A journey to a region where present meets the past
This trip to the Eastern Shan State will inspire those travellers who want to come face-to-face with Asia´s past. Mountain peoples in monsoon forests on hills close to the Thai and Chinese border demonstrate forms of living which have long vanished elsewhere. Forms of life in harmony with the all-mighty nature, revered and worshipped. Lahu and Khun, Palaung and An, Iquor minorities seemingly at home in the past – yet demonstrating ways of communal living that seem very modern.
You may expect a lot but no great comfort in the hotels.
Instead: Simple jeeps on bumpy tracks. There are no alternatives, here you have to show perseverance.
The trekking to see the mountain peoples are not overtaxing your strength unless you have troubles walking. Main meals in simple restaurants along the way. A short trip to a “different” Myanmar.
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Tedious, but presently there is no other choice: 3 hour flight (approx.) to Kyaing Tong (once Kengtung) near the Thai border. Note: You can also take the plane from Heho and Mandalay to Kyaing Tong. In the afternoon some on-the-spot sightseeing. Accommodation: 2 nights
A day of trekking! First travelling by simple vehicles over bumpy tracks we continue on foot on a decent path through shady monsoon forests till we reach our target: The villages of mountain peoples (minorities) who nowadays settle in regions of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Lahu and Khun, Palaung, Iquor and An, they all once lived in the south of China. Perhaps the shaman of the An will ask you into his hut and show you the village´s lucky signs which placate nature´s ghosts. Romantic picnic near a rainforest waterfall. The excursion from/to Kyaing Tong including the ride by simple vehicles takes more or less a full day, the hiking itself 4-hours in total.
A day for discoveries! Following the route of the smugglers to the Chinese border. A day of travelling to a untouched country, to Buddhist pagodas and to villages somewhere. And at the Chinese border you are brought back to the present with a bang: Karaoke … Accommodation: 1 night
Full day return. Take a close look at Kyaing Tong which must seem “big” to you now! Accommodation: 1 night
The beautiful decorations and artfully applied lacqueur coatings of the local Buddha monasteries will please you. Shop to your heart´s desire at a local lacquer factory? Or stroll across the town´s vibrant market? Return flight is in the afternoon to Yangon. Note: You can also fly to Mandalay and Heho.