TOUR CODE – ASB/HML-04
Availability – Nov-May
Upon arrival to Putao airport you will be welcomed by Discovery DMC local guide and transferred to your hotel / guest house in Putao. After check-in and lunch we take a walk around the town to get a feel of the local life and meet the friendly people. Putao previously known as Fort Hertz by its colonial name was the furthest out post of the British Burma. A number of expeditions and surveys trips were conducted by the British and international explorers to record the unique flora and fauna of the region, however large parts remain unexplored. Like many other parts of Burma access to the far north was restricted for decades. Putao remains a sleepy and isolated town situated in a flat valley surrounded by forests and has only seasonal overland access from Myitkyina.
After breakfast we take a morning walk to Putao market, where ethnic minorities often come trade their produce. You may find some simple supplies and snack here for the trek if needed. Transfer by jeep or truck approx. 1hr/17km to Upper Shangaung, a Rawang minority village where many of the porters reside and where we start our trek. Visit a local school & church before starting ascent from 1000m elevation up a serpentine trail climbing over jungle covered Mt Shangaung (1362m) range after high pass the trail contours forested mountain slopes gradually descending to small Rawang minority village, Wasandum (850m), located on the lower slopes of the mountain range facing the Namro Creek. Water of the creek is crystal clear and it’s a perfect spot for freshening up with nice cooling water.
Wake up with the village and enjoy breakfast prepared by our cook. Today’s trek is less challenging as most of the terrain is quite flat as our trail follows the Namro creek to Awadum, a small Lisu minority farming village. After lunch stop at Awadum we continue the trek through lush forests following the river valley until we cross a hanging bridge over the Zia creek and enter Ziadum, a Rawang minority village also known as the “Last Village”. It is the last inhabited place in North West Myanmar. In the afternoon free time for walks around Zia creek, (weather permitting) enjoy fabulous views over snowcapped peaks of Phonyin and Phangran bordering India. In the evening you can enjoy social interactions with the hosts or other villagers.
Today is for exploring the last frontier. Traveling further down the valley and entering the lush forest after half an hour hike we arrive at the first hanging bridge spanning over Phangram River, which has been recently renovated with tourists contributions. Following the creeks and forest trails we finally reach Caungsone hanging bridge crossing the Phongan River. Near here the trail starts to climb up to Phongun Razi. We will have a lunch break near Caungsone and a chance to freshen up in the cool water. From here the group will begin to troop up along the twisting path of Mt.Phongun ridge to Thitpingyi camp that stands at 1820 meter, and while walking up through the jungle you will hear and see varieties of bird species and the calls of gibbon troops from down the valley of either side of the ridge. By the time you get to Thitpingyi porters and cook have pitched tents and prepared meals by fetching water down from the valley. Thitpingyi camp is situated on the clear high ridge sheltered by tall and shady trees.
We set out from Thitpingyi on a three hour trek through the pristine forest to Khadaungmyit camp (2465 meter ). During the walk you may encounter some of the endemic animal species and soak in the incredible sights. Once we reach Khadaungmyit you will be able to enjoy clear views of Mt.Phongun, Phonyin and Phangram and we will have lunch there. As you depart the Khadaungmyit camp, the path ahead will be more challenging as we will be going through full of up and down terrain with narrow tracks. During the trek you will also begin to see the patches of snow appearing about a half hour before reaching the base camp (snow line camp). We will spend a night under canvas to save up more energy for our target destination for the next day.
We will begin the day early and enjoy the snowy scenery around the camp. We will begin our trek early in order to get to the summit (3635 meters) by noon. It will take 3-4 hours to the peak depending on the condition of weather and snow. Covered with frost, the alpine trees growing on the mountain range create a spectacular backdrop for the trek. Once we reach the peak we will enjoy refreshments and enjoy the gorgeous mountains scenery. Afterwards we will walk down the same passage to base camp where we will spend one more night. Due to the unspoiled nature of the ecosystem you may have the chance to spot “Takins” (endemic wild goat-antelopes found in the Himalayan mountain range) which inhabit the snow line.
After breakfast, we will descend from the base camp back to the valley. There are some resting spots along the track where we will either rest or pause for photos, and we will keep trekking down to Thitpinkyi camp via Khadaungmyit camp. This camp will be the last wilderness night of the trip.
In the morning we continue the trek to Chaungsone with relatively descending track crossing a suspension bridge. We can spend a while by the rocky banks of the glacial creek, and spot endemic ice-fish. Lunch will be served at your convenience during the descent. The rest of the track will be marshy and a bit slippery until we reach another suspension bridge, from where it will take us only thirty minutes to reach Ziyadum village. We will spend another evening in the village where you can have shower and spend another night interacting with the locals by the fire place in the middle of the meeting room of the local house.
Early in the morning, do not miss spectacular view of the snow mountains from the village and take time to explore the village before breakfast. When our group is ready we will take a different route to Kalang village. The route is relatively flat, shady and pleasant to walk, moreover there are some beautiful suspension bridges to be crossed. It will take us about two hours to reach Kalang, a beautiful Rawang village in a rural setting. From here we will continue to Awadum village and along the way we will be crossing the long Kalang suspension bridge. We will have lunch at a local house in Awadum which houses the only shop in village and then proceed to Wasandum to stay overnight.
After breakfast, we will begin a dramatic ascent up of Mt. Shaungaung for an half hour, and then the route starts winding up with alternative low and high terrain up to the vicinity of the peak where the trail rises dramatically. We will enjoy lunch near the summit and then continue trekking for one and a half hours to upper Shangaung where a jeep will be waiting for us. After we say farewell to our porters and cook, we will depart the village by jeep for Putao. On the way there will be some small bridges in bad condition and we will have to get off the jeep for our safety and walk across. This will provide us a with good opportunity to meet local people from all walks of life traveling on motor bike, on bull lock cart, on bicycles and on foot across these bridges. Once we reach Putao you can enjoy dinner and a hot shower at the Putao lodge.
On your final day, if time permits, you can still take the opportunity to visit the market to explore the local products and culture. Then depending on the flight departure, your guide will transfer you to the airport by jeep at the appropriate time.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure by morning flight.