Take a Hike in Chin State
By Jude Carvalho
Chin State opened up to tourists only some 6 years ago, allowing curious explorers to discover its remote villages without the need for a permit. This gives them the opportunity to live among the different indigenous people in the area (there are 6 main groups here: the Asho, Laimi, Mizo, Cho, Khumi and Zomi).
Ever since, this western region of Myanmar has seen an increase in travellers headed into the region, away from the hustles and bustles of the more crowded cities filagra gel shots 100 mg. It goes without saying that the main draw of Chin State revolves around adventure and hiking itineraries.
A wealth of cultures coexists in Chin State, each with its own individual traits and identities, and it’s this diversity that lends to the appeal of trekking across the mountainous terrain. Most of the villages here are built in what’s considered the most remote parts of Myanmar, so make sure that you’re well-prepared for the journey.
A sojourn through Chin State could quite literally turn into wandering off the beaten path, so read on to find out what you can expect from this charming locale.
Off in the Distance
While accessibility has improved over the years, Chin State is still a fairly remote area in general, so you’ll want to stock up on supplies before heading there. For first-time travellers, it’s best to have someone who knows the lay of the land chauffeur you to the main checkpoints such as Kanpetlet, Hakha or Mindat.
You can also hop on public buses or minivans to get to your desired stops, but it’s prudent to know what you’re doing before you attempt this. The only alternative to road travel is by heading to Paletwa by boat, but there may be some restrictions when you attempt to enter the region at this point. There are no other forms of transportation in and out of the area.
Mapping the Journey
Now that you’re in the area, you can take your pick from the tour operators in the area. It’s best to allocate at least a few days for this leg of the journey, as it doesn’t make sense for you to travel all the way to Chin State only to spend a day or two in a small area.
Exploring this place takes time, and it’s not meant to be rushed through like a sprint. Instead, pace yourself and perhaps stop every once in a while to smell the roses. Treat it like a marathon. Even if you’d like a quick jaunt into the mountains, the shortest tours will take around 3 nights (easy flat routes), with longer treks spanning up to 10 nights (with a daily mileage of 25 kilometres, or 10 hours of hiking)!
So read up as much as you can (such as articles like this), prepare for the long haul and, most of all, plan to immerse yourself in this serene getaway. Rest assured that even the most popular routes here will be fairly obscure as far as your adventures in Myanmar will entail. Just don’t forget to get a guide, as there’s a high chance you won’t be able to speak the various local dialects, nor will you know which way to head in the wilderness.
Sights and Sounds
Besides catching a glimpse of the villagers’ lives and age-old traditions, you can expect to discover some of the prettiest flora and fauna in Asia, as well as bask in the beauty of nature, with its waterfalls and never-ending vistas you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Depending on the tour of your choice (and I’ll reiterate that it’s very recommended you get a guide), you’ll get to meet locals from the various ethnic groups listed above, but whenever a mention of Chin State crops up, the first images that come to mind are the face tattoos of the women in the province. This is a dying tradition that dates back to the 1800s, and those privileged enough to spend time with these women will return to their homes with a significant part of history etched in their hearts.
You can also expect to share yummy home-cooked lunch with the locals, witness nose flute performances, and perhaps even take a swim if it’s part of your itinerary.
What’s in Season
If you’re privy to our other article titled Seasons of Myanmar [to link], you’ll get a quick rundown on the various seasons in Myanmar and the general climate during each phase. This will allow you to plan your trip appropriately, especially during the rainy season as road transport can be hindered by the heavy showers.
Each season shows Chin State in a different light, so if you’re going to make repeat visits to the area, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice to only pick one time of the year.
Temperatures here vary widely, ranging from 10 degrees Celsius in the colder months up to 30 degrees during warmer times. Up in the mountains, expect to see the mercury dip below 0 though, so make sure to look up weather forecasts for the specific dates of your travel.
A World of Wonder Awaits
As long as you’re prepared to make the necessary arrangements and allocate sufficient time to savour everything Chin State has to offer, you’re bound to have a great time. So get your hiking boots ready and prepare for your next escape into nature!