Putao can be reached only by air. A hydro power projected was also constructed near Duk Dang Village by the KIO after cease-fire agreement with the state peace and development council.
Putao is in a restricted area, but travel within the city is allowed without a permit. A permit is needed to leave the city, for example if you wish to travel to the nearby Himalayan mountain peaks. Air Bagan, KBZ Airlines, Golden Myanma Airways, and other companies fly to Putao, with flights available most days of the week and often multiple flights each day. A new road is being built from Myitkyina in the south, and is expected to be completed in 2018. At that time travel by bus to Putao will be possible. It is possible to join an organized tour to Putao (the travel agency arranges the permits) and it is uncertain whether permits are issued to independent travelers.