Putao is the northernmost town of Kachin State, Myanmar. It is the principal town in Putao Township. It can only be reached by road during summer (for locals), but is accessible year round by air if there are sufficient tourist groups to justify a plane. The area around Putao is famous for the variety of endemic birds and rare orchids, which grow naturally. Many orchid lovers are especially attracted by the so-called “Black Orchid” that can be found in the mountains east and west of Putao. Hkakabo Razi and other snow-capped mountains are visible from Putao. Putao also attracts enthusiasts, hiking to Hkakabo Razi base camp, located close to Tahaundam.
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.
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.
Putao Trekking House
Putao Trekking House is atmospheric, reasonably well-equipped and built sympatheticaly to blend with the local villages. The string it has to its bow are the staff, who are mainly by Lisu and Rawan people from the surrounding villages. Local knowledge becomes sage advice.
The wooden bungalows have shady wooden interiors, crisp white linens and little in the way of complication – add only an en-suite bathroom with a hot/cold shower and a private verandah. That’s all you need.
Food is local, honest fare and the bar upholds the cozy, homes-spun atmosphere.
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