Welcome to The Far North
Myanmar’s far northern range of Himalayan ‘Ice Mountains’ is one of the world’s least-known ‘last frontiers’. Hkakabo Razi (19,295ft), the nation’s loftiest summit, was not conquered until 1996, but that’s not surprising given the trek to reach its base camp takes several weeks. The surrounding Hkakabo Razi National Park is considered a treasure trove of biodiversity. Landscapes here include steep forests, ridges of peaks bursting through the snowline and deep valleys carved by fast-flowing mountain rivers. Further south is the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, which, at 6907 sq miles, is the world's largest tiger reserve, although reports suggest that the number of tigers has dropped dramatically in recent years.
It is no longer necessary to have a permit to fly into the town of Putao, but you do require a permit for all destinations beyond the town, which means trekkers effectively need a permit to visit.