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A visit to the completely isolated Putao region is a wonderful addition to any trip to Myanmar, offering a glimpse of undisturbed nature that few travelers ever see. Inhabited by the Hkamti Shan people, the region was once known as Hkamti Long, or "great place of gold", and borders both China and India. Because of the incredibly mountainous terrain, little to no infrastructure links Putao with the rest of the world.
The climate of the region is highly diverse, ranging from subtropical valleys to alpine peaks, creating lush biodiversity perfect for eco-travel. Favorite sights and activities include hiking or biking through the diverse landscape and varied climes of Hkakabo Razi National Park; birdwatching in the Putao Valley; and rafting the exciting, dynamic Nam Lang River.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall has been visiting Myanmar since 1993. He prefers to escape to remote areas such as Loikaw & the Chin State, as well as sailing in the Mergui Islands.
Explore Hkakabo Razi National Park, home to Hkakabo Razi, Southeast Asia’s highest mountain. Part of the southern reaches of the Himalayas, the summit at 19,295 feet is one of the region’s main attractions for intrepid mountaineers, but the park itself is rich in wildlife and flora, and an exceptional place for exploring the natural beauty of the land. The park is mountainous and mostly filled with broad-leaved rainforest, but its close proximity to the alpine peaks has led to exceptional biodiversity, much of which has yet to be discovered.
Go birding around the Putao Valley. While only 127 species have been recorded so far, it is believed that many more unidentified species make their home in the lush Alung Dung valley. Known species include the Great Hornbill, Collared Myna, Collared Treepie, Brown Dipper, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Silver-eared Mesia, Red-faced Liocichla, White-bellied Yuhina, Burmese Shrike and Green-backed Tit. In addition, the region boasts a wide range of butterflies, and over 523 species of orchids & rhododendrons.
Trek through the wilderness to visit Fort Hertz, one of the most isolated British fortresses in the history of the Empire. During World War II, Fort Hertz was cut off from the outside world for months after the Japanese occupied Burma; amazingly, it remained in British hands, and became one of the main bases for resistance to the Japanese occupation.
Climb Phogun Razi. Located by the Myanmar–India border, Phogun Razi’s peak lies at 11,433 feet, making it a suitable trek for those wishing to scale the Himalayas. The trek will take you out of the subtropic rainforest and into a semi-deciduous forest, a notable change in climate as well as flora and fauna. From the peak, admire the lush valley and the distant mountains lining the horizon.
Go whitewater rafting on the Nam Lang River. A full day’s trip will take you through the mountains north of the hotel and into the exhilarating rapids that pass through them. Enjoy the pristine water rushing past you as you navigate technical rapids through tight bedrock canyons; once the danger has passed, enjoy your leisurely float downstream, which will drop you off at the foot of your hotel.
After a scenic hike, visit an ethnic village in the vicinity. Because of the region’s proximity to India and China, a highly diverse tribal community exists, with Kachin, Shan, and even Naga people living within the area. After meeting with the locals and speaking with them about their lifestyle, browse the local market and see some of the handiwork of the villagers for sale.
True to the original meaning of its name, Hkamti Long is still a place to find natural reserves of gold; the area provides work for panners, which remains one of the region’s most lucrative jobs.
Discover Myanmar’s charming Putao region on this exciting 5-day luxury journey. Have close encounters with local Lisu, Rewang and Shan villagers, explore the Nam Lang River on the back of an elephant, take a scenic cruise down the Malikha river, and see the area by bike, while staying at the cozy Malikha Lodge.
Explore Myanmar’s great outdoors on this exhilarating 14-day adventure. You’ll make friends with local villagers, check out Bagan’s 2,000 temples, cruise down the legendary Inle Lake, raft the exciting Malikha river, and stay in some of Myanmar’s most luxurious hotels, like the iconic Governor’s Residence.
Enjoy an exhilarating 6-day luxury adventure through the Himalayan foothills to the west of the Nam Lang River. You’ll meet friendly members of the Lisu and Rawang tribes, hike through lush jungles, and enjoy stunning scenes from high-up viewpoints, while staying in comfortable local guesthouses.
On the west side of the Nam Lang River, there lies a nearly undiscovered way of life waiting to be explored. Enjoy this unique opportunity, and insight into old world culture on this six-day Ziya Dum Trekking itinerary. Travel by car and foot in Yangon, Putao, Upper Shanguang, Wason Dum, Ziya Dum, Hkalan Dum and Kyauk Sein Taung....
Travelers visiting the rather off-the-beaten-track Northern Kachin State, can bask in the glory of this cozy resort perched high above the Nam Lang River with spectacular views of mountains and rice terraces. Malikha Lodge, designed by world famous architect Jean-Michel Gathy of Aman Resorts, exudes the sought-after feeling of luxury and seclusion in a wilderness setting. The central feature of the resort is the two blazing log fires in the main lodge, where guests come to gather around for drinks, dining or just pure relaxation. The resort is enveloped in well-manicured lawns and exotic gardens, which are carefully landscaped to merge into pockets of bamboo and jungle. The eight fully furnished bungalows are traditional in style though contain all modern conveniences. The lay out of the lodge creates a sense of idyllic village life in an open garden paradise. Activities range from short jungle treks to river diving, mountain biking, scenic rafting trips and kayaking. The Puta-O area is popular for its scenic forests and nature. Guests can enjoy walking and boat rides on nearby Mula Creek to really connect with the areaâ€™s unique surroundings. Look out for the various species of birds, rare butterflies, and beautiful wild orchids. In keeping with the feeling of a private house party, the in-house chefs prepare a choice of set menus daily. The theme is refined continental country style in keeping with the wilderness mountain location.