Myitkyinar (144 meters above sea level) is the capital of Kachin State, located on the Ayerwaddy plain surrounded by high mountian rages. Local populations are mainly Kachin, Shan, Bamar (Burmese), Chin, Naga, Rawang and Lisu ethnic groups. The main attraction in Myitkyinar include Thetkya Marazein Andawshin Pagoda (famous for it’s glass mosaics), the Kachin-State-Mueseum (closed on Mondays and public holidays) and the Tsu Taungpyae Zetidaw Pagoda located on the river bank. Myitsone is 45 kilometers north of Myitkyinar, is the start of the Ayeyerwaddy River originated from the confluence of May Kha and Malikha Rivers.
Inndawgyi Lake Wildlife Sancturary
Inndawgyi Lake (546 feet/ 166 m above the sea level), located in northern Myanmar is the biggest inland lake in Southeast Asia and the largest in Myanmar. It measures 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) east to west, and 24 kilometres (15 mi) north to south. There are more than 20 villages dotted in the surroundings of the lake and the predominant ethnic groups living there are the Shan (Tai) and Kachin (Jingphaw). Lake side villages include Lonton, Nyaungbin, Lwemun, Hepu, Hepa, Nammilaung (Cane Buddha Image, old teak monastery, interesting architecture with high wooden fences around all houses), Shwe Taung (for a scenic view of the lake, need to take either boat or motorbike), Ask InnChitThu for recommendation. One of the main attraction is the floating Shwe Myitzu Pagoda.
Indawgyi Lake is the main part of the Inndawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 1999 by the Ministry of Ecotourism. The sanctuary, which encompasses 780 square kilometer (300 square miles), contains a variety of animal species, including rare mammals and birds. Leopard, golden cat, the Malaya sun bear, gaur, banteng or wild cow, serow, goral, sport-billed pelican, vulture, other water birds, 120 species of forest birds Myanmar peacock and Soft-shell turtle are present. It is also one of Myanmar’s important bird area and 10 endangered species can be found. Of these species, Greylag Geese, Oriental Darter and Purple Swamphen are prominent during the month of January. The lake and surrounding wetlands provide an important winter feeding habitat. Every year migratory birds from as far as Siberia follow the East Asian-Australasian flyway and flock to Indawgyi Lake to rest and feed during the winter season. A tour of the lake by motor canoe allows the viewing of a large array of wetland species.
Reaching to Indawgyi Lake is not easy. From Myitkyina it’s almost a five-hour train ride to Hopin, followed by a two hour taxi trip, or a three- to six-hour shared pick-up truck ride, along a very bumpy road to Lonton village on the lake. For that reason, this is a place that has never seen many tourists.
Inndawgyi Lake claims to offer the most varied outdoor activities of any destination in Myanmar, such as cycling, kayaking, wild swimming, bird Watching, trekking, motorbike tours and boat tours around the lake and villages.
Below services are provided by Inn Chit Thu (Lovers of Indawgyi) Tourism Group, a community-based organisation run as a social enterprise, with profits set to be invested in environmental conservation and community projects. You can ask for a map of the area if you are going on your own. Price are for guidance only, and subject to changes by the provider.
- Motorbikes – 10,000 Kyats for the day (fuel not included)
- Kayaks – 15,000Kayts per day
- Fishing trips – Price varies, may not operate at all time
- Boat Tours – 50,000 – 60,000 Kyats for a full days river tour (boat can take up to 8 people) – the only way to cover the late in one day
- Boat Taxi – price depends on the distance
- Bird Watching – price varies depending on what you do
- Bicycle rent – 8000 Kyats per day.