Northeastern Myanmar Travel Guide

Home to several different ethnic groups, northeastern Myanmar is a region less traveled. From the Gokteik Bridge- the highest viaduct in the world- built in 1901, to the old Shan Palace in Hsipaw, it is a region that will delight intrepid travelers and lovers of history. Special permits must be obtained before entering much of the region, and much of the territory is uncharted.

Bordering India to the north and China to the east, Kachin state is home to Maru, Lisy, Yawyin and Jinghpaw people. Permits must be obtained to get into the region, but such beauty deserves to be visited. Spot rare birds by the majestic Indawgyi Lake, and admire the Meihka and Malihka rivers in state capital, Myitkyina.

In Hpakant, known as ‘Jade City’, you will find a large number of jade mines from where Imperial jade comes. Witness the different tribes come together at the Manao Festival each January. Watch the incredible slow group dance, and notice how no one touches anyone else, and then join in the feasting and celebrations.

Puta O, lying in the northern part of the Hukaung Valley, is regarded as being the ‘Switzerland of Myanmar’ because of its snow capped peaks. Intrepid trekkers will enjoy Hkakabo Razi, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, and home to tribes of Lisu, Kachin and other groups.

Mount Hka Ka Borazi is a popular place for mountain climbers and hikers to explore. Stunning waterfalls and icy streams can be found here. The surrounding areas are made up of rainforest, evergreen and alpine scrub. The rather inaccessible Ice Mountains are amongst the most pristine of areas of the Himalayas. Amongst virgin forest and beautiful wild orchids, the mountain is a popular place for trekkers.

Spot rare wild animals in the Hka Ka Borazi region, such as blue sheep, black beaking deer, leaf deer, impeyan pheasant and blood pheasant. Eco tourists will love the diversity of the wildlife and the pristine conditions of the natural surroundings.

Travelers to northeast Myanmar will soon be familiar with members of the Lisu tribe. Living in remote hilltops, the Lisu are recognized by their women’s long embroidered aprons. Their jackets are usually adorned with beadwork and chains of silver coins. These days, however, the men often wear western dress.