Old Burma Road
The Holly Wood Chinese Director John Woo now is in Yunnan shutting a Movie named Flying Tiger, when people talking about Flying Tigers, it is hardly not to mention the Old Burma Road and its glorious past, although both Chinese and American government never talked about it for almost 60 years, but the lively memories have been always in Kunming city.
the Old Burma Road had been already existed before the Second World Two. The merchants and caravans transported tea, salt, Jade and Buddha’s Faith back and forth on this hardy -goats- made –out trail from Puer County China to Southeastern Asia, to Burma, to Tibet and India.The thousands years of the ancient life style had been changed until the coming of Japanese invasion in spring 1937. only few month later, Japanese occupied the most of China, all the international transportation routes were cut off by Japanese enemy. Mr. Chiang Gai Shek, president of current Gong Ming Dai party, called on a urgent meeting in capital city Nanjing to discuss the matter of international transportation, Mr.Longyun, the governor of Yunnan, suggested to build a international route based on old Tea Horse Trail to Burma then India.
the road is 980 kilometers long, started in Kunming, ends in Wangding, the burma section is from Wanding to Madaley. From November 1937 to August 1938, thousands of Chinese oversea workers, engineers and minorities took party in the construction, the youngest worker is only 5 years old, the oldest is over 69, with their hands, without any machineries. within only 9 months, the Burma Road is finished. As long the road was completed, it immediately became the life line of transportation, the allied supplies were transported by boat to Rangoon, continuingly by train to Lashio in northern Burma and trucked across the jungles and mountain ranges of Burma to dali and finally in Kunming.
When Japanese troops occupied northern and eastern China in 1937 , the Kuomintang government retreated in land to Chongqing. As they looked for supply lines through which to receive reinforcements, they turned back the ancient overland Tea-Horse Routes with Burma and India, namely the Southwest Silk Road and the old Ambassador’s road, once travelled by Marco Polo. The Kunming-Dali Section was built from 1934-1935, and in 1937 200,000 laborers were drafted in to build the section From Dali to Wanding and the on Madalay in 1940 via railhead of Llahio in Burma Shan State. By February 1039 allied supplies were being transported by boat to Rangoon, by train in Lashio in northern Burma and the trucked across the jungles and mountain ranges of Burma to Dali and finally Kunming, which rapidly became a major US air base.
In 1942 the Japanese overran Burma and cut the Burma road and allies were forced to build another road, from Ledo in northeast India to Bhamo. At one point there were even plans to link Lijiang to Assam and US army engineers went as far as enlisting Joseph Rock’s help in mapping the area. The road from Ledo became known as the Stillwell Road, after General Joseph Stillwell. Who led the Allied forces in China, Buma and India from his base in Kunming, the road was finally finished in 1944 and disused in 1945.a short-term stopgap was an air supply line, which ran over the Hump from British India and over the Himalayan Hump into the airfields of Kunming and Lijiang. Over 1000 airmen died crossing the Hump, lost in territory so remote and wild that many bodies have still not been recovered. The US army is currently investigation two sites in far eastern Tibet as the suspected site of a C-46 plane that crashed in 1946 en route from India. The importance of the Burma Road diminished after WW II but is enjoying a rival of border trade and tourism.
Old Burma Road Tour
It is never a bad idea to travel along it, begins in Kunming, ends in Burma, or do it reversely, the past history became alive, and of course, the phantastic landscapes and culture of both China and Burma and their people. Once a journey on foot and muleback, now it serves as national highway into Burma, a 3 weeks tour covered the best of most significant and magnificent sightseeings of landscapes and cultures.
Vietnam –Yunnan - Burma Tour (3 weeks)
Starts in Vietnam, travel all the way to the northern border of Vietnam and China, a small border town named Hekou, which is only 1 hour drive to Sapa Vietnam, drive to Yuanyang rice terrace from Hekou (4hours), next is Jianshui old town, then Kunming, fly to Shangri-la, there dirve to Lijiang, Dali, Baoshan, Tengchong, Ruili, exits China into Burma at Ruili border, drive to,Muse Lashio, ends in Mandalay.
Laos – Yunnan - Buma Tour (3 weeks)
The tour starts in Vietiane, travel all the way to Lubrulabung in northern Laos, one of the world cultural heritage sites, then 9 hours dirve to Mohan county, where you pass through the Chinese border into Xishuangbana, fly to Kunming, from Kunming fly to Shangri-la, after days in Shangrila, drive to Lijiang, Dali, Tengchong, Ruili, exits China at border nearby Ruili into Burma drive to,Muse Lashio, ends in Mandalay.