Locations: NE Shan State - Kyaingtong (Kengtung)

Kyaingthong Hilltribes AkhaHidden deep amongst mountains and near the borders of Thailand and China lies the capital of the Golden Triangle, Kyaingtong. The city has been walled for over 500 years and is the historic center for Shan State’s Khun society who are said to be derived from the ancient Chiang Mai lineage – Lanna Thai or Million Rice Fields Dynasty. Other peoples in the city include Thai Shan, Lahu and representatives of a myriad of hilltribes from the surrounding mountains. Its strategic important lies in the city’s close proximity to China, Laos and Thailand and is a crucial military stronghold amongst the shifting seas of Shan and Wa insurgency.

It has at times been a city of great wealth as shown by architecture and numerous monasteries and pagodas, and its central lake. Today the town itself and its history are reason enough to visit, but its main attraction is as a jumping off point for treks to hilltribe villages in the surrounding mountains. During the course of a single day it is possible to reach traditional Wa, Akha, Akhu, Palaung, Kwe and Ang villages, and the areas thriving 5 day markets are a delight to explore.


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