Based on our exploratory first descents we are offering two totally different experiences. The Mayhka river is the most extreme multi-day river expedition offered on the planet. This is our “Everest of Rivers” and the expedition in 2005 will be the first commercial raft descent through an area which is totally unexplored. Our exclusive three-day wilderness experience on the NamLang river offers a unique and exhilarating insight into this area in style, comfort and safety. The Nam Lang is a phenomenal journey through pristine jungle and seldom visited tribal areas. Suitable for almost all age groups, it combines the thrill of Class 3 and 4 whitewater through thickly forested canyons, with a closer insight into a people and way of life unchanged for centuries.
In the far north of Myanmar, on the borders of Tibet and Northern India, lies one of the last great wilderness areas in the world. Here in the eastern reaches of the Himalayas, the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River is born, before it begins its epic journey southwards to Mandalay and out into the Bay of Bengal. It has only recently become possible to get permission to visit many areas of this little known destination. Ultimate Descents offers exclusive rafting and trekking journeys into this tribal land of dense forests and snow-capped mountains.
Few people associate glaciated mountain peaks, deep gorges and unexplored rivers with Myanmar, which is thankfully one of the reasons so few modern day adventurers have travelled here. With little in the way of roads or development the Northern Myanmar ecosystem remains phenomenally intact and is internationally recognized as a hotspot of biodiversity. Climax old growth forest is common, supporting a huge range of animal and bird life while in the high alpine meadows many of Asia’s rarest flowers thrive. This is a place of pristine beauty, exotic cultures and some of the most radical topography on earth. Travelling in Kachin State is full of simple delights and opportunities that cannot now be found elsewhere, providing timeless and unpretentious experiences. It’s a great place to escape to.
We also operate a variety of treks into the Kachin tribal country along the borders of India, Myanmar and Tibet. Our trekking routes take us along ancient hunting and trading paths through dense tropical jungle with longer treks rising into alpine forests and meadows to the glaciated peaks. While trekking we chose to camp in spectacular wilderness settings, and during the day we pass through different ethnic tribal villages. Using local guides and porters from these areas enables heart warming cultural interaction which is a big part of what makes trekking in these isolated areas so special.
Come and join us in a land where snow-capped mountains, subtropical jungle and forgotten hill-tribes combine to form an exotic cocktail.
The Malikha Lodge Our exclusive lodge, with its focus on adventure, nature and cultural activities, offers a unique and exhilarating insight into this area in style, comfort and safety. Come and join us in a land where snow-capped mountains, subtropical jungle and forgotten hilltribes combine to form an exotic cocktail.
Perched high above the NamLang River with glorious views of mountains and rice terraces, The Malikha has been designed by world famous architect Jean Michel Gathy of Aman Resorts fame to create a feeling of luxury and seclusion in this wilderness setting.
The focal point of the Malikha is the main lodge, where guests come to gather around two blazing log fires for drinks, dining or just pure relaxation. Daytime activities range from short jungle treks to river diving, mountain biking, scenic raft trips and kayaking. For the more sedate, one can simply laze on our riverside deck or enjoy an open-air massage in our bamboo grove spa.
The resort's manicured lawns and exotic gardens are carefully landscaped to merge with pockets of old growth bamboo and jungle. Traditional style bungalows have been carefully placed to recreate a sense of idyllic village life in this open garden paradise.
Each bungalow is a spacious living area centred upon an open fireplace, in keeping with traditional village houses. Placed discreetly amongst towering bamboo trees, one has the feeling of total privacy and relaxation. A huge natural open bath next to the fireplace completes the sense of indulgence and luxury, while from the private daybeds views of distant mountains can be enjoyed through the foliage. Above all the Malikha is the ultimate retreat from the stresses of modern day living, the perfect place to replenish mind, body and spirit.
All our adventure activities are operated by Ayeyarwaddy Expeditions, under the expert guidance of David Allardice and Patrick O'Keefe, two of Asia's most seasoned adventure company specialists. From our base at the lodge they provide a whole range of adventures from shorter half-day excursions to hardcore expeditions. With the highest attention to operational safety and service, visitors can rest assured that they are in the best of hands.
About us The Malikha was founded by the owners of Balloons over Bagan, in conjunction with David Allardice of Ultimate Descents and Patrick O'Keefe of Hokaido Outdoor Adventures. All of us share the same passion for this remote and strikingly beautiful area of Northern Kachin State. Above all, this project represents a personal challenge to create the ultimate wilderness escape, while at the same time providing an interactive and informative experience in this fragile cultural and physical environment. We hope that once you have visited, you will also share our vision and our passion.
Our Projects In keeping with our approach to sustainable tourism in this area, visitors are encouraged to view our local community projects and gain insights into frontier life. Established after careful consultation with local church and village elders, our projects create a direct link between the Malikha and the communities around us. A contribution from every client is made towards the upkeep of existing projects and the development of new social and environmental ventures.