Northern Myanmar

Rugged and remote, northern Myanmar offers the prospect of travel through some of the least-visited areas of the country. While much of this vast region remains off limits, two main routes are accessible. One climbs rapidly from Mandalay to the British-era summer capital of Pyin Oo Lwin and then continues across the rolling Shan Plateau to Lashio. The crisp evenings are a great relief from the heat of the plains, while hikes take visitors into Palaung and Shan hill villages. Another option is taking a ride along the mighty Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, stopping off at Katha, the setting of George Orwell’s Burmese Days.

Far beyond Myitkyina lie the rarely seen, snow-capped peaks of Myanmar's Himalayas, where trekking and white-water rafting are taking off around Putao.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northern Myanmar.