An overview of Putao
Putao is located in the snow-capped mountainous region of northern Myanmar, which is also home to Hkakabo Razi - the highest mountain in the county, and a peak which is also widely considered to be the highest in Southeast Asia at 5,881 metres. Although Putao is situated in the Himalayan foothills, it resides in a lush, green landscape which includes dense woodlands, large forests and wonderful natural scenery. The climate can be moderate and comfortable at certain times of the year, despite the cold, imposing mountainous landscapes that act as a perfectly picturesque backdrop for the town. The dry season (November to March) is widely considered to be the most suitable time to visit region but it still can be quite cool during the evenings so it is important to pack suitable warm and cold weather clothing.
From a cultural perspective, the area surrounding Putao is home to several indigenous tribes and settlements, including the Khamti people (also known as the Hkamti Shan people). Although these tribes are reducing in number, they still represent a fascinating example of the peoples that have resided in the region for hundreds of years, as well as the Lisu &NungRawang tribes that also reside in the region too. You will get to experience unique cultural insights that include visits to markets, monasteries and even schools that are increasingly difficult to encounter within other regions throughout Southeast Asia.
Due to its geographical isolation, the northern Kachin State region can be a difficult area to visit, and in some cases, it is only possible to do so by air. As the region is famous for its diverse flora and fauna (most notably the wild orchids that are found there in abundance), large sections have been designated national park status. As a result of this designation, it is now considered to be an emerging ecotourism destination that has remained largely unchanged by humans and a wonderful example of a rural Burmese environment. This also means that the region can provide incredible trekking opportunities and a whole host of other adventure activities too. Indeed, it is possible to visit the stunning vistas on foot, by bike or even by raft for those with a thirst for excitement and an adrenaline rush. It is important to note that different activities will require different levels of fitness, and some of the more challenging opportunities – such as mountain climbing – are only advisable if you have sufficient experience and a high standard of fitness. However, if you do meet these requirements, Putao can offer a range of different mountainous treks (including scaling Hkakabo Razi) which will afford you incredible panoramas of the Himalayas and the small, remote settlements that dot the landscapes below.