Malikha Lodge, Putao $$$$
Tel: 951 65 2809
The four-month-old Malikha Lodge has plenty to recommend it—gorgeous thatched bungalows, views of the Himalayas, charming local staff, and a talented chef who seems intent on fattening up all her guests. But the real reason to splurge on a stay here is to set foot in Myanmar's far north. The town of Putao, as well as the surrounding Kachin state, was off-limits for some 40 years, until local insurgents struck a deal with the government in the mid-1990s, and then it became a destination for trekking zealots determined to clamber up 10,000- to 19,000-foot peaks. But now that Malikha has arrived on the scene, soaking in the spectacular scenery no longer means roughing it: The eight bungalows are cushy (giant teak tubs, wood-burning stoves, buttery soft linens), and the activities—rafting trips, elephant rides, hikes—include first-rate guides, multicourse meals, and Australian wine.