Putao and northern Myanmar

Putao and northern Myanmar

 

The “Hinterland” of this very scenic area are the “Myanmar Himalayas”, the perfect environment for adventure and trekking. It is a particular part of the famous range because almost no foreigners until now have been there, only some British adventurers during colonial times. This mountains are for the adventure oriented people who have been everywhere, seen everything but want to have a controlled risk on exploring new frontiers, not ending up with some mad people like in the many other countries when leaving the beaten tracks.

Mt. Hkakabo Razi (picture below),

South East Asia’s highest peak at 5,900 meters, is located in Kachin State, that’s the far north, close to China.  The peak was conquered for the first time in 1997 by a team of Japanese and Myanmar climbers. The closest bigger town is Putao, a small, quiet place, surrounded by snow-capped peaks stretching from Tibet into Kachin State.

Snow caped ranges with plenty of snow all year long, glaciers and pristine environment, no cable cars, no roads only some tracks, nothing disturbs mother nature.

But this is changing, the biggest problems in recent years have been the steady stream of Chinese poachers who come over the border and destroy the forests.

Since illegal logging was stopped in China a few years because of some natural disaster caused because of it and is seriously pursued now the crooks have relocated to Myanmar and bribe their way through. These are not only foreigners but also local Chinese making a clean sweep as only they have the financial means for this. There are talks with some Thai investors to open a ski resort for winter fun all year round, but nothing happen yet, its probable better when it stays like this.

The higher region is populated with the usual pine, hemlock and silver fir mixed with some larch. From 2,700 meters to 3,700 meters almost pure conifer forests cover the slopes. There is a abundance of hardwoods further below like oak, maple, birch, walnut, chestnut as well as rhododendron and others, but only at regions not accessible by roads, if a region is accessible all trees are immediately cut be Chinese and local poachers.

Steep fields in the valleys around are cultivated. There are gardens of hill rice, maize and millet within patches of colocasia, mixed with cereal crops, cucumbers, gourds and huge marrows.

 

Only slopes facing south to west can be cultivated and the yield is rather poor. Fences have been erected to keep deer, pigs, monkeys and others animals out of the fields.

 

himalaya hkakabo razi hkakaborazi mountain myanmar burma trekking adventure tours

Mt. Hkakabo Razi, not so far from  Putao northern Myanmar

 

The people in the valleys catch fish in thorn-lined conical fish traps, with nets or harpoon. They also eat barking deer, gooral, serow, pheasants and monkeys. When these food sources are scarce, the valley population will eat anything from snails and frogs, to lizards, snakes and wasp grubs.

Myanmar Himalaya Trekking

Myanmar Himalaya Trekking

 

Cold weather mist hangs

over the peaceful and serene surroundings almost 6 months of the year. 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 Yangon. Peoples of the Rawan, Lisu, Khamti-Shan, Jingphaw and Kachin are living in this high region. They make a living in the lower areas by growing paddy, fruits, roots and medical plants.

Grape fruit, American lime, Washington navel fruit, varieties of peaches and oranges grow.

 

Ginseng and musk are plentiful.

 

Many species of orchid and other exotic flora and fauna such as musk deer, takin and flying squirrel are native to this region.
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kachin people myanmar burma

Kachin people

Myanmar Mountains

Himalaya mountain river bridge