The busy town of Bhamo has long profited from its position close to a Chinese border crossing (closed to foreigners). There isn’t much to see in the town other than the market and waterfront, plus a few old teak buildings, but the surrounding area is worth exploring.
The most rewarding destination is Tain Pha Hill, which is home to a Buddhist complex that includes a hilltop stupa and two meditation halls. It has good views but really a visit is all about the journey there: it’s an hour’s ride by bicycle and if you’re travelling by bike between December and June/July, you’ll cross the impressive 470m-long bamboo bridge from Wa Thatar village. Each year the bridge is destroyed by monsoon flooding, and rebuilt by two hundred villagers.