Jody's Adventures

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Guide for Putao

Putao is a little place in the far far north of Myanmar, and it's a bit tricky and expensive for travellers to get there. You have to get special permission from the government to go, and book a trip with a travel agency. Most people go as part of a package tour. Otherwise you must book your own private guide. Not the way I normally like to travel but I was introduced to a man in Thailand who had a lot of herbal medicines from this area and a daughter there who he had not seen for many many years. So the lure of finding out about traditional medicines coupled with the facts that it is more out of the way and right at the foothills of the Himalayas was more than I could resist, I had to go. Part of the deal with going to a restricted area is that you must have a guide which of course you must pay for. Fortunately I got a lovely lady who I was able to meet beforehand. I was also told that 2 other people would be meeting me in putao so I would have an entourage. I really wasn't even sure if any of it would materialize because of course I had to pay for all of it upfront and had nothing but a vague handwritten receipt to prove what I had paid to this government agency. My guide was to meet me in the last town to the north that travellers are permitted to venture unaccompanied. Fortunately she did arrive.


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