Skip to main content
Campaigning for an open, accountable and responsible tourism industry in Burma/Myanmar
facebook link  Twitter link  rsss-feed


Nestled high in the mountains at the northern tip of Myanmar is the remote town of Putao. This is the area famous for having both the highest mountain and the only snowfall region in South East Asia.  Putao and the surrounding Kachin region shares borders with China and India and the area is characterized by cool temperatures, huge expanses of mountains, small farming towns, diverse ethnic groups, dense evergreen forests and an immense array of unique flora and fauna. Putao was formally known as Fort Hertz and was considered the British Empire's most remote outposts. Built in 1914-15, this town was one of the only spots not to come under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Putao and the surrounding area is only visited by a handful of tourists every year, not least due to the fact that a) you need special government permission to get there ($$$), b) you can only fly there ($$$) and c) other parts of Kachin State are in the midst of ethnic conflict. Most tourists come to take advantage of the environment and trekking options. This stunning area is the easternmost tip of the Himalayan Mountains and includes the impressive Hkakabo Razi Mountain that stands at 5881 meters high. This mountain was only climbed to the top in 1996 and remains a stunning spot for keen climbers to explore. Besides mountains, visitors can enjoy the remarkable scenery in the area; the suspension bridges over fast-flowing rivers, isolated villages, windy mountain trails, stunning plants including numerous unique orchids and endangered animals. It is also possible to arrange mountain biking, elephant treks and rafting through this stunning region.

The remote Putao is only accessible by air and travel is restricted. Tourists must be granted permission by the Myanmar Travels and Tours to enter the region. The majority of visitors to the area come on pre-arranged package tours that include costs for activities, accommodation and meals. Independent travelers may have trouble arranging some aspects of a visit to the area or find that their application for a visit permit is denied without being part of an approved tour.