Putao’s northern horizon is dominated by the con- voluted, ice-encrusted summit of Hkakabo Razi, Myanmar’s highest mountain at 19,294 ft (5,881m). The first ascent of the peak was made by a Japanese expedition as recently as 1996. In the same year, American conser- vationist Alan Rabinowitz surveyed the area’s wildlife and discovered herds of Himalayan blue sheep, takin, red panda, stone martens, and an endemic species of leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis) hitherto unknown to science. His find- ings led to the creation of a national park, which now nominally protects a 1,500-sq-mile (2,424-sq-km) tract of rain forest and Alpine valleys around the mountain. A 10-day round trip is required to reach Hkakabo Razi’s base camp, and access to the park is permitted only to those foreign travelers who are on prearranged tours, either via government- approved agents or through the two hotels cur- rently operating in Putao.