Putao is a small, quiet hill station located in the northernmost region of Myanmar, surrounded by snow-capped mountains that stretch in from Tibet. Step-Agriculture is very common in the region with gardens of hill rice, maize and mixed with cereal crops, cucumbers, gourds, and huge marrows. In the higher region the prime agriculture is made up of pine, hemlock, and silver fir mixed with some larches. There is an abundance of hardwoods such as oak, maple, birch, walnut, chestnut as well as rhododendron in the region. People living in the valleys catch fish using thorn-lined conical fish traps, nets, or harpoon.
For about 6 months of the year cold weather mist hangs over surrounding scene, however in the high season, from November to February, the skies are usually clear. Flowing streams, rivulets, straw-roofed houses, and fences of made out of pebbles and creek stones provides a pleasant, pastoral contrast to city life.
Majority of the demographic in the region is made of Rawan, Lisu, Khamti-Shan, Jingphaw and Kachin. These people make a living by growing crops and fruit trees in the lower extents of the region. Many species of exotic flora and fauna such musk deer, takin, flying squirrel, and orchids are native to this region.
Mt. Phongun, is probably the most easiest and suitable peak for all climbers to conquer. Mt. Phongun is generally snow-capped throughout the year except in the months of August and September. The mountain is located about 60 miles north-west of Putao, near the Myanmar-India border. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the region has helped to maintain the pristine purity of its forests and eco-systems. The richness in biodiversity is well preserved on Phongun, and presents unparalleled opportunities to zoologist, botanist, and ecologist to come and study the region. The conservation of flora and fauna on the mountain also attracts various forms of eco-tourism and nature lovers.
Mt. Hkakabo Razi is the region’s highest peak measuring at 5,900 meters above sea-level. The mountain is located in the northern most reaches of Kachin State. It takes approximately 30 days to trek to the base camp from Putao. The mountain has only been conquered once in 1997 by a team made of Japanese and Burmese climbers. Since then, a few people have attempt, but only to return without success due to the tough terrain and unpredictable weather patterns.
Although, most people have heard of the Naga tribes, there are only a few people that have actually seen them or been to their native land of Hkamti. The indigenous tribes that make-up Hkamti is the Kachin, Hkamti Shan and Naga (The Naga were famous for their hunting customs that no longer exist today). Their settlement are located up in the Lahe and Lashi Naga hills by the Saramari Mt. It is possible to trek or drive to the Naga Hills from Putao.
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