Bhamo - Myanmar (Burma)

Bhamo in north-eastern Myanmar is at the end of the navigable section of the Irrawaddy River, and some 900 miles from Yangon. The town stretches along the river's east bank in a series of villages approached through the spectacular second Gorge of the River - the main town is higher running inland from the river. Bhamo is one end of a famous old caravan trail into China. Only a track through the mountains, it was centuries old when Marco Polo discovered it in the 13th century…and the route is still in use today. Explore local market often filled with ethnic tribes such as Kachin, Lisu and Shan. Nearby are the 5th century ruins of the trading city of Sampanago of the Shan kingdom. Visit old Bhamo town with it's magnificent Theindawgyi Paya pagoda. From here you can also take a small launch to explore the First Gorge of the Irrawaddy River, not often visited by foreign travellers. Close to the Chinese border, in ancient times Bhamo was capital of the Shan state of Manmaw and was occupied by the Chinese in 1287 and in the 1760s. Anawrahta incorporated Bhamo into a united Myanmar in the 11th century, but as a frontier area its loyalty depended on the strength of the individual Myanmar kings. The town was an important station on the Stilwell Road, which connects via Myitkyina to the north with the Burma Road.