Bamaw is a city of Kachin State in northernmost part of Myanmar, located 116 miles or 186 km south from the capital city of Myitkyina. It is on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. It lies within 41 miles or 65 km of the border with Yunnan Province, China.
The population consists of Kachin, Shan and Chinese with peoples in the hills around the town. It is the administrative center of Bhamo District and Bhamo Township. Today it is home to a daily market which attracts many ethnic minorities from hills to visit the town. You can often catch the colourful costumes and faces of Kachin, Shan, Lisu and Palaung people.
Bhamo was a trading post close to the Chinese border, when copper coins from China flowed into Burma via Bhamo. As of 1935 the town was situated at the highest navigable point of the river.
Bhamaw was once called Sampanago, the capital of the now-extinct Shan kingdom of Manmaw. The ruins of the old city walls, dating from the fifth Century, are found some 5 km from the modern town.
“The scenery between Bhamo and Katha is beautiful – many tourists choose to come here and take a ferry down the river.
There is opportunity to observe the local bird life, Ayeyarwady dolphins and the lifestyles of local people.
One of the area’s famous place is the village of Sein Lon.
“Sein Lon is very beautiful and there is some nice architecture. It was a district town in the colonial era,” Sein Lon is 36.8 km (23 miles) from Bhamo and situated on the Bhamo to Lwe Je road.
“Tourists can visit a church in Pan Mu village that is built on a cliff, and there is a another one, St Michael’s, about 14km (9 miles) north of Bhamo. It was built by the French in 1938 and is believed to be the first church made in Kachin State,” he said.
Adventurous travellers might enjoy the local ferry boat trip from Bhamo to Mandalay that takes you through lush jungle, bamboo forests and steep rock gorges.
The so-called Ledo Road etches out a route through the rocky mountain region of Kachin State. This old caravan route was upgraded in 1965 to link China, Myanmar and India but has since fallen into disrepair. Kachin is just opening up to tourism and will soon become an important destination.
Magnificent mountain scenery, the great Ayeyarwady River and a fascinating mix of people from many different ethnic minorities are all features of main attractions.
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