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Top Ten Treks in The World - #3 - Katchin Village Trek, Burma

Katchin Village Trek - BurmaMysterious Burma. Yes, you may have heard that it’s called Myanmar these days. For many, however, there is something magical and even foreboding about the name Burma. What often comes to mind are deep jungles, brutal wars, Orwellian military dictatorships and, of course, really hard to build roads. The Kachin State is home to all of these qualities, both historically and in current times. This area is one of the least visited of all Himalayan regions and not surprisingly one of the least visited parts of Burma. Closed to foreigners since shortly after WWII, it just opened up to travelers a few years before our trek. Fascinating new tribes and rare new species from all phyla in the animal kingdom were recently “discovered” in this remote area. You can visit several tribal villages and head out from the “last village” to the untamed forests and ultimately scale the heights of the remote Mt. Phon Khan Razi.

As my second significant trek, I didn't fully appreciate the splendor of our jungle trek until much later. It wasn't the wild life, mountains, or vegetation that set the Kachin trek apart from all otheres. It's included here, because when we went it was basically a virginal trek. Few commerical groups had passed through and contaminated the joyful, unspoiled people. Hands were extended in friendship, not for a donation. The rare, genuine interactions we experienced were never parelleled on the rest of my journeys. Now with an appreciation for such simplistic pleasures, they are hard to find. By the time you read this, it may already be too late to have an experience equal to our own. Do some homework and research an equally remote trek for a parallel experience.

You can read a more complete story of our hike at our sister site www.greattreks.com or purchase our book A Journey Along the World's Great Treks.

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