Myitkyina is the capital city of Kachin State, and Bamaw (Bhamo) the second largest city. Myitkyina and Bamaw (Bhamo) are reachable by flight or car. The Kachin people are one of the eight major ethnic groups, who are hill tribes. There are many other tribes in Kachin State. They speak their own dialects and wear their own dress. The people are mostly Christians.
Kachin State shares common border with China. The climate is cool. It is famous for the confluence of the Maekha and Malikha ravines, where the epic Ayeyarwady River. The confluence is about 21 miles by car from Myitkyina and is a famous tourist spot with idyllic landscapes, Pharkamt Jade Mines and Pidaung Game Sanctuary near Myitkyina and the Manao Festival which is very spectacular. There had been brutal fighting between the Allied forces and Japanese forces during the World War II, especially at the area along Ledo Road, which etches out a way through the rocky mountain region. There are about 20 War-time aerodromes in Myitkyina area. Please read the Last Plane from Myitkyina, written by a foreigner who had experienced the invasion by the Japanese forces in Myitkyina. Below Myitkyina, there is the first defile (gorge) of the Ayeyarwady. Mt. Hkakabo Razi (5889 m) is in the northern-most region of Kachin State. The snow-capped peak was first conquered by a Japanese expedition team in the year 1996. Hence Kachin State is a place worth visiting, without which your visit to Myanmar would be incomplete.
Putao is due North of Myitkyina in Kachin State and nearest town to the base camp for climbing the Mt. Hkakabo Razi (5889 metres), the highest mountain in Myanmar. Hill tribe people who come to sell goods at the market can be found. It is located 420 meters above the sea level and surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Rawan, Lisu, Jingphaw and Kachin people are represented in the region. A wide variety of species of orchid and other exotic flora and fauna are native to Putao. Flowing streams and rivulets, straw-roofed houses and fences of pebbles and creek stones provide a pleasant, pastoral contrast to the scenes and sights of modern cities. The suspension bridges are the typical river crossing in this region. This area is famous for its Nature of originated Flora, especially there are many various kinds of orchids and even the world rarest Black orchids can be found in this area. And for fauna, one of the rarest animal species, Takin (Budorcas Taxicolor), Red Panda (Ailurus Fulgens), Black Bears, Black Deer, are all endemic to this region.
Mt. Hkakabozi, located in the northern Myanmar near the Chinese border, is 5885.3 meters high. It is the highest mountain in South East Asia, where the peak is enclosed within National Park to get to the bottom from Putao, it approximately takes 30 daystrekking. In 1997, it was for the first time conquered by a team of Myanmar and Japanese climbers.
Phonekarazi mountain, in the north most part of Myanmar, is situated in Putao township. The snow capped mountains which separate Kachin state in Myanmar from India are the most accessible to Putao. One could trek to Mt Phonekanrazi from the frontier village of Upper Sanggong. From here one could observe along hunting trails through pristine old growth forest and isolated settlements to the Mountain Base. Tribal villages, climax forest and snow capped mountain peaks are a perfect mix of this place.
Kyaing Tong (Eastern Shan State)
Located high in the eastern Shan Hills, it is once of the country's most remote outposts. At one time Kyaing Tong was a Shan capital and this ancient city is the gateway to an area of rugged journeys and exotic sights. The Airport is nothing more than and airstrip and a few bare outbuildings. Several tough looking solidarities clad in jungle gear stand around, casually eyeing the scene as the plane empties its load of passengers. Only two are foreign tourists-the rest Myanmar folk traveling for business or possibly pleasure.
The tribal villages dotted round the hills edging the valley. More than a dozen different tribal groups live around Kyaing Tong . Small villages are dotted through the hills and the vast valley floor, home to at least ten different tribal groups. Living in small communities almost side by side are groups of Ang, Lahu, Ahkha, Akhu, Padaung, Kala, San Chin, Lishu, Pao the headhunting Wa, Khun and Laui. All are living in different stages of development, some still following very traditional ways. A delicious lunch in a local eating house set us off on our mission to visit an animist Ang village an hour or two from town. As we pass the "city limits" the road quickly deteriorates-and we bump along on our Hondas, doding potholes, fording streams and avoiding other road hazards (Cow herds, tractors, raucous tribal folk returning from awed ding). Surrounded by the Jungle Mountains, it is a pleasant pastoral scene that leads us to a side track and into the hills.
In Kyaing tong, the highlights are the Mahamuni Pagoda, Naung Tong Lake, Sunn-Taung Monastery, hot spring, colonial style buildings, an Old Catholic church and terrace farming.
