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Chin Hill

 

Untouched western side of Myanmar, is renowned for its mountainous terrain, unique culture, handicrafts and warm hospitality of its people. Chin State is also known as the “Chin Hills” due to its mountainous geography that has an average elevation of 5000-8000 feet. In winter, the temperature drops to as low as 2 degree C and very windy.
Apples, oranges, damsons and other garden fruits are produced in large quantities and grapes are cultivated. Fruit grown in the Chin State is mostly organic.

Flora and Fauna

Chin State has a wide variety of unique flora including orchids which can be seen throughout the State. Taung Zalat, also known as tree “rhododendron” and pine trees are also particularly unique to this region due to its high altitude. There are also many species of birds, reptiles and butterflies. The Mythuns, a rare species of cattle, are also a unique sight.

Chin Women with Tattoo Face

Particularly unique to this region is the traditional tattoo-faced Chin women. Each ethnic group has their own pattern which distinguishes them from one another. Although the tradition of tattooing faces is disappearing, it is still prominent in the southern part of the State particularly in Mindat and Kanpetlet.

Memorial Stone Slabs

In Chin Hills, you will see many erected stone slabs on the side of the road written in Chin language. Chin people mark their memorable events on stone slabs.




Chin Khaung (Traditional Beer)

The most famous Khaung (traditional beer) is usually made in the southern part of the Chin State, in particular Mindat Township. Chin Khaung is made from only millet seeds. It is a sweet drink with a slightly sour taste. It is said to taste somewhat like a mix of alcohol, grape juice and lemonade.

HOW TO GET THERE

The entrance gate way to Chin Hills is Mindat, Kanpetlet Township, which are easily accessible by road from Bagan. Kanpetlet is only 103 miles from Bagan. To get the capital city, Hakha, you can either take a direct bus from Mandalay or Kalay Township via Falam. Taking the bus from Kalay is highly recommended as it takes a scenic route.

WHERE TO VISIT
Mt. Victoria and Nat Ma Taung National Park

Natmataung (Mt.Victoria, also known as “Khaw-Nau-Sone” in Chin Language) is the highest mountain in the Chin State, the western part of Myanmar. Natmataung is part of the Chin mountain range with a height of 3053 meters above sea level and located in Kanpetlet Township of Southern Chin state. It is accessible by land from Bagan via Pakokku or Seikpyu. It is 193 km away from Pokakku and 150 km from Seikpyu. It is 8 hours drive from Bagan.

Natmataung is one of the highest peaks of Southeast Asia. The mountain is now protected within Natmataung National Park which was established in 1994. Its area is 279 square miles. It is also an Association of ASEAN Heritage Park and an important bird area. Nat Ma Taung national park is also a great place to visit for keen ornithologists; the area is home to a number of species, including the endemic (and endangered) White-browed Nuthatch, as well as larger birds of prey. Visitors can trek from Kanpetlet to Natmataung National Park as it is located only 15 miles away.

The trail head from which the hike begins is a 45 minute drive uphill from the small town of Kanpetlet, where accommodation can be found; the hike itself takes around five hours to the summit and back to the trail head. Although the walk is not technically challenging (it follows a rough road between villages, which could be driven in a 4×4 vehicle), it is a good idea to pack water and some snacks. In hot season, the days can get very hot indeed; Mount Victoria is best climbed between November and February for the cool, clear air at that time of year.

Mount Victoria can easily be climbed in one day, but there are other, longer hiking options in the area, including a direct route through the mountains and tribal villages from Kanpetlet to the nearby town of Mindat (two days, two nights) and a longer circular route to the west and north from Kanpetlet, which begins with the road to the summit of Mount Victoria (five days, four nights). For both of these hikes, you will need a guide and porter, and accommodation is at very simple village home stays.

Kanpetlet

A small town situates in the southern part of Chin State. It is 50 miles from Mindat and located in the mountains. The view from this town is beautiful, especially during sunset. For those seeking an adventure, there is an option to climb Mt. Victoria’s summit where can enjoy 360 view of the Chin Hills. Most people in Kanpetlet are Chin tribe and are friendly and helpful to visitors.

Matupi

The second capital city, Matupi, is a very pleasant and beautiful city at 3560 ft above sea level. For nature-lovers there is the option of hiking and trekking into the surrounding untouched area. One can also experience the traditional lifestyle of the local community.

Mindat

Mindat township is situated 4860 ft above sea level. It is a mountainous region and has abundant rainfalls and natural forests. Due to its cold climate, the view of Mindat can be enjoyed under misty blue sky. Local communities still wear traditional clothing and carry Chin baskets and knives. Many women adorn themselves with their beautiful handmade necklaces and large traditional earrings.

Bontala Waterfall

Bontala Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Chin State. It is over 1500 ft and falls over 9 levels. This is one of the most famous natural waterfalls in Myanmar and being only 16 miles from Matupi.

Hakha

The capital of Chin State, this city is situated in the northern Chin Hills. It is situated over the mountains at 6200 ft above sea-level and has beautiful scenery. Due to its hilly landscape, the city has been built in a “U” shape with one main road, on which along the entire city was built.

Falam

Located within the mountains, this tranquil town has breathtaking view. Before 1965, Falam was the capital city of Chin State. Although no longer the capital, it still retains part of its former glory. There are beautiful colonial heritage buildings to explore and a grand Baptist Church in the center of the town. It is built on the slope of a mountain range, in multiple steps. The town is quite clean and tidy.

Rieh Lake

This heart shape natural lake is renowned as one of the prettiest spots in Myanmar, located in Falam Township between the Chin and India mountain ranges. This lake has significant cultural and spiritual importance for the local community. Every year locals and visitors from neighbouring India visit this lake to worship and pay homage to the spirit guards of the lake. The lake is full of water year round and is famous for turning red in winder, from mid-December for approximately one or two months.

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