Myitkyina is the capital of Kachin State in Northern Myanmar. The population of the town is around 150,000 and includes an ethnic mix of Bamar, Kachin, and Indian people.
A sleepy backwater town today, Myitkyina was the site of a bitter battle between Japanese and Allied forces during the Second World War. The town was almost completely destroyed in the battle. The location of the town, in an opportunistic valley between India and China, made it strategic enough to be on the Ledo Road built by the US General Joseph Stilwell. If Myanmar ever gets its act together, Myitkyina could, one day, become an important way station for trade between the two Asian giants, India and China. For now, Myitkyina is a destination because of the journey. There is no road or river connection to Bhamo due to conflicts between "rebels" and the army south of town) and because it is a staging point for trips to Indawgyi Lake and Putao (Jun 2012).
One can best enjoy Myitikyina between late Oct-early Feb. It's the mild season.
Myitkyina is small. You can get anywhere in town by trishaw or on your own two feet.
If you arrive by train, turn left and walk along the main street to get to the city centre. After reaching an intersection with a clock tower, turn right and left to go to New Light Hotel, or left and right for the YMCA.
- Hsu Taung Pyi Zedi.
- Sri Saraswati Temple, Sadung water fow.
Visit the memorial dedicated to the Chinese Expeditionary Forces.
One can find and buy the world's best jade and gems. Buy Kachin traditional dresses, handicrafts, and other national cultural textiles and food.
- Tsa pyi, Tsa hku.
- New Light Hotel. Nice rooms with free drinking water and shared baths. Larger rooms with private baths are also available. USD10.
- YMCA. It seems foreigners are automatically allocated the most expensive rooms and you may have a hard time convincing them to give you one with a shared bath. Although you may pay more and get less, the YMCA are doing good work in educating internally displaced persons: by staying here you're helping support the local community USD8-14.
- Myitson (Mali Zup in Kachin language), the confluence of Mali and Nmai Rivers and the starting point of the Irrawady River, 32 km from Myitkyina
- Indawgyi Lake