Myitkyina in Myanmar might sound unfamiliar to some travelers worldwide, and this destination is off the beaten track. Let’s say you’ve come across this name while searching for destinations in Myanmar. Then, keep reading the following bits to find out some unique, interesting traits about Myitkyina in Myanmar!
About Myitkyina in Myanmar
Myitkyina is the significant capital city of Kachin State in the North of Myanmar (Burma). The destination is situated around 1,480 km from Yangon, and 785km from Mandalay. In the Burmese language, Myitkyina means “Near the Big River,” derived from the fact that this capital city is on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River, around 45km south of the confluence Myitsone of the two headstreams: the Malikha and Mayhka Rivers. Though Myitkyina is a remote site, it is served by Myitkyina Airport. Also, know that this off-the-beaten-track destination is home to the Bamar, Kachin, Indian ethnic groups, and more. People share the healthy ethnic mixture, making Myitkyina the different hub of culture, ethnicity, and religion. Christianity and Buddhism play the significant roles in the local religious beliefs. The town owns up to 15 churches. Broadly speaking, Myitkyina is the furthest north of Myanmar reached overland – the destination reserved to adventure tours in Myanmar. According to the Burmese, while the Ayeyarwady River is the birthplace of Myanmar civilization, the confluence Myitsone has the inevitable significance. And, Myitkyina is a place to witness both.
What to See in Myitkyina
The lake is the largest body of water in Myanmar. If visiting Indawgyi Lake, you can expect to meet the peaceful and green scenery. Just a short walk around the lake teaches you much about the grandeur of nature and the abundant life along the lakesides. The small-town friendliness will warm up your visit.
Myitsone – The Irrawaddy Source
Around 45km to the north of Myitkyina is Myitsone – the beautiful confluence of the Mayhka (N’Mai) and Malikha Rivers. Know that ‘Myitsone’ means ‘confluence in the local language. This is the source of the powerful Irrawaddy River, offering the scenic landscape all season with the white water, the appealing shallows, and the picturesque downstream. The travelers might find it greatly inspiring to enjoy sightseeing as well as photographing this mighty confluence whenever they travel to Myitkyina.
Sutaung Pyi Pagoda (or Hsu Taung Pye)
This is an impressive complex next to the river. While the riverscape is idyllic, the golden pagoda is eye-catching. The presence of the standing and reclining Buddha also boosts the holy atmosphere there.
Sri Saraswati Temple
The temple owns the bright color and attractive architecture whose charm goes beyond the first visitors’ expectation for the “unreal” religious site. Sri Saraswati Temple has proximity to the city center. The brightness of the 2-story building stands out of the area. Once you step inside, expect to see the hallow atmosphere.
Kachin Manau Park
The park is where the famous Kachin Manau Festival took place in January every year, ‘Manau’ means ‘peace and unity’ in the Burmese language. Various Kachin tribes come there to celebrate their cultures. Due to the Visit Kachin Manau Park on the regular days, you see the fresh, green atmosphere filled with some local Kachin people. The park is the favorite local venue. Then, in the festive time, the event had the unique characteristics of Manau dance with drums, gongs, and tribal costumes. The dance performance lasted 3 hours twice a day for 5 days. It brought the feeling like an Olympic opening ceremony with thousands of people dancing. Due to some controversial issues, the celebration of Manau Festival is not fixed though many individuals look forwards to it. The main festive day witnessed the big crowds. Anyhow, the Park itself is worth a visit.
Kachin Cultural Museum
If having passions for the culture of both Shan and Kachin state, then a visit to Kachin Cultural Museum is full of passionate things. Some interesting cultural objects will be on display, like the pictures of Putao mountainous areas, and the costumes of the Shan and Kachin tribes. Take notice of the exhibits so that you perceive some knowledge about the desired subjects.
While the Ayeyarwady River is mighty and significant, the bridge is very scenic, especially at dawn. The travelers might love to spend minutes sightseeing the sunrise in the bridge, and some say that they can see the light of paradise. Just rent a motorbike to reach the bridge in the early morning, and you see the magic! For motorbike rental, you should contact the local guesthouses or hotels for advice.
How to Get to Myitkyina
As noted, Myitkyina is served by the Myitkyina Airport that welcomes the travelers from anywhere. There are the domestic flights to Myitkyina from Yangon, Mandalay, and Putao. Because this is the off the beaten tourist trail, you might not expect to find the deluxe hotels with the upscale transfer services. Rather, it’s advised to ask your travel agents to arrange the pick-up service for you. Then, you can arrive at the comfortable accommodation with the air-conditioned and en-suite rooms as wished. From the airport, it takes 15 minutes driving to Myitkyina town center. You can opt for taxi or tuk-tuk.
Myitkyina is around 1,480 km from Yangon, and 785km from Mandalay; therefore, the overland transport might be proper for some drivers. There are the vehicle rental services in either Yangon or Mandalay to Myitkyina, and you can opt for it. Otherwise, the travel agents can give you the tickets for the long buses/coaches. Driving to Myitkyina allows you to see the scenic ecotourism landscapes of the off-the-beaten-track site.
The Mandalay-Myitkyina railway has been running for 100 years. The train trip takes approximately 24 hours due to the old railway tracks. This way is time-consuming, but if you want to experience something old and traditional of the Kachin people, you can decide it.
When to Visit Myitkyina
Myitkyina experiences the humid subtropical climate. The area is warm throughout the year, but there stand out three major seasons to take notice of:
- November – February: These are the winter months which shower Myitkyina with the cold and dry conditions. The temperature can reduce around 5 Celsius degrees at night while the morning remains freezing. In average, the daytime temperature is 20-27 Celsius degrees. If getting to Myitkyina that time, expect to see the fresh and cold scenery. And, make sure to check if your lodging has the think blankets to use at night.
- March – June: These are the warm months in Myitkyina. The temperature constantly rises during the months of March, April, and May. It is the pleasant condition, without rain and with warmness, for everybody to explore the destination in an easy manner. The tourists might love to visit the off-the-beaten tourist trail in the warm season, and particularly, March – June is the best time to see Myitkyina.
- July – October: These are the wet summer months when the heavy rain and flooding come. Sometimes, thunderstorms happen. Therefore, the vacationers should always check the weather forecast before their flights. While the daytime is quite scorching (the temperature is 30-35 Celsius degrees), the night is more comfortable with the average temperature of 25 Celsius degrees. The hot and rainy weather in Myitkyina during these months are similar to most parts of the Southern Myanmar and Thailand.
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