Northern Myanmar in detail

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Dangers & Annoyances

Since Myanmar's independence, the north has witnessed a whole smorgasbord of low-level uprisings and regional separatist movements in what is arguably the world's longest-running civil war. Tourists aren't allowed too close to any flashpoints, so for most visitors these issues are more a political curiosity than a serious danger, although the closure of whole parts of the region is an obvious annoyance. Despite ongoing efforts to broker ceasefires, fighting still continues between the Kachin Independence Army and the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar military), especially in eastern Kachin State. Shan militias and the United Wa State Army are active in northern Shan State, along with the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (the armed wing of the Palaung people), as well as in the far south of Shan State. Who’s fighting whom, and where, can change dramatically, so check with the locals to see what the current situation is in more remote areas. Foreigners are never targeted, but there is always the chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Tatmadaw, too, do not take kindly to travelers wandering into conflict zones.