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Home > Myanmar Highlights > Off-the-beaten-track > Northern Jewels > Bhamo > Info

Northern Jewels

Info River Villages beyond Mandalay


Bhamo is an old trading port town, situated in Kachin State, on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, a town where the ships from Mandalay could achieve their northern most access. The Chinese border is only 80km (50miles) away and the infamous Ledo-Burma Road, which was developed by the Americans during 2nd world war, passes this town. About 3km north of Bhamo, remnants of 15th century Shan Kingdom called Sampanago featuring ruined pagodas and grass overgrown city walls. Bhamo’s daily market attracts many ethnic minorities to the town, where you can often catch colorful costumes and faces of Shan, Kachin, Lisu, and Palaung of nearby hills. The magnificent mountain scenery, the stunning views of geographical features of lush sub-tropical jungle-clad river banks and the enthralling river gorges, and the fascinating mixture of people from many different ethnic minorities are a few supporting points that one should consider visiting such remote and isolated town of northern Myanmar. Bhamo can be best visited from Mandalay with government run twice a week Chinese-made triple decker or there are boutique-style cruises available from Amara River Cruise (scheduled regular departures), and seasonal cruises operated by Ayavata and Orient-Express’ Road To Mandalay are more pleasurable but comes at cost. It will take around 6-hrs to/from Kachin State capital Myitkyina by car for 186km on a dusty bumpy road. Virtually, there is a road connection between Bhamo and Mandalay but land routes are extremely cumbersome and thus not suggested. For those who have a little extra time, visits to the Elephant camp and an old British hill station Seinlon can be made from Bhamo. Although it may need to exert considerable amount of time, energy, and money it is worth to try a circular route beginning in Mandalay to northern Shan state visiting old colonial town of Pyin Oo Lwin, spectacular train ride over one-hundred-year-old Gothteik Viaduct to charming bucolic former Shan capital Hisapw, experience Myanmar part of renowned Burma Road from Lashio to the frontier town of Muse to Namkham valley and then finally to Bhamo before the enthralling downriver journey back to Mandalay.




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