Chin state MyanmarChina Myanmar
Mount Victoria can also be conquered. Visitors can also go to Nat-Ma-Taung or Mt Victoria Natural Reserve in Chin State.
Myanmar: Hiking in Chin State, Myanmar
The purpose of this paper is to help anyone who plans to trek in Chin State, as it has been tricky to find information on-line and can be helpful for anyone considering a journey to this area. In Myanmar, Minglabarr is a term you will often find. Being in Myanmar more than 29 years ago, it was almost impossible to see what to look forward to today.
This is why this guidebook is intended to provide some travelling and hiking adventures. After the second farewell to Myanmar and the knowledge that the humans have preserved all their charme and kindness, the land cannot yet be commended for a trek. Myanmar can be suggested at the moment, but it might be best to delay a few more years before the infrastructures and trips are better organized.
There are a few things you should keep in mind for those considering a hike in Chin State: The journey was made at the beginning of February 2016 because it was thought to be the coldest period, but it was difficult in the hot weather as there was little shadow and it was extreme arid and dust.
The majority of hikes begin in the mining city of Mindat, which is about 6 hours by coach from the Moi Pi Pokukku midget coach depot (not the central coach depot) and cost about 8USD. It is an 8-9 hours minibus ride from Mandalay coach depot and will cost about 15USD. From Pokukku there is only one coach a day departing at 8.30 a.m., and the only way to get there from Bagan is to rent an inexpensive cab (expecting to be charged at least 30 USD) for a trip of only 30 minutes.
Another possibility is to take a regional coach, but one would have to begin very early because the Bagan coach terminal is far away from Bagan and one would have to try to take a collective cab with the natives from the Bagan central marketplace to get there.
Good tidings are that both the buses and the minibuses are air-conditioned, but they put passengers in the minibuses with additional wooden seats so that they are trapped and their baggage gets on the minibuses, which get very dust and soiled. Traveling to Mindat is not for the weak nerves, as the natives are not used to traveling and many have travel disorder, so you are probably around throwing up the natives who either throw it out of the windows or into their little hospital sacks.
Pay attention to where you are sitting and take some hands sanitizer with you for the trip. Another thing to keep in Mindat's minds is that the rougher the street is, the nearer you get to Mindat, and it is suffering from landslips (2 hour delay was seen in the arid period, so the rainy period delay can be longer).
It' s best not to plan flights on the date you are travelling from Mindat, as the voyage can take much longer than you might like. While you can arrange your trek in advance, you can be sure to exceed the quotas in this case. Indicative price for a tour leader is between 20-30USD.
Handfuls of visitors come to Mindat every morning and are hit by a young native who is representing a Chinese community that seems to have a little monopoly over all treks in Chin State. This is very costly, but if you have very little spare times and are hesitant to delay until you get there, it is what you can end up with.
It' a good idea to ask if your tour leader is fully licenced and ask him or her to provide you with his or her Tour Leader ID. Qualification as a tour leader is not a long procedure (apparently two and a half month at college), but at least it gives you the assurance that your tour leader has some education.
However, do not anticipate that your tour leader will be as professionally as others you have worked with in other places such as Nepal or Africa. Don't anticipate your tour leader staying drunk on your journey. In spite of the tour guide's warnings that we did not want him to stop drinking during the hike, our requests were not taken into account.
The reason for this was a poor performance during an earlier Nepal trip, where the tour leader was very ill by having drunk the beer and could not help in an urgent situation. Chin have a powerful drinkers' civilization and you will see how they drink the very powerful sorghum wines.
He drank most of the night with locally sour cream and sorghum and while he was young and could get up and walk the next morning, he would not have been able to help in an accident if it had been necessary to go to hospitals, which almost occurred due to a serious sickness.
While it was fun to listen to the locals' tunes around the campfire at Aye Camps, it got rougher and rougher. A few tales were told of those who were sick with the meal, and although they only drank bottle fed waters and ate vegetables, it was also a result of our journey.
In Aye Camp they promise you a warm showers. On the first evening the tour was promoted as a stay in a cloister. Actually this is a small monk's home where you divide a room and a ground with about 3-4 friars and the leader and the people. Aye Camp is the only place with its own room where you can still take a winding walk to the bathroom without a sink or sink to clean your fangs.
We have a few simple guest houses like the Moi Pi guest house in Mindat, which costs about 30 USD per room, but the information about them is very restricted as they are not on-line, but you will see them when you come to the city. There' s a all-new 30-room Mindat Hotel, run by a very kind fellow named Dennis, who costs 60USD per room for bed and breakfast, and it has neat rooms with en-suite facilities and a beautiful roof overlooking the hill where you can eat your morning break.
He' still finishing up the motel and he didn't even have a signage outside, but it's on the leftside, about 20 minutes walking down the hillside from the center. You can also find the more upscale Oasis Rezort Hotels with rooms at 70USD, but this is a much longer footpath from the center further down the hillside and you would have to drive into and out of the city.
But the problem with being here is that you need your own transportation, as there is no local transportation between Kanpetlet and Mindat, so you would have to rent a very costly four-wheel car. 700 USD round trips from Bagan, which seems ridiculously high, can be offered. You could instead simply use a car on the last morning to take you to Mount Victoria basecamp and then go back to Mindat, which still costs 160USD and seemed very high for what was a half daily rent as it is only an hours and 30 minutes from basecamp to Mindat.
However, since a new broad country lane has been constructed from Mindat to Kanpetlet, one could spend most of the hike on a very warm and dust street. In contrast to Nepal, there seem to be no places in Mindat or Myanmar where you can buy locally available equipment for your treks, so be sure to take all the necessary equipment with you, plus a bed sack.
From Mindat you can run to Aye Camp, but then it's a long way from there to Mount Victoria and back, without any transportation. It is about a three-hour trek preceded by a short trip through Mindat, a stop to see the Queen of the Noseflute, and a very interesting stop at a nearby Jewish folk art gallery established by a nice man in a nearby home who tried to conserve the Chin Peopleitage.
We also stopped to see a Chin burial ground and some of the locals working in the towns along the way. It was a strenuous afternoon as we first walked down to the stream on an exposing trail and then climbed the other side of the hill in the blazing south.
The shadows were very low and that was a good 7-8 h hrs hiking. Housing is in a community home in the community in a room next to the galley with ceilings on the ground. It was a little less than tag 2 (about 6 hour trek), but it was again warm and dusting and much of it was on the new street, unless you took the sharp short cuts through the woods that were more enjoyable.
There is a beautiful patio for your morning break and a great view of Mindat on the other side of the river. It should be a short hiking trip (about 4-5 hours) to Do Nu but due to illnesses the possibility to spend a second overnight period at our camping was taken up.
The last part of the tour will take you from Aye Camps to basecamp, where you will take a 2.5 hours walking distance from basecamp to the top of Mount Victoria. One can experience the Chin civilization very closely. Highlight were the Chin Musuem, the Nasal Piper and a look at the community live and stay with the people.
Because of the extent of the logging, the landscape was a disappointment and made some