There’s a lot of buzz around Myanmar at the moment and while most people are rushing to Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake, few will be making their way to the country’s far north.
Putao (formerly known as Hkamti) sits at the foot of Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi. The area is teeming with unusual varieties of plants and animals and because foreigners weren’t allowed there until 1993, there’s still plenty to be discovered. The town is a gateway to lots of stunning mountain trekking and a chance to see the country at its most raw.
There are a handful of tour companies that operate trips to Putao but if you’re going under your own steam you’ll need to apply for a special permit, book way in advance using a Yangon-based agency and be prepared for the twice-weekly flight to be cancelled.