company who is arranging the tour.

The current permit application time is approx. 1-2 weeks. Discovery DMC can arrange this for you.

Hotels in Putao

Accommodation choices are still very limited in Putao. There two over priced guest houses that are very basic.
Next one up is the Putao Trekking Lodge which is our favourite with cozy facilities and mid range pricing.

Recently opened Putao Resort presents also high standards in Putao but has less character than the Trekking Lodge.
The supreme luxury choice Malikha Lodge has been on and off operation during the last years. Check with Discovery DMC sales team if they are back in business again. 

What can I get in Putao?

Get all important supplies and gear before flying up north. There is fresh market in the center of Putao where you can buy some food items and handicrafts. You might find some cookies, chocolate and local snacks and China made winter clothing.

Hats and gloves or mittens you can find here but don’t count on being able to buy trekking shoe or equipment or warm clothes in Putao. If they are not Asian size they will be low quality and not durable and not breathable.

Trekking in Myanmar Himalaya

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Trekking in Myanmar Himalaya

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