Myanmar is a stunning Southeast Asian country blessed with awe-inspiring historical sites, exciting cultures, and incredibly stunning scenery, making it a fantastic place to explore on foot. Your hiking adventure in Myanmar will take you to remote villages and lush jungles while stumbling upon hidden waterfalls and marvellous rivers and lakes. Hiking is a great way to immerse in the country’s rustic charms and discover unique places you won’t find elsewhere! So, here are the five hiking destinations to try in Myanmar.
The town of Putao lies in a fertile valley of Myanmar and has an altitude of about 457 metres. It’s in the northernmost part of the country and is vastly unexplored. Instead of seeing cars, what you’ll see here instead are cows and other wildlife roaming around. When the day is clear, you can catch a glimpse of the snow-peaked Himalayan Mountains during your hike.
Most hiking tours in Putao start at the centre of the town, whether you’re going for short same-day treks or multi-day expeditions going to remote peaks. Putao is also an ideal base for other adventurous activities in Myanmar, such as white water rafting or kayaking on the Mali Kha River. For short and easy hikes, you can go for same-day walks to the local villages in the mountains and return to the town on the same day. If you want to take multi-day excursions, you can stay at village houses along the way. You can also camp in the wilderness if you’re adventurous enough.
Hiking Putao doesn’t come easy, but you are guaranteed stunning views along the way. The Putao valley and its surrounding region have abundant flora and fauna, including rare orchids. Due to its remoteness, the valley is also a shelter for unique wildlife.
Rugged, wild, and authentic, Hsipaw is a lovely town in the Shan State of Myanmar and a popular destination for hiking in the country. There are trails suitable for every fitness level. And although Hsipaw is home to many great attractions, most visitors here are drawn to its outstanding hiking options.
You can do every possible trekking tour in Hsipaw. Many expedition trekking companies are willing to create a customised walking tours according to your needs and preferences. You can choose to do same-day hikes, 2–3-day hikes, or a hardcore week-long hike in the mountains. One of the most popular hiking tours in Hsipaw is the 2-day hike to Pankam village, with an option to visit the nearby Mantang village and spend a night or two.
It’s also possible to do shorter, same-day hikes if you feel like hiking to the mountainous villages for several days is a bit strenuous. Some trails are less than 5km long and include fun activities like swimming in a waterfall, river tubing, and sleeping in treehouses or tents! It’s essential to research carefully before hiring a guide when trekking in Hsipaw since you may encounter guerrilla army posts during your trek. Although Hsipaw is safe to visit, there’s an ongoing conflict in the area, and your guide knows which areas to avoid.
Nagaland is a mountainous region in the north-western part of Myanmar, close to the country’s border with India. If you’re looking for a remote location to hike in Myanmar, Nagaland is an ideal choice. During your hike of Nagaland, you will be rewarded with stunning landscape views, with a chance to explore local villages and immerse yourself in the local culture.
If you want to embark on a guided trek into Nagaland’s tribal regions, you should go for a guided 10-day trek, taking you to remote hill villages in Myanmar’s northwest region. A mystical land where the ancient Naga tribe lived for thousands of years, Nagaland is a fascinating place that few travellers have ever visited. You’ll trek through stunning hilly landscapes while passing through ancient villages. The highlight of the trek is meeting the Naga tribe, where you will learn about their unique culture and tradition.
While in Nagaland, take time to explore the sleepy town of Hkamti, right in the heart of Nagaland. You will also find decent accommodations in the area, including those with stunning river views. If you’re visiting Myanmar in January, it’s worth visiting the Hkamti region for the Naga New Year Festival.
Kanpetlet is a lovely town in Myanmar’s Southern Chin State, famous for Mount Victoria, the highest peak in the state and home to some of the world’s rarest bird species. If you’re into nature and wildlife, you’ll absolutely enjoy hiking in Kanpetlet.
At 10,016 feet, Mount Victoria is the tallest peak in the Chin State and is often the biggest draw of the town of Kanpetlet. The mountain is situated within the Nat Ma Taung National Park. The park is full of rhododendron trees blooming beautifully between October and February. Admire the unspoilt beauty of nature as you trek to Mount Victoria, and keep an eye out for rare bird species, such as the white-browed Nuthatch, that’s unique to the area.
There are many trails that will take you to the mountain. Most will require passing through fascinating villages, which is a great way to interact with the locals and learn about the culture. While it’s possible to hike Mt Victoria on your own, getting a guide will make the journey easier.
5. Inle Lake
The Inle Lake is one of the top destinations for hiking in Myanmar, especially the trail that starts from Kalaw, a small hill town in
Myanmar’s Shan State. The hike could take up to three days, beginning in the village of Kalaw and further up into a village in the mountain, where you will be spending the first night. You’ll be sleeping in a homestay, with basic toilets and showers.
The trek will take you past sunflower fields, lakes, and rivers while stopping at some stunning viewpoints to admire the breathtaking views of the countryside.
The entire trek is about 57 kilometres long. Although it’s mostly done for three days, it’s possible to do it for two days, but you have to skip some places along the route. The trek is generally easy for most people, and you won’t be carrying all your stuff since a porter will join you.