Putao Adventure


Tours in and around Putao, during british days it was known as Fort Hertz, are still a big adventure.
Tours must be pre-arranged to organize the cars, accommodation, porters and food for the trekking tours.

putao-01What to do in and around Putao?

Putao (402 m above sea-level) has a lot to offer for Hikers, natural enthusiasts and adventure Travellers. Many different tribal villages can be visited, trekking trips from few hours until several days can be arranged.
The most adventurous tour is going to Mt. Khakabo Razi (5881 m), the highest point of South-east Asia in the Myanmar Himalayas. But this tour is only recommended to professional hikers. The tour will take about 40 days, as there are no streets going to the base camp of Khakabo Razi and you have to trek all the way to the foot of this mountain. Another easier option is to trek around Mt.Pongkan Razi (4,655 m) located at the Indian Border.
Unfortunately GMT does not organize tours to Mt. Khakabo Razi and to Mt Pongkan Razi.

What does GMT offer?

To secure the service for our valued customers, we are only working together with MALIKHA LODGE, a proper managed luxury Hotel, actually at the moment the only private Hotel in and around Putao. Malikha Lodge is one of the most amazing Hotel properties in Asia!

"This beautiful lodge is the perfect introduction and final farewell to Northern Kachin State. Perched high above the Nam Lang River with glorious views of mountains and rice terraces, Malikha Lodge has been designed by world famous architect Jean Michel Gathy of Aman Resorts fame to create a feeling of luxury and seclusion in this wilderness setting. The focal point of Malikha Lodge is the main lodge, where guests come to gather around two blazing log fires for drinks, dining or just pure relaxation. The resort's manicured lawns and exotic gardens are carefully landscaped to merge with pockets of old growth bamboo and jungle. Traditional style bungalows have been carefully placed to recreate a sense of idyllic village life in this open garden paradise."


Why to book through GMT?

Gracious Myanmar Travel will offer you very special rates for absolutely the same Service! Our rates are additional inclusive of Domestic Airfare (Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina) and the travel permit!!!


Malikha Lodge offers an exciting range of half day or full day soft adventure excursions. All the excursions are accompanied by informative local guides, and provide a unique insight into local village life, as well as the opportunity for outdoor exercise in a pristine wilderness environment. Any excursion not requiring the use of our vehicles can be arranged on site with the Hotel manager the evening before.


Special GMT Rates:

GMT EX MYT-Putao-1:

Malikha Lodge Package 4 days/3 nights     Weekly Tuesday - Friday


1 pax: 2130,00 US$ per person, based on single accommodation
2 pax: 1304,00 US$ per person only, based o twin sharing
3-5 pax: 1298,00 US$ per person only, based on twin sharing
single supplement for accommodation: 675.- US$
additional: + 10.- US$ Fuel Surcharge for Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina per person!


GMT EX MYT-Putao-2:

Malikha Lodge Package 5 days/4 nights     Weekly Friday - Tuesday


1 pax: 2507,00 US$ per person, based on single accommodation
2 pax: 1536,00 US$ per person only, based o twin sharing
3-5 pax: 1530,00 US$ per person only, based on twin sharing
single supplement for accommodation: 800.- US$
additional: + 10.- US$ Fuel Surcharge for Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina per person!


GMT EX MYT-Putao-3:

Malikha Lodge Package 8 days/7 nights     Weekly Tuesday -Tuesday or Friday -Friday


1 pax: 3841,00 US$ per person, based on single accommodation
2 pax: 2348,00 US$ per person only, based o twin sharing
3-5 pax: 2342,00 US$ per person only, based on twin sharing
single supplement for accommodation: 1250.- US$
additional: + 10.- US$ Fuel Surcharge for Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina per person!


GMT EX MYT-Putao-4:

Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions Package 8 days/7 nights Weekly Tuesday -Tuesday or Friday –Friday

 Rawang Explorer, 4 days trekking & at 3 nights Malikha Lodge

2 pax: 1652,00 US$ per person only, based o twin sharing
additional: + 10.- US$ Fuel Surcharge for Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina per person!


GMT EX MYT-Putao-5:

Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions Package 5 days/4 nights Friday-Tuesday

 Nam Lang River Expedition, rafting and trekking & 2 nights at Malikha Lodge

2 pax: 1536,00 US$ per person only, based o twin sharing
additional: + 10.- US$ Fuel Surcharge for Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina per person!

Itineraries for
In case you don’t need a domestic flight from or to Myitkyina:

Simply add. up any other flight to /from Putao!



