Since Myanmar is the largest country in South-East Asia, Grand Lotus Tours has many alternatives to offer you.
Myitkyina is the capital city of Kachin State and home to ethnic groups of Jinphaw, Maru, Lashi, Lisu, Rawang and Azi people, collectively known as Kachins. They are known as Jinpo in China while on the other side of the border in India, they are called the Singpo.
Endowed with rich natural resources and great biodiversity, this area is famous for its thousand tons jade boulders extracted from nearby mines. It also boasts a harmonic beauty thanks to it’s colourful ethnic diversity.
Kachin are known for their frankness, friendliness, hospitality and gracious generosity. Most Kachin have converted to Christianity and modernized their daily clothing. However, typical traditional costumes are worn on special ceremonial occasions and of course, during the Manaw Festival.
Situated in the state of Kachin, Bhamo is a trading post barely 50 miles from the Chinese border in the foothill of Yunnan and has suffered frequent incursions over the centuries. Nowadays, it is home to a daily market which attracts many ethnic minorities to the town.
Adventurous travellers will enjoy the local boat trip from Bhamo to Mandalay that takes you through lush jungle, bamboo forests and spectacular steep rock gorges. Magnificent mountain scenery, the great Ayeyarwaddy River and a fascinating mix of people from many different ethnic minorities are all features of this intriguing state.
Myitkyina and the Manaw
Grand Lotus Tours offers a special theme trip which coincides with the Manaw Festival, the traditional Kachin New Year celebration. Manaw is the most spectacular event as well as a unique holy tradition in Kachin State. It is usually held in the winter when the sky is blue and the weather fine.
Anyone can participate in the Manaw and visitors are welcome. You’ll enjoy watching or participating in traditional dancing to the rhythmic beat of the ceremonial gong. The Kachin, all dressed up in their colorful ceremonial attire follow the lead dancer.
Manaw festival usually flows with an abundant supply of Kachin rice beer (Tsa pyi) and a potent rice liquor known as celestial sweat (Lamu Salat), both brewed from glutinous rice.
Myitkyina is the principal city of Kachin State and the commercial hub of the north. The highlights of Myitkyina include Karing Naw Park, the Sutaungpyi Pagoda, a Reclining Buddha, the Andawshin Pagoda and the Cultural Museum, where you will find art objects and artifacts that reflect the traditions and cultural heritages of the Kachin people and the Kachin “Manaw” Garden.
Also worth mentioning, a visit to the colorful Myitkyina local market and Myit Sone, at the confluence of the Nmaikha and the Malihka Rivers. Rushing down from Mt.Hkakabo Razi, these 2 rivers meet and flow together, thus forming the famous Ayeyarwaddy River.
Have lunch at the confluence and you’ll be served delicious barbecued fish fresh from the river. A short boat cruise along the Ayeyarwaddy River can be arranged after lunch.
On the way back to Myitkyina, visit Shalom Peace Centre, a local youth training center for rural development and Jawbum Centenary Prayer Tower, built to commemorate the introduction of Christianity into Kachin land. It sits on a nice hillock overlooking the scenic landscape of Kachin hills, an ideal spot for enjoying the mountain sunset. If time allows, visit theTan Phe village to see the elephants at work lugging large teak wood trunks.
Putao, a town amidst the U shape mountain range and situated far north of Myanmar in Kachin State is famous for Myanmar snow capped icy mountains at the eastern end of the Himalayan range. Putao was once known as FORT HERTZ, in honor of the British District, Capt. Hertz. The original fort still can be seen.
The local tribes who live in this area are of Tibetan extraction. The Rawan, Lisu, Tai Hkamti, including the last remaining member of the Tarong tribe.
Visit to Kaung Hum Lon Pagoda, the Ancient Pagoda built by King Asoka, on route visit Ser Khuan Dam, a Rawang Village and proceed to the pagoda by barge across the Malikha River and a short walk. Travel to Ma Chan Baw village, a village 25 Km to the east and on the way, cross the Malikha Suspension Bridge. Visit the morning market and the town including Gubar Yeik Thar (Bungalow) built on the bank of the River with scenic view (never fails to impress visitors). Then proceed to Mulasheedee village (13 Km from Putao, 30 minutes drive), the origin of Christianity in these places and walk through the Mulasheedee rope suspension bridge and visit of the Stone Dragon. Take an excursion to Shan Su village, where the ethnic Lisu live, and Pan Hlaing and Namkham villages where the Khamti Shan live, there you may experience and observe the life of the Lisu and Khamti Shan, and visit to the Monastery Mahamyatmuni pagoda.
The area around Putao is famous for the variety of natural rare orchids. The most famous orchid is called the “Black Orchid”. Grand Lotus Tours can arrange a special trip so you can explore the mountainous Putao region.
The best time to visit Putao is from October to April. You have the choice of three distinct seasons to choose from. October and November is the harvest time, with hues of brilliant green and perfect visibility. Nights are extremely pleasant at this time of the year, allowing you to sit comfortably outdoors well into the late evening. December to February brings beautiful crisp spring like days and cold starry nights. This is the best time for viewing the snowcapped mountains that surround Putao. March and April see a return to warmer days and nights and the first occasional showers before the monsoon hits in late May.
We recommend that you spend at least three nights in Putao so you can take part in the many activities the area offers such as trekking, rafting, kayaking and the river cruise.