The number of mountaineers visiting Putao, the northernmost town in Kachin State known for its snowcapped mountains, has tripled this year to reach over 300.
“Most of the mountaineers are locals, and this year the number of climbers has tripled compared to the last two years. There were over 100 climbers for research. The number has crossed 300 this year. The mountaineers mostly visited during the November-March period,” U Yaw Set, a mountain guide, told the Mirror newspaper.
There are several well-known snowcapped mountains in Putao, including Phonkanrazi, Phangranrazi, Phonyinrazi, Mathwayrazi, Malikhwayrazi, Gamlangrazi, and Hkakaborazi. Among them, the 11,900-foot Phonkanrazi mountain is the most popular among trekkers.
It takes about eight days to reach the top of Mt. Phonkanrazi, 11 days for Phonyinrazi, 12 days for Phangranrazi, 15 days for Mathwayrazi, and about one month for Hkakaborazi.
“Putao is surrounded by several of Myanmar’s snowcapped mountains, which add to its natural scenic beauty. So, it is considered as Myanmar’s Switzerland by many visitors. The natural beauty of the icy, snowcapped mountains, the rare birds, and trees are the attractions of Putao. Therefore, we hope more visitors will visit Putao township,” said U Yaw Set.
Kachin, Rawang, Lisu, and Shan ethnic people mainly live in Putao, and visitors like to observe their traditional cultures. Earlier, taking a flight was the only way to reach Putao, but now visitors can travel there by car.
Putao has seven snowcapped mountains, and the authorities are making efforts to put it on the world heritage list of the UNESCO.
—Myint Maung Soe
(Translated by La Wonn)