The premier destination for serious hiking in Myanmar is in the Himalayan areas of the country’s north, based around Putao.

 

Hkakabo Razi is the highest peak in Myanmar, reaching an elevation of 5,886 metres, and although the dangerous climb to the summit is only suited to highly experienced mountaineers, the trek to base camp is an enthralling fortnight long trail. 

 

Passing through the headwaters of the Ayeyarwady River forests, encountering the areas wildlife and visiting its remote villages to the foot of the snow-capped realm is a challenging journey in its own right.

 

By contrast the walks to the lesser peaks of Phonekan, Pangram and Phonyin are still suitably challenging and last from seven to ten days, but culminate in more easily accessible climbs, requiring no specialist equipment, though Phonyin’s summit lead does have a scary cliff walk. Many of these trails also offer the chance of staying with locals, providing cultural depth to your efforts.

 

Aside from the mountain routes, there are a number of trails of the surrounding countryside which take you into the local culture of the Himalayan foothills.

 

Away from the Himalayan region, Lake Inle, Pindaya and the former British hill station of Kalaw are popular trekking spots, with various one to three day trails between the three, passing through local villages, orchards and learning much of the local way of life of the ethnic groups found here.

 

Another popular place to get some good walking underneath your feet is the area of Nat Ma Taung, formerly known as Mount Victoria, leaving from Bagan and taking up to a week, visiting the Ngara, Yin Du, Dai, Okpu, Magan and Mwyn ethnic minorities. The area is also is a good spot to watch birds.

 

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