Flight schedule, Air Bagan Oct 2007-Apr 2008 TUESDAY and FRIDAY only!
W9 251 RGN-MDL 0700-0825 MDL-MYT 0845-0950 MYT-PBU 1010-1050
W9 252 PBU-MYT 1110-1150 MYT-MDL 1210-1315 MDL-RGN 1335-1500

Flights: Bad weather in mountainous regions can cause flight delays. Please make allowances when booking onward journeys. We cannot be responsible for any charges you might incur as a result of these delays.

GMT rates are valid from 1st October 2007 until April 30th 2008.
Minimum age 12 years old for all rafting and trekking expeditions

GMT Prices are inclusive of all transfers in Putao, full board accommodation and house drinks, as well as all guided activities and excursions, domestic flights (Myitkyina-Putao-Myitkyina) and travel permit!

GMT Price excluded:

any special drinks, private laundry, and beauty treatments,
Airport transfer in Myitkyina and in Yangon
any service which is not mentioned
single supplements for trekking and rafting!

A single supplement of USD 20 per trekking/rafting day will apply.

If you want to travel with your own Guide, please contact our office for a special offer!

Visit http://www.easternsafaris.com/malikhalodge.html for more photos and details or contact GMT.

Choice of guided activities and excursions which are inclusive!

1. Malikha cruise: Full Day



This full day excursion combines a scenic river gorge cruise with a visit to the picturesque village of Manchanbaw. From there we venture downstream by boat onto the Malikha River through forested hills and past white river beaches, where villagers may often be seen panning for gold. A picnic lunch is prepared in a spectacular riverside beach inside the gorge, before our return by vehicle to Malikha Lodge in time for sunset. The Malikha Cruise departs every Wednesday and Saturday and is available on a first come first serve basis

2. Trek and Raft Adventure: Half Day

elephant-01This exciting half-day adventure starts off with a short trek up into the forested hills behind our lodge, with sweeping views back over the whole Putao Valley. Before long we descend into the Namlang Valley a few miles upstream from the lodge where our raft and river guide will be waiting. From there it is a leisurely 2-hour journey through the occasional gentle rapids back to the lodge on the clear and fast flowing waters of the Nam Lang River.


3. Yegyawdi village and Nam Lang River Elephant Trek: Half Day

elephant-02We offer a choice of two short elephant excursion either after breakfast or lunch once our two elephants have returned from a night of foraging in the jungle. Setting off from the Main Lodge, the elephants take you through the fast flowing clear waters of the Nam Lang River and up through the terraced rice fields to the village of Yegyawdi opposite our lodge, or downstream along the banks for the Nam Lang River, before a final river crossing brings you back to the lodge. By prior arrangement there is the opportunity to view the elephants being washed by the mahouts

4. Cultural and Traditional visits:

Visitors to Malikha Lodge will have the opportunity to experience and learn about life in the Putao Valley. Upon request, we can organize evening visits to the lodge of local hunters, dancers and our own elephant mahouts to gain a better insight into the local culture. On some of our locally guided day treks there is the opportunity to view some of the cottage industries within the Putao Valley and the opportunity to visit their homes and observe these handicrafts being produced at firsthand. For early birds there is also the chance visit the Putao market, to try a steaming bowl of Shan noodle soup in the early morning chill and to practice your haggling skills over spectacular Rawang village headman woven hats, colourful sarongs and fine baskets.

Rawang Explorer, 8 days / 7 nights

GMT EX MYT-Putao-4

This short and leisurely trek provides spectacular views of the mountain ranges along the border of India and Myanmar as we trek through jungle and Rawang tribal villages. Starting from just beyond Upper Sangaung our picturesque trek takes us through old growth forest over the main pass that separates the Putao valley from the pristine Nam Lang river valley, then further North West as far as Ziya Dam village, the last settlement before the Indian border. On the return leg we retrace our steps through Wanglai Dam and across to Upper Sangaung. If your time is limited or you just want to take a shorter less strenuous trek, then this is the one for you.

Difficulty: Moderate
From: Upper Sanguang
Trek Distance: 65Km
No of Days: 7 : Trek 4, Lodge / Putao 3
Best Season: Nov. – Mar


Day 1 Arrive Putao and drive to Upper Sangaung:

putao-05Flight from Myitkyina to Putao. Snow capped mountains tower above the runway as our Air Bagan flight touches down at Putao, the northern most airstrip in Kachin State. At this frontier town you’ll be met by staff from Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions and Malikha Lodge, After an introductory lunch at Malikha Lodge, a scenic 90 minute drive takes you to the end of the road at Upper Sangaung in time for dinner and an early start the next morning.


