Putao valley is one of the last untouched Himalayan paradises with towering, snow-capped mountains and dramatic valleys cut through by white water rapids. Bordered by China, Tibet and India, the town is located at similar latitude as Bhutan and situated 1,499ft/457m above sea level.
The fertile valley is encircled by forests of bamboo and sub alpine species, lush jungles that have rarely been traversed by foreign visitors.
Kachin, Rawang and Lisu ethnic minority villages dot the area, and determined missionaries have made Christianity the dominant religion here. Receiving only a few hundred foreign visitors per year, Putao offers unmatched potential for eco-tourism, adventure and exploration of the sub Himalayan wilderness.
Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak for example, rises 5,881 metres and from town would take one month to reach just the base due to the unexplored nature of the paths.
Trekking in Putao
Last village trek
The most popular trekking tour from Putao is the Last Village trek to Ziadum. Starting from Upper Sangaung village at 1000 masl you will trek over a lush mountain range and descend to Wasandum Rawang minority village for the nights stay. Next day we follow a river valley most of the way to Ziadum village also known as the last villages as there is no further population on Myanmar side. Ziadum Rawang village is a cluster of 20 or so houses. Read more
Phonekanrazi Peak (Phongan) – approx. 3400masl
Phongan located near India border is most commonly climbed peak in Northern Myanmar, the access is from Ziadum. The ascent requires at least 2 nights camping on the mountain. Phongan is a moderate trekking peak the climb contours mostly forested ridges passing through cloud forest. The upper part of the mountain has snow cover and thin bamboo. There are still few trees growing on the summit where you can enjoy great views to the surrounding mountain valleys.
It is easier to climb up Phonekanrazi than coming down which can be arduous for knees as there is not much traversing. It is one long slope coming down.
Other notable and impressive trekking peaks in the Putao region are:
Mt Phonyin Razi
Towering 14050 ft (4282 meters) above the sea. This is one of the most beautiful and impressive peaks of the region. Generally covered with snow between November and May the mountain is situated about 80 kilometer North West of Putao near Myanmar – Indian border.
The 12 Days trek to Phonyin Razi is very challenging but also rewarding. This expedition style trek will take you far away from any human habitation and climbs up through jungle, to rhododendron and alpine forests to snow capped summit. Read more
To climb these you will need 2-3 weeks time.
Bird watching in Putao
Putao offers great opportunities for bird watching and nature exploration. You can do day trips from trekking houses / lodges or camp with your guide and do day excursions in the wilderness.