Hkakabo Razi in Kachin State is regarded as the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia. Its diverse flora and fauna gives it the potential to be one of the biggest tourist destinations in Burma.
The mountain is situated in the state of Kachin. The mountain peak is situated in the park that bears the same name. The mountain is set in the Greater Himalayan mountain system subrange.
What to See
The area surrounding the mountain is rugged. The most conspicuous features are the evergreen rainforest. The site is filled with broad-leaved forests, needle-leaved evergreens and broad-leaved, semi-deciduous greens.
The forest zone is alpine at 3,500 feet. This alpine sector is different in appearance and history from the rest of the area. Glaciers and snow can be seen at the higher stages. Hkakabo Razi mountain also has diverse flora and fauna.
The mountain is very difficult to climb. Nyima Gyaltsen and Takashi Ozaki attempted to ascend it in 1996 but bad weather forced them back. Just getting to base camp can take a month. You will also have to venture into thick rainforests. Some of the crossings are not bridged. For this reason, the climb is best attempted by experienced climbers.
The mountain was declared a reserve on January 30, 1996. It was named a national park on November 10, 1998. It is the final biodiversity area in the country. There is a sub-tropical temperate zone at 2,438 m to 2,743 m.
The ice cap with glaciers can be seen at 5,300 m. Via the eco-tourism program in Burma, the area will be opened for tourism and study. Much remains to be studied including the field of geography, zoology, geology and botany.
The cost of touring the place is still to be determined as it is not yet fully opened. If you want to go there now, you should get in touch with travel agents and operators that operate in Burma.
Studies of the wildlife in the area have been done in 1997 and 1998 by the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York along with the Forest Department. Another study was conducted in 2001 and many more are expected to follow. It is these studies that have helped popularize the place.
Not many westerners have been to Hkakabo Razi. Even the scientists who have been there are few and far between. However, this is expected to change as the site is being opened for for tourists.