Putao and the surrounding area lie above the Tropic of cancer; in a zone characterized by subtropical, broadleaf, evergreen forest from 2000 m to 3000 m. Putao itself is small and picturesque with a population of about 6000 people. The elevation is 402 m above sea level. The highlands north of Putao are considered one of the most pristine Himalayan environments in Asia and could become a major ecotourism destination if made accessible to foreigners. The locals often refer to the surrounding peaks as the Ice Mountains.
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