Tachilek it is about 160 km over the mountain, forest, streams and tribal village. It is a border boomtown, not far away from Kengtung by car
It is the capital city of northern Shan State. It is on the Sino-Myanmar Road. The scenery around Lashio is really magical and inviting. It is the trade center between China in Myanmar. From Lashio, you can proceed either to Mandalay or to Muse, is a small border town opposite to Shwe Li (Ruili) of Yunan Province of China.
The western Hill of Myanmar stem from the vast mountain knot in the Tibeto-Chinese borderlands and swing southward through the Naga Hill, Chin Hill and the Rakhine Yoma Mountain Ranges. Among the western Hill, these Chin Hill are formed as Chin State bordering with India and Bangladesh. Chin state is very famous for Mt. Victoria, 3053m in Kanpalat and different kinds of Chin tribes in Mindat. There are four different tattooed faced women in Mindut and Kanpalat region. Mt.Victoria hosts several endemic bird subspecies. It is also the only know locality in Myanmar from which several species typical of the Himalayas have been recorded. A number of other little-know species occur only in the Chin Hills. The White-browed Nuthatch (Sitta victoriae) is found only in mountain forest of Mt. Vicoria. Chin State is beauty with not only nature but also Chin nationality.
The Kayah State covers an area of 4,529.50sq miles to the south of the Shan State. In British times, it was called Kantarawate.
Loikaw of Kayah State
Although Kayah State lies in the tropical zone, it is not as hot as it stands on the plateau, with Loikaw as capital city. The surface of Kayah State is undulating with mountain ranges of Loi Ho Hta (5,522') Si-Hso (5,129') and Hso-Kli Hso (5,150'). The Taung-Kwe stupa, built on the peak of Mt. Taung-Kwe, is worth visiting for tourists. The Thanlwin River flows through it from north to south. Kayah State abounds with fascinating tourist destinations, idyllic sceneries, waterfalls and rapids, interestingly; there is a large natural tunnel, 19 km east of Loikaw. It is so long that nobody can imagine where it ends. The visitors go into it with the help of bamboo torches or powerful bull's eye lanterns. This tunnel in supposed to be a big salt cave.
There are many lakes in Kayah State. A legend has it that they are the places where the Seven Princess of the king of Ngwe-Taung played. It is about 19km to the east of Loikaw. There is well-known Lawpita waterfall on Mt.Lawpita, where there is a hydro-electric power station. A visitor should not miss to visit Nagwe-taung Dam. The main produce of Kayah State is wood, especially teak and some other hardwoods like Ingyin, Padauk, Pyinkdo, Thikado, Pyinma, Thitya and Yinkhat, among others. Frog Drum is the symbol of Kayah State.
The Kayahs are of Mongoloid stock, according to the anthropologists. Till May 5, 1951, Kayah were called Kayinnis. There are many national races in Kayah State, namely the Kayahs, the Yinbaws, the Yintales, the Manumanaws, the Payes, the Gekobs, the Gehas and the Kayans (formerly the Padaungs who, are long-necked tribes). They speak different dialects and practice different culture of each own.
There is Thirimingalar Market as well as twin-peaked mountain in Loikaw, which is very unique and intriguing. Kayah State Day is January 15.
Padaung women wear up to 22 brass-rings around their necks. This depresses their collarbones, making it look as if their necks unnaturally have been stretched. Padaung women are very loyal to their husbands.
Dawei (Tavoy) City
Dawei is the capital city in Taninthary Division, accessible by car, by coastal liner and flight. There is Maungmagan sea beach, which is second Ngapali Resort, in Dawei, about 12 miles by car from Dawei. Dawei is famous for mines, rubber industry and the Dawei Reclining Buddha. Dawei people speak Dawei dialect.
Myeik (Mergui) City
Myeik is the second largest city after Dawei. It is the city of islands called Myeik Archipelago. It is and ideal place for study of marine biology, addible bird nests and sea foods, especially mother-of-pearl. Myeik is accessible by flight, car and coastal liner.
Way in the south of the country, accessible from the town of Kawthaung, close to the Thailand borders is the marine wonderland of Lumpi, one of 800 islands of the Myeik archipelago. This up market resort is being marketed as a water sports haven as well as pleasant getaway.
It is an exotic island of Myeik archipelago of 800 islands. It is an ideal place for scenery and evergreen forest wildlife, beach and dune forests and tidal mangroves, marine mammals (dolphins) and marine turtles and Salon people who are experts in sea life.