Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in the far north of Myanmar, is about 42 kilometres from Myitsone, the confluence of the Maykha and Malikha rivers, which form the famous Ayeyarwady River.
Myitkyina is strategically situated on the overland trade route linking India and China and is the gateway to the world renowned jade mines at Hpakant. The area is also rich in forest products, gold and other minerals. Ethnic minorities in Kachin State include the Jinghpaw, Lachik, Dalaung, Lauwaw, Guari, Lisu, Rawang, Hkahku, Duleng, Atsi and Zaiwa.
Myitkyina is known for the Manau Festival, the vibrant Kachin New Year festival in January where the Kachin and ethnic tribes come together in their colourful costumes to celebrate with traditional dances and song and the drinking of rice wine.
Putao is the northernmost town of Kachin State and is the site of Fort Hertz, built by the British during World War Two. The area around Putao is famous for its indigenous bird species and rare orchids. Many orchid lovers explore the mountains east and west of Putao in the hope of finding the fabulous ‘Black Orchid’. Snow-capped Mt. Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia is visible from Putao as are other mountains at the eastern end of the Himalayas.
Putao is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure travel enthusiasts. Activities available in the area include walking visits to minority villages, mountain biking along jungle paths, elephant treks in the dense forests, and white water rafting.
Bahmo, on the Ayeyarwady River in Kachin State, is a trading centre close to the border with China. Its daily market attracts ethnic minorities such as the Kachin, Lisu and Shan who trade local products and farm produce. Bahmo is also a destination for cruises along the Ayeyarwady from Mandalay. The journey provides opportunities to observe daily life in riverside towns and villages, the Ayeyarwady’s dramatic defiles and Ayeyarwady dolphins.