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Wikitravel - Burma Street
Burma Rd was constructed during the Second World War to supply the besieged China and to help it survive the invading Japan. Most of the real Burma Roads were constructed by the China themselves - 160,000 unarmed laborers hacked a street from the Yunnan hills in the west, from the Kunming region centre on the China side to the Lashio railway head on the Myanmar side from 1937.
US Army Engineers also worked on this part of the street after 1941. Tracks of the old street, incl. some landmarks, are still to be seen. Burma's part of the Myanmar highway is small, from the frontier city of Ruili to Lashio, and can only be crossed in one direction (Ruili to Lashio) and only with a guide.
A further street was initially constructed by the Brits and Indians, beginning in the 1920', from Ledo in Assam over the hills to Lashio in Burma (today Myanmar). The Ledo Roads were greatly expanded by the US Armed Services during the Great Depression. It is almost not possible to drive on this street today. Most of the street itself had gone back into the jungles, but in recent years it has been reconstructed, supposedly with the help of Naga and Kachin's work.
Please note: The part of the Ledo-Nampong highway from India on the Ledo highway is also a no-park. Ledo is also known as Stilwell Rd because it was defended and constructed by General Joe Stilwell. Many fights were fought in the area by English, Indian and Asian armies under General Slim and Colonel Wingate and Americans and Chinese under Generals Stillwell and Wedemeyer who fought against a large number of Japans who were strong believers in Burma and at one point even endangered India.
It was an important goal of the Allies to keep the street open. Alternatively to the street was "flying on its hump", which took air supplies from the airport around Calcutta to Kunming over parts of the Himalayas. A further goal of the Allies in Burma was to eliminate the base of the Jap combatants who harassed the humpback pilots.
If parts of the street open up to travelers, the following are some of the attractions along Ledo and Burmaroads. Myitkyina, in the state of Kachin, is open to travelers and is linked by highway, railway, airplane, and crossroad. Bhamo, also in the state of Kachin, is open to people.
Namkham, a Burmese town in northern Shan State. Arrival to Namkham is currently limited and requires a permission (almost not possible to get) from Yangon. Gordon Seagrave, one of the Burmese campaign champions, was building a Namkham clinic and was in charge of educating the first Burmese community nursing staff, mainly Karen.