As general rule when packing for wilderness expeditions keep personal gear to a minimum. Please avoid large framed suitcase as they can be rather cumbersome to porters but use a medium size duffle bag instead. Your day pack should be a medium volume without a frame which can hold your personal belonging such as medication, camera, extra clothes and drinking water etc.
Clothes & Footwear:
Should be lightweight, dry quickly, and provide insulation. A thick sweater or fleece sweat shirt will be essential for the evenings when temperatures decline considerably. For longer treks and higher altitude treks waterproof pants, gaiters and gloves are highly recommended. Lightweight hiking boots or good quality running shoes are must for the lowland trek. For Rafting You will need wetsuits during the coldest months (i.e. Dec, Jan and Feb) to protect against the cold and potential heat loss. A set of good quality splash pants and jacket are ideal as they will keep you warm and dry. If you are not too concerned about wet and cold then Patagonia Baggies or guide shorts will be the best all around river wear, as they are durable, dry quickly.
It is essential that all rafters have footwear that they can wear in the raft, which will not come off in the event of a swim, as this is considered standard safety equipment. A baseball style cap and sunglasses equipped with a retaining device to keep them on your face where they belong.
Exotic Myanmar Travels provides standard facility such as private bath with hot & cold shower in Putao. Western toilet facilities are installed in some of the villages on various trekking route. Some of our treks involve local home stay and tent accommodation. With a local home stay we choose a suitable home in a village. Night will then be spent in candle light and wood fire. Toilets will be clean but mostly local squat type. Limited amount of hot water will be supplied for face wash in every morning. When pitching a tent, two clients will share a tent, unless they have requested and paid for a single supplement.
Local CDMA network plus satellite based IP Star communication facility exist in Putao which enables you to connect to the world from this wildness town. Once you leave the town then communication will become rather limited except for occasional radio telephone facility at some villages.
We take care of all catering on your trekking/expedition. Hot breakfast will be served in the morning, lunch usually is simple and light and serves during mid day. Dinner will be more extensive featuring pre dinner snacks and deserts. Clients with special dietary requirements will have to advise us at the time of booking.
Unless otherwise pre-arrangement has been made, we provide English-language escorted leader plus an assistance local guide, who will also be able to speak the local hill tribe dialects.
There are limited numbers of motor vehicles available in Putao. WW II jeeps and open trucks are standard type of transportation. Sharing one vehicle among many clients is common due to limited resources.
Putao tourist season is between November and May, mostly clear skies, warm during the day and cool mornings and evenings. Temperature steadily decreases between late December and early February. Average temperature would be between low 4/10 and high 22/30 degree Celsius but could drop steadily up to freezing up in the mountains.
Air Bagan serves twice weekly flight on Tuesdays and Fridays between Yangon, Mandalay, Myitkyina and Putao. Myanmar Airways also schedule to operate twice weekly flight on Tuesdays and Saturdays but its rather uncertain weather or not it actually operate according to schedule. Unforeseen circumstance such as bad weather in mountainous regions could cause flight delays. Clients should make proper allowances when booking your onward journey.
Such as flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries, water purifying tablets, Pocketknife, reading and writing materials are essential. A personal first aid kit would also be essential for your convenience.
Should bring battery-operated appliances with several extra batteries. You can recharge your batteries while you are in Putao however, no electricity is available once you leave Putao.
The same precautions as anywhere else. Drink bottled, boiled or treated water, avoid eating raw vegetables, and eat fruits that you can peel or cut yourself. It's important to use insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away. Use sunscreen literally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.
Exotic Myanmar Travels programs are classified as "Easy" with only a short element of trekking on good paths and predominantly at low altitudes, "Moderate" involve relatively short days combination of lowland trekking with some up and down to "Demanding" with longer trekking days higher altitude on difficult terrain etc. For rafting part grade are classified by number i.e.: "Grade 2+ = Easy" usually gentle water with occasional rapids which clients can enjoy sites and sound while team paddle the raft, "Grade 3-4 = Demanding" will be more adventure in the white water with multiple rapids where every one has to take part as a team to maneuver the raft. None of our program does require technical mountaineering/rafting skills or previous experience. During your expedition you will be under the direction of your trip leader and he or she has total authority to determine your suitability to participate.
International standard facilities are limited in the up country and none exists in the Putao region.
While trekking you may leave the valuable at our office in Putao. We recommend using lockable baggage.
It is compulsory for all clients to take out their own personal and travel insurance, which must cover trip cancellation and baggage protection. Full contact details of the insurance policy will need to be carried with the expedition.
In the event of an emergency, client will be taken to Putao and flown to Yangon for further medical care. Ensure that your insurance policy covers you for such unlikely eventualities. Medical evacuation and hospitalization fees are to be paid for by guests prior to departure from Yangon.
Electricity is available limited time only in Putao with the current 220 V / 50 Hz. Sockets have two round/flat pins. If you are traveling with any electrical appliances, an international converter kit and a set of adapter plugs will be essential. You need battery-operated appliances with several extra batteries. You can recharge your batteries while you are in Putao however; no electricity is available once you leave Putao.
Tipping is common to trip leaders, local guides, cooks and porters on the tours. For the hotel staff there is a tipping box installed in the Trekking House lobby which the moneys collect will be evenly distribute amongst hotel staff including those who make your stay pleasant behind the curtain.