Kachin State is the northernmost state of Myanmar. It borders China to the north and east, and India to the west.
Kachins together with Shan, Naga and Burman achieved Independence from British Colony but the taste of that meaning has never been experienced by Kachin People due to bigotry and oppression thereby Kachin Arm Struggle Started in 1961 to restore political self-determination.
Kachins are Jinghpaw, Maru (Lawngwaw), Lashi (Lachit), Zaiwa (Azi), Rawang, Lisu (some books mention Yodwin) and five other sub-groups. These six major groups, including five other different sub-groups, are together known as Kachins. They have same traditions, customs, dialects and practices. Kachins originated from Central Asia (Ka-ang Shingra). They migrated from Central Asia via Persia; Tashkent and Sarmakand (Southern Russia); Mongolia; Huhethot, Kan Su, Tsing Hai Districts, Yalo Tsangpo of Republic of China. Then they were back to the Tsing Hai District (China) and landed to the place called: Chengtu (China). Then they finally migrated to the present occupied land called: The Kachinland. After migrating to the land, some of them strayed away to India (Singphos), China (Jingpos or Jinghpos, most of them in China speak Zaiwa) and most of the Kachins migrated to the Northern Burma: Kachinland. It is only about 2662 years old that the Kachins live in the present land. They were explorers, and were moving along the riverbanks where they could find fertile lands.
Kachins live in their own land. They had a separate country before the British Rule, but then it became a part of Burma after the Rule. Total area of the Kachinland measures about 33,903 square miles, located between 23o-3' to 28o - 29' N Latitude and 96o - 99o E Longitudes. Kachinland is adjoining with Peoples Republic of China in the East, Democratic Republic of India in the West, Tibet in the North and Burma in the South. About 50% of the total area of the Kachinland are hills and mountains up to the height of 5,881 metres above the sea level. Kachinland is rich in natural resources. Jades and teak-timbers are the best in quality, and production of gold per unit area is the highest, in the world. The land is covered with undisturbed-natural forests. The rarest natural species like Black Orchids, White Pheasants, and golden fishes in the confluence of Mali and Nmai rivers are observed. There are mainly three seasons in the Kachinland viz., Yinam ta , sometimes also written as Lanam ta (Rainy Season), i.e., middle of May to middle of October; N'lum ta(Summer Season) is from middle of February to middle of May, and N'shung ta (Winter Season) starts from middle of October and ends in February. Annual Mean Daily Temperature ranges from 4 - 36 oC with 60 - 95% Relative Humidity. Hill cities, like Putao, have a very low temperature ranging from -4 to 18oC with low humidity. The uppermost part of Kachinland, including the most beautiful Plateau-city (Putao) falls in temperate zone. The maximum temperature of 40 oC was recorded in 1996. Annual rainfall ranges from 80 to 200 inches. More rainfall has been observed in mountainous parts of the land.
- Myitkyina - the capital
Myitkyina (is the capital city, estimated living about 4-6 million people including Non-Kachins (NKs.), Manmaw (Bhamo), Mukawng (Mogaung), Putau-U (Putao), Mohnyin, and Katha are the major cities of the Kachinland. International airport and the second largest station of Burmese railway are located in Myikyina. Ledo Road (some literature mentioned as Old StilWell Road) is connected to the world via China in the east and via India in the west. The Road is one of the most ever expensive ones in the world spending more than US $ 137 millions in some 1942 - 1944, constructed under the leadership of Gen. Stil Well. Captain E R Leech, Dr Ola Hanson, were some of the famous authors who wrote about the Kachins. Meanwhile, due to envitable circumstances of communication with the people, they could not mention the true to type of the Kachins.
- Laiza - Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Headquarter, adjoining China
- Maijayang - rebel-run casino-laden border boomtown
Getting in depends on where you're going. For access to government-controlled areas like the capital Myitkyina, there are direct flights from Yangon, although the adventurous may also opt to travel by train from Mandalay (24-30 hours). For the rebel-controlled north, you'll either have to battle your way through massive bureaucracy to secure permits from military government (check-points), or take the easier way out and enter via China - may not be legal.