A Kengtung Hiking Adventure

by Exotissimo, Dec 13, 2009 | Destinations: Myanmar / Shan State

If you like hiking, adventure and a taste of hilltribe life in Myanmar, then you should try Kengtung. The town is surrounded by mountains and is an exotic blend of Shan, Burmese, Thai and Chinese influences. It is near the Golden Triangle in Myanmar’s Shan State and is at an average elevation of more than 1500 meters.

The town was founded by the grandson of the first king of Chiang Mai and the Lanna Kingdom, King Mangrai. The expansion of the Lanna Lingdom has resulted in the migration of the Tai people into the area. The town now boasts a colorful array of ethnic groups which include the Akha, Ann, Wa, Palaung, Lah and Shan.

The town of Kengtung also boasts some striking sites for visitors to see. There are a group of 19th century temples and structures in the center of town such as Maha Myat Muni pagoda (Shan/Thai: Wat Phra Jao Lung) and Zom Kham temple (Shan/Thai: Wat Jom Kham). Most sites in Kengtung have two names because of the cultural influences of the Shan and Thai languages. Sitting above the town on a hill, Wat Phra That Jom Mon is a good place for a view of the town. A visit to a nearby hot spring is also a must.

With the terrain and interesting mix of culture and life, trekking is a great way to experience Kengtung and the neighboring area. You will come across welcoming and friendly tribes in their interesting costumes and markets that still operate on barter trade. In these markets, the various hilltribes converge for a sea of interesting colors and atmosphere.

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Fact File: 

Exotissimo has two packages into the area with our multi-country Crossing to Myanmar: Chiang Mai to Kengtung tour and Kengtung Adventure tours. A hiking adventure into the region is certain to reward you with captivating insights into the town, the surrounding locale and its authentic hilltribe cultures.

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