Day 2 Putao – Upper Sangaung – trekking to Wanglai Dam

putao-06(approx 13 miles trek) After an early morning breakfast we head on up the trail into the forest. We trek at a leisurely pace to our camp just over the pass beside the Nam Lang River. This day is about six to seven hours of trekking and is probably the longest days trek with a gain of altitude of nearly 2000 feet or 600 metres. In traditional style the porters carry all the expedition food and equipment leaving us free to enjoy this scenic trek through untouched forest. If the weather is clear the views of snow-capped peaks towards the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Mt Phonekanrazi are spectacular. The final couple of hours walk downhill through impressive forest of giant trees brings us to our camp near Wanglai Dam village beside the river. We stay overnight in comfortable tents and enjoy a great dinner near the campfire.

Day 3 Trek 9 miles to Ziya Dam

After an early wake up and strong coffee at the camp we start a day of trekking towards Ziya Dam. This day promises to offer great views toward Phonekanrazi and other snow capped mountains and gives impressions of village life in this remote area. We will pass several villages and try to stop at a school or a local house to get an insight in the local traditions. This part of Myanmar sees virtually no tourism, and the villages and farms along the way are much the way rural Myanmar has been for hundreds of years. In this remote part of Myanmar, the villagers have seen only a handful of westerners and their smiles and friendship are genuine. Ziya Dam is the last settlement before going further into the forest, and is our final destination on this short trek.

Day 4 Trek 8 miles to our exclusive river camp near Wanglai Dam

We commence trekking back towards the Nam Lang Valley and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way. The first river canyon at the top of the Nam Lang River near Wanglai Dam is marked by a rattan and bamboo bridge across the river; our riverside camp for the night is close to the bridge. The canyon is an impressive place with deep pools of turquoise water and some premium swimming holes. Our private camp is very tastefully sculptured into a huge rock platform that juts out over the Nam Lang River and tent sites back from here merge into the surrounding jungle. Arrive in the afternoon where we stay overnight in rustic luxury and enjoy a hearty meal next to a campfire in the comfortable surrounds of our private camp.

Day 5 Trek 10 miles to Upper Sangaung; transfer to Putao by car

putao-07The last day of the trekking is relatively easy, and we take the same scenic and less used path back to the main Putao Valley and the road head at Upper Sangaung. The last part of the trek is a flat road leading towards civilisation. Transfer by our jeep car to Malikha Lodge where a warm bath and a cool glass of champagne are waiting for you. Dinner at the main lodge.


Day 6 - 7 Malikha Lodge

Spend two full days discovering Putao valley by joining one of the guided activities like mountain biking, a boat trip on the Malikha river or a trip on the back of an elephant. We’ll provide a picnic lunch or dine at the Lodge depending on what you feel like. Alternatively just relax at the lodge enjoying the views or ease aching muscles and soothe your soul with a complimentary massage. Evening dinner in the main lodge near the open fireplaces and a final chance to absorb the special ambience of the Malikha Lodge.

Day 8 Depart Putao by flight

After breakfast our car will bring you to Putao airport for your onwards flight to Myitkyina.

Nam Lang River Expedition 5 days / 4 nights

GMT EX MYT-Putao-5

One of the highlights of any visit to Myanmar is our exclusive three-day wilderness journey on the pristine western headwaters of the Ayeyarwaddy. Suitable for most age groups, the Nam Lang River combines the thrill of Class 3 and 4 whitewater through thickly forested canyons, with a closer insight into a people and way of life unchanged for centuries. This river journey is an incredible combination of white water, scenery, villages, and truly quiet and introspective evenings in our private camps.

Difficulty: 3 - 4
From: Wang Lai Dam to Mulashidi
Distance: 60Km
River Days: 1 Day trek
  2 Days river
Grade: 25 ft per mile
Best Season: Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar
Min. Group: 4 persons
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Departure days: 30. November 2007
  07. December 2007
  14. December 2007

Day 1, Friday

Arrive at Putao Airport and transfer to Malikha Lodge in time for lunch. Afternoon at leisure in the grounds of our beautiful wilderness lodge, with time for a refreshing swim or spa treatment. Group dinner and drinks at the main lodge in front of our open fireplaces, and briefing from Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions on the following days adventure.

