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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 26°0′N 97°30′E / 26°N 97.5°E / 26; 97.5

Kachin State (MLCTS:
Capital Myitkyina
Region Northern
Area 89,041 km²
Population 1,270,000 (2000)[1]
Ethnicities Kachin, Bamar, Shan, Naga, Chinese, Indians, Gorkha
Religions Christianity, Buddhism

Kachin State (Burmese: ကချင်ပြည်နယ်; Kachin: Jingphaw Mungdaw), is the northernmost state of Burma. It is bordered by China to the north and east; Shan State to the south; and Sagaing Division and India to the west. It lies between north latitude 23° 27' and 28° 25' longitude 96° 0' and 98° 44'. The area of Kachin State is 89,041 km2 (34,379 sq mi). The capital of the state is Myitkyina. Other important towns include Bhamo.

Kachin State has Myanmar’s highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi (5,889 metres (19,320 ft)), forming the southern tip of the Himalayas, and a large inland lake, Indawgyi Lake.



The majority of the state's 1.2 million inhabitants are ethnic Kachin, also known as Jinghpaw, Rawang, Lisu, Zaiwa, Lawngwaw, Lachyit, and the state is officially home to other ethnic groups such as Bamar, and Shan. Official government statistics state that the distribution by religion is 57.8% Buddhist, 36.4% Christian. The Kachin language is the lingua franca in the State, and has a written version based on the Roman alphabet. There is also a small number of Tibetans living in some villages of Kachin State.


The economy of Kachin State is predominantly agricultural. The main products include rice, sugar cane. Mineral products include gold and jade.


Kachin State is served by the following airports:

Kachin state has invaluable natural resources.

Most areas of Kachin state are undeveloped. Many people are still engaged in agriculture.

Under the current regime, the government exploits the country by taking various timber land. Although the government has been extracting the natural resources of the Kachin people, there is little or no development in infrastructure, health care, and other basic necessities of the people.


Educational opportunities in Myanmar are extremely limited outside the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay. It is especially a problem in Kayin State where constant fighting between the government and insurgents for over 60 years has produced thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. The following is a summary of the education system in the state.[2]

AY 2002-2003 Primary Middle High
Schools 1183 86 41
Teachers 3700 1500 600
Students 168,000 80,000 24,100

Health care

The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The military government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world.[3][4] Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment. In general, the health care infrastructure outside of Yangon and Mandalay is extremely poor but is especially worse in remote areas like Kachin State. The following is a summary of the public health care system in the state.[5]

2002-2003 # Hospitals # Beds
Specialist hospitals 2 125
General hospitals with specialist services 2 500
General hospitals 17 553
Health clinics 22 352
Total 43 1530


Aung San

The Burmese government under Aung San reached the Panglong Agreement with the Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples on 12 February 1947. The agreement accepted "Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas" in principle and envisioned the creation of a Kachin State by the Constituent Assembly. Kachin State was formed in 1948 out of the British Burma civil districts of Bhamo and Myitkyina, together with the larger northern district of Puta-o. The vast mountainous hinterlands are predominantly Kachin, whereas the more densely populated railway corridor and southern valleys are mostly Shan and Bamar. The northern frontier was not demarcated and until the 1960s Chinese governments had claimed the northern half of Kachin State as Chinese territory since the 18th century. Before the British rule, roughly 75% of all Kachin jadeite ended up in China, where it was prized much more highly that the local Chinese nephrite.

Kachin troops formerly formed a significant part of the Burmese army. With the unilateral abrogation of the Union of Burma constitution by the Ne Win regime in 1962, Kachin forces withdrew and formed the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) under the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Aside from the major towns and railway corridor, Kachin State has been virtually independent from the mid 1960s through 1994, with an economy based on smuggling, jade trade with China and narcotics. After a Myanmar army offensive in 1994 seized the jade mines from the KIO, a peace treaty was signed, permitting continued KIO effective control of most of the State, under aegis of the Myanmar military. This ceasefire immediately resulted in the creation of numerous splinter factions from the KIO and KIA of groups opposed to the peace accord, and the political landscape remains highly unstable.

Traditional Kachin society was based on shifting hill agriculture. Political authority was based on chieftains who depended on support from immediate kinsmen. Considerable attention has been given by anthropologists of the Kachin custom of maternal cousin marriage, wherein it is permissible for a man to marry his mother’s brother’s daughter, but not with the father’s sister’s daughter. Traditional religion was animist, but missionary activity since the British period have converted the vast majority of the population to Christianity (notably Baptist and pockets of Roman Catholicism).

See also


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kachin State is in Northeastern Myanmar. It borders China to the north and east, and India to the west.


Kachin State has been de facto independent from central government's control since 1962, when the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) unilaterally seceded from the Union of Myanmar. A peace deal struck in 1994 after a government army offensive made the arrangement more or less permanent, with the KIO-controlled area formalized as Kachin State Special Region #1, although KIO itself promptly split up into squabbling factions and the internal situation remains precarious at best.


In Special Region #1, Mandarin will get you a lot further than Burmese (or English).

Get in

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, or take the easier way out and enter via China.

Get around

Myitsone (Mali Zup), a confluence of Mali and Nmai Rivers, a naturally spledid for hangout and fun.

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