Best 7 Myanmar Trekking to See the Himalayas, Tribes and Crop Fields
With mile after mile of stunning landscapes, deep-rooted traditions, and hospitable locals, Myanmar is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world. To completely soak into its nature and culture, trekking in Myanmar is highly recommended.
Although it is not well-known for trekking, Myanmar has plenty of wonderful trekking routes to offer.
Kalaw to Inle Lake trek takes you to walk through the rolling Shan hills. The facial-tattooed women are mostly inhabited in Chin State, where you can find an unspoiled land of towering pines and rhododendrons. The trails towards Putao allows you to see Mount Hkakabo Razi, the highest snow-capped mountain in Southeast Asia.
Kalaw to Inle Lake Trek
The Kalaw to Inle Lake trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Myanmar.
Kalaw is a summer resort in southern Shan State to escape the heat, surrounded by forested hills dotted with tribe villages. With beautiful mountainous scenery and cool air, it will be a delight to hang around Kalaw for a few days.
You can do some short hikes through the rolling hills or visit Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp to learn how the locals take care of the Asian elephants that are retired from the Myanmar timber industry.
From Kalaw, you then trek to Inle Lake, one of the highlights of all Myanmar tours. With several ethnic minority villages such as Danu, Pa-O, Palaung, and Taung Yo to explore, you will walk around 7 hours every day. Except for that, the 3 days Kalaw to Inle Lake will take you to trek through many crop fields.
The trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake enables you to see the local farmers work in the fields.
After the trek, you finally reach Inle Lake, an amazing water world with houses, markets, schools and monasteries floating. Spend your day to take a longtail boat to explore the villages around, watch the one-leg-rowing fishermen and enjoy a stunning sunset over the lake.
Myanmar Trekking in Hsipaw
Hsipaw, a small town located in northern Shan State, is famous for the scenic mountain trekking and a thrilling train ride over Gokteik Viaduct.
The treks in the surrounding mountains of Hsipaw take you to walk through the tea plantations, rice terraces and forests. In the villages hidden in the mountains, go to meet the villagers and follow them to stroll around the market to experience the authentic local way of life.
Between Hsipaw to Mandalay, there is a thrilling train ride that deserves a try. The train passes Gokteik, the highest bridge in Myanmar that is built in 1901. Here you can take the best photo of the viaduct with lush forests and bare red rocks in the background, very stunning!
Myanmar Trekking in Lashio
Lashio sits in northern Shan State as well and it is one of the adventurous travel destinations in Myanmar. It’s better not to head for Lashio independently because this region can only be visited with a local guide.
There are numerous natural waterfalls, creeks and limestone caves hidden in the mountains. After 30 minutes drive out of the town, follow a narrow stream for about 20 minutes, you can see the Mavic Falls with water running down towards a turquoise-blue swimming pool.
Dark Horse Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Myanmar, definitely a playground for nature lovers. The falls offer cascading steps, clear pools and amazing views.
The trekking trail in Lashio offers stunning natural landscapes.
Hidden Tiger Falls is not a very ideal spot for swimming, but the trek route to the falls is rewarded with tranquil surroundings and clear wild waters. You walk through the jungle, climb up to the mountain summit and then descend to the falls.
Myanmar Trekking in Hpa An
Located in Kayin State of south-eastern Myanmar, Hpa An is a picturesque town along the banks of Salween River. There are several beautiful hiking trails available.
Zwegabin is a 722 meters high mountain. A trek zigzagging up to the top of Mount Zwegabin is tough but rewarding, taking about two and a half hours. It is recommended to get up early, about 4:30 in the morning, and trek towards Mount Zwegabin for a beautiful sunrise.
The trekking to Mount Zwegabin passes by a group of fabulous Buddha sculpture.
Taung Wine Mountain is another destination to hike in Hpa An. At least one hour is required to hike Taung Wine Mountain as the stairs are steep.
Hiking Hpan Pu Mountain proves to be a great experience, taking around 30 minutes. The summit offers panoramic views of Hpa An, the Thanlyin River and remote mountain ranges. Along the trail up, you can see overgrown shrubs, sharp rocks and bamboo ladders.
Myanmar Trekking in Putao
In the northernmost of Kachin State, the town of Putao locates, from which the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mt. Hkakabo Razi and other snow-capped mountains are visible.
Except for Himalayan ranges, the adventurous trekking in Putao offers lush and green jungles, thrilling suspension bridges, stunning rivers and streams, and rustic hill tribes as well, definitely rewarding!
The adventure will take you to explore Ziyadum, the last frontier village in northern Myanmar. To get to there, you trek through the villages of Wasandum, Awadum, and Kalang. These villages are connected with long suspension bridges that dot in the rain forests.
In the remote villages, you stay overnight in the locals’ houses. You live and eat together. In the early morning, following the hostess, you can head to the central market to explore. Usually, the market opens at 6:00 and stays busy until about 8:00.
Myanmar Trekking in Chin Hills
The Chin Hills are a range of mountains in Chin State, located in northwestern Myanmar. The trek in Chin Hills takes you to conquer Mt Victoria and walk through the beautiful mountainous landscapes from Mindat to Kanpetlet.
Mount Victoria stands 3180 meters high above the sea level. The uphill trek towards the mountain is rewarded with lush pine forests and stunning tree rhododendrons. You can get amazing overlooking views of the remote mountain ranges with cloud and mist wreathing.
The trails connect the villages of Kyardo, Aye, Do Nu and Kanpetlet are dirty and take you to walk through acres of plantations of corn, avocado, bean and tea. You can also see herds of cattle in the fields.
You stay overnight in the hill tribe villages. You live in their houses and eat local dishes, which is a good chance to learn about their culture and ways of life. The old generation of Chin women has mysterious tattoos on their faces. Legend tells that several decades ago, in order to protect young girls from selecting as royal queens, the parents deliberately make their daughters undesirable.
The trekking in Chin Hills takes you to visit the mysterious facial-tattooed women.
Myanmar Trekking in Kyaing Tong
Kyaing Tong, also spelt Kengtung, is a town in eastern Shan State, an ideal base camp to explore the surrounding ethnic minority habitations. The history of Burma Golden Triangle is born here.
In the hill tribes, you can see the rustic life of the hill tribes of Khun, Red Palaung, Akha and Naung Cho Wa. The locals dress in their traditional customs with ornate headdresses, some working in the terraced rice fields, some selling and buying goods in markets, and the others resting in the shade.
Trekking is the best way to explore every corner of any place. Myanmar trekking tours have a lot to offer. You can expect extravagant nature, amazing rural scenery, friendly hill tribe villagers and rich Buddhist culture in Myanmar Shan State, Chin State, Kayin State and Kachin State.