Day 2, Saturday

Trek to Nam Lang Valley. An hours drive from Malikha Lodge we pass the village of Upper Sangaung which marks the beginning of the jungle. The road continues on for a few more km, towards the pass leading into the Nam Lang Valley to the beginning of our trek. We trek at a moderate pace for six to seven hours, four hours to the top of the pass, and another two down to our river camp. In traditional style the porters carry all the expedition food and equipment ahead, leaving us free to enjoy this scenic trek through untouched subtropical forest and giant bamboo. Our river camp lies close to the first river canyon, which is marked by a spectacular rattan and bamboo bridge across the river.

Day 3, Sunday

First day rafting. The following day, after breakfast everyone is fitted with their specialist rafting gear, while the trip leader and safety kayaker give an extensive lesson in river safety and paddling technique. We pass by the remote Lisu village of Nam Ze, at the foot of more snow-capped peaks. This is our last contact with “civilization” as we take an isolated loop into the lower canyons. Two hours below this village and we encounter some excellent technical rapids. From here we raft down to our final river beach camp at the beginning of the second canyon.

Day 4, Monday

Second day rafting. After a hearty breakfast we start the final and most challenging days rafting. An hour later, we reach three exciting and technical rapids stacked in succession in a tight bedrock canyon. The trio of rapids ends with a bang in a series of drops between massive boulders. From here it is about three hours rafting and leisurely cruising back to our home at Malikha Lodge, where a glass of champagne and long hot shower awaits.

Day 5, Tuesday

Return to Myitkyina. After a final leisurely breakfast at Malikha Lodge, check out and late morning transfer to Putao airport. Flight to Myitkyina.


All photos are from Malikha Lodge!

Personal Items to bring for Rafting and Trekking

Since all rafting expeditions include at least one trekking day, clients will also need to bring items as prescribed on our trekking list.

As a general rule when packing for one of our wilderness expeditions please keep personal gear to a minimum. Clothing should be lightweight, dry quickly, and provide insulation even when wet. Synthetic fibers are preferable to cotton on the river for this reason. For any other personal items not included on our detailed equipment list below, please feel free to contact us directly.

1. For camping and travelling:

A sleeping bag. Your sleeping bag should be at least a three-season bag, either down or synthetic filled. If you do not have a sleeping bag we do have them for hire or purchase. A Therma-rest (inflatable sleeping mattress) is provided by Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions for your comfort.

Lightweight pants and jacket. The brushed nylon pants and windbreakers made by a variety of companies are ideal for trekking and general travel wear. 

Long sleeved thermal, top and bottoms (long underwear). These are synthetic clothing such as Patagonia Capaline which maintain their insulating value even when wet, and are therefore ideal for wearing around the campsite and on the river. The zippered turtleneck is particularly handy, as it can be vented and keeps the sun off the back of your neck. Light and medium weight weaves are the handiest. 

Socks: Two pairs of polypropylene or polypro mix athletic socks. 

Cotton underwear.

Lightweight long sleeved shirt. These are particularly useful as sunscreen in camp. In addition temperatures in the shade remain cool throughout the season

Two cotton T-shirts.

A fleece jacket. Polypropylene is preferable.

A Gore-Tex or similar material raincoat and pants. This will keep you warm and dry in a variety of situations. A simple shell design is preferable, as they can be packed away into very small bundles.

Small Towel

Toiletries: keep it to a minimum. Bring plenty of moisturizing lotion. 

Spare glasses or contact lenses if you wear them. 

Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries. 

Water bottle
Toilet paper and lighter –We do provide it on all trips, but also advise you carry your own supply for convenience. The lighter is for burning the toilet paper after you’ve used it.
Insect Repellent: Our Nam Lang river camp has screened areas where insects are not a problem, but while trekking and rafting in the jungle bring plenty of insect repellent.
Lightweight cotton gloves are also handy as additional insect protection.

2. River Wear:

River sandals or wet suit booties are the preferred footwear on the river. Tevas, Alps, or other high quality river sandals or booties should be brought from home. It is essential that all rafters have footwear that they can wear in the raft, which will not come off in the event of a swim, as this is considered standard safety equipment. One of the best options is simple wetsuit booties used for diving or windsurfing. These also offer additional protection from insect bites.

River shorts Good quality, such as Patagonia Baggies or Guide Shorts. These are by far the best all around river wear, as they are durable, dry quickly, and provide the pockets you will need for little items you’ll want to keep close. Two pairs are enough. 

Swimming costume – (or you can just get by with river shorts). 

A sarong for women (a long piece of cloth wrapped around your waist) is another good option, and can be purchased cheaply in Myanmar. This is invaluable for visiting villages and respecting local custom for dress. It can also be used to replace your towel for drying after washing.

A baseball style cap and good sunglasses equipped with a retaining device to keep them on your face where they belong.

Sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater and waterproof) is essential
Lip Balm, SPF 15 minimum

3. Trekking:

A daypack. It should be a medium volume daypack without a frame, and again, the most important criteria are how well it fits and works.

Lightweight hiking boots or running shoes of good quality and preferably worn in are a must. For people who do not routinely walk in the mountains, light hiking boots are strongly recommended. Heavy mountaineering boots are not recommended. 

For longer treks and Higher Altitude treks waterproof pants, gaiters, additional socks and thermal hats and gloves are highly recommended.

4. Optional:

Camera and film. Also bring a good cleaning kit, as field conditions are harsher than in towns. Spare batteries are also handy. There will be waterproof Pelican Cases supplied on the rafting trips. Packets of silica gel will help reduce humidity in the camera case.

Small binoculars for wildlife viewing. If you’re an avid bird watcher you may want to bring a more substantial pair of binoculars with a waterproof case. 

Pocketknife or multi-tool.

Fishing equipment.
Reading and writing material.
Personal first aid kit.
Personal linen, pillow case or under sheet

5. Provided by Malikha Lodge:

Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions will provide the following equipment for all clients on our rafting and trekking expeditions:

All safety and trek / river gear (except clothing and personal items – see personal equipment above) On river trips we provide lifejackets, helmets, spray jackets, wet suits when required, dry bags, camera barrels, satellite phone and comprehensive first aid kits. 

Tented accommodation while on your trip.

Mattresses or thermo-rests to sleep on
Cooking equipment including all kitchen utensils, pots, pans, plates and glassware

Information about Kachin State

according to Myanmar facts and figures 2002,

“….Kachin State lies between North Latitude 23° 27’ and 28° 25’ Longitude 96° 0’ and 98° 44’….
…. Climate: Kachin State lies in on the north of the line of Topic of Cancer. Hence, the climate of southern par is warm-temperate and weet whereas the northern part has cold-temperate and wet climate. Highest mountains in the north are always covered with snow. In lowland areas, the average temperature in summer being 26,6°C and in winter the temperature is a little more.

The rainfall in Bhamo is 60 inches, in Myitkyina 80 inches and over 160 inches in Putao, in the northernmost part... Myitkyina is the capital of the Kachin State, home of a colourful ethnic race and their festivals. Myanmar hightest snow-capped mountain Khakabo Razi (5881 m) lies in Putao district, half an hour flight from Myitkyina in the far north of the country…..

The State is also home of the best jade mines in the world coveted mostly by Chinese as the believe jade brings peace and good Fortune.”

Eco-Tourism >http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/ministry/hotel/ecotourism/eco04.htm

Kakaborazi National Park 


Location between 28° 05´ N and 97° 44´ E in Naungmung Township of Kachin State.


1,472 square miles.

Year of Establishment

Established in 1996.


Yangon to Myitkyina, 920 miles by car or 723 miles by train, Myitkyina to Putao, 218 miles, and Putao to Naungmung, 35 miles by car.


(a) To conserve natural forests and wildlife in the northen part of Myanmar.
(b) To established and maintain a national park of high-quality and up to the standard of modern environmental conservation policies.
(c) To Promote the present status to an ecotourism industry of high standard on Kakaborazi, the highest mountain in Myanmar with 29,698 feet in the height and other significantly beautiful scenry.
(d) To conserve watersheds in the area where the Ayeyawady River originates.
(e) To carry out development activities for Himalayan Mountain Region in cooperation with the international organizations.

Forest / Vegetative Types

(a) Evergreen Forests
(b) Hill Pine Forests
(c) Moist Upper Mixed Deciduous Forests


In addition to rare species such as Takin. Musk Deer, Blue Sheep, Black Barking Deer, Phet Gyi (Muntiaus putaoensis), mammal species and insects such as butterflies are present.

Conservation, Development and Research Programmes

(a) Effective prohibitory actions against poaching and illegal trade of rare species.
(b) Conducting field studies to reval new plant and animal species.
(c) Conducting necessary field studies to promote and implement an ecotourism industry of high standard.
(d) Conservation of traditional culture, custom and way of living of local indigenous people.

Opportunities for Study and Recreation

(a) Climbing snow-capped mountains.
(b) Study environmental situations occurring at the origin of the Ayeyawady River.
(c) Enjoyment of beautiful natural features.
(d) Exploration for new plant and animal species.
(e) Study traditional culture, custom and system of living of local Rawang, Lisu and Myanmar -Tibet ethnic nationals.



Map: northern Kachin State

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