- Train Guide
Myitkyina is the capital city of Kachin State. Myitkyina is the furthest point North you can travel by train in Myanmar and once of the least visited towns in Myanmar by foreign travellers. Located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River the town has a population of around 150,000 and has been a centre for the trade of teak, gold and jade with business travelling from nearby China to purchase these locally sourced commodities. Myitkyina does not have an abundance of ancient buildings like Bagan, but it does have a large state fair each year commencing on the 10th January. The Kachin State Fair is a major annual event in Myanmar, attracting over 100,000 people, and in the future is set to become once of the ‘most do’ destinations for foreign travellers with a desire to experience Myanmar’s cultural heritage. Very few foreign tourists make this trip at the moment and we suggest that you go soon before it becomes another stop on the South East Asia tourist trail.
The journey by train is 552 km and takes between 22 hours and 25 hours and 45 minutes depending upon which train you catch. This trip is something of an adventure and like all the best adventures the journey is at times uncomfortable with over crowded trains and the disturbance of soldiers wanting up and down the train during the night. The reward for this discomfort is to experience a real slice of life in Myanmar, passing colourful small towns and stopping at railway station which explode into life whenever the intercity trains arrive. The trains tend to stop at all the small stations on route and there are endless opportunity to buy food and drinks from the seller on the platform. The scenery is also, at times, amazing particularly the fields of sunflowers and views of the Ayeyarwady River, which the train line follows for much of the route between Mandalay and Myitkyina.