First in sight, Myanmar’s 2nd poorest and least-developed state covers with wild forest and mountain areas but it is rich in nature gifted densely forested hills and mountains. It is bounded with Bangladesh and India border. Low population and undergo developing infrastructure make it remain wild, mountainous and remote that soar above 10,000 feet. Due to high influence of Christianity, Chin people can speak English very well.
In this century, Myanmar’s roads are getting better and better and even local people have chance to travel to meet the friendly Chin people. Inbound traveling is gradually developed in order to avoid urban suffocating.
When to travel?
You might presume it is better to go hilly region during rainy season but it is not that easy. Behind it, rain makes occasional land slide and slippery roads. Some roads are not navigable even by a 4WD. Another reason why you should not to choose rainy season is the roads are combined with dirt road and gravel road. That’s why you might get stuck in mud if you are unlucky.
November to April would be good timing with dry season and can see rare and beautiful flora and fauna in November and December. The thematic flower of Chin state Rhododendrons (known as Taung Zalat Flower) also blooms in December. However, if you go in August you can find Pine trees (Pinus Kesiya) along the road. Those pine trees are not nurse by human hand, it all grow by nature. Baby Pine trees are growing like grass along the road whatever north or south of chin state. As chin state is a place of biodiversity also a perfect place for keen ornithologists. I have witness on those baby pine trees on the way to Mindat and Matupi.
Where to Travel to get into
Chin state is divided into two, Southern Chin State and Northern Chin State. The Southern Chin State includes Kale, Falam, Hakha. A small airport surrounded by the hills is in Kale and which is Y-shaped junction town. The Northern Chin State’s biggest cities are Mindat and Matupi. You can reach there only by overland passing through the hilly region via Pakokku.
Where to go - North or South?
It is always depending on the individual’s resistance, time and willingness to choose the way to travel. If you are a person uncomfortable with the small plane, you better choose Northern Chin State. It is difficult to find the express bus to Southern Chin State and best way to travel is drive in with your car.
If you are a person who hates long driving or riding express bus, then take a plane to Kale. Tour around and go deeper into Chin State by going to state city Hakha.
Southern Chin State
Nat Ma Taung National Park is a main tourist attraction for the area where you can go either via Kanpetlet Township (easy access) or Mindat Township (the way is not easy since the road is mostly dirt road, but the roads are under construction and getting better year by year). You can find nice hotels in Kanpetlet but there are no other places you can find this kind of hotel in Southern Chin State. Due to shortage of electricity, most of them have generator for backup plan.
At the base of Mt. Victoria, you can get Bike taxi which will send you off to the mountain top. Those skillful local bikers will bring you to the mountain top via narrow and steep roads. In some places, you might need to hold your breath. The peak is very unique with the presence of trees, bushes and grass like plants with flowers which have adapted to its environment including Taung Zalat trees. This is the only one place you can find so many Taung Zalat trees aat once. It is unique due to its flower and long life. If you get there on the month of December, you can enjoy the blooming of Taung Zalat Flower and which is the perfect time to go.
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Go forward to North will take you to the 2nd biggest town in Southern Chin State, Mindat, which will take around 6 hours to reach on mountain edge. Many tribes live in that area and the famous tribes are Dai, Upu and Ya tribes. They are well known of their full-face tattoos. But you can’t see the younger women are doing the full-face tattoos in these days anymore. You may need the local person or travel tour to reach to their place.
Northern Chin State
Rih Dil (Rih Lake), a natural lake in the heart shaped form, is the main tourist attraction of Northern Chin State. The lake is about 1 mile in length, 0.5 mile in width and 60 feets in depth. To get the lake, first go to Reh Khaw Da, a small town near Myanmar's northwestern border with India. One should listen the myths from local people to feel and see the lake. You may hear the several stories about Rih Lake.
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You should go to Hakha, the Capital City of Chin State, lies 1,867 meters (6,128 feet) through Falam. You can learn the local tradition and enjoy the panoramic view from the peak of the mountains. We suggest you to enjoy the sunrise and sunset because you will be amazed by the breathtaking view in the cool winter like weather. The large structure of wooden hall where Chin national football took place and athletics stadium is the place you should not miss.
To conclude all, Chin State is one of the recommended places to visit and it is worth to go and enjoy the untouched nature. I am sure this will amaze you and it will be one of the unforgettable trips in your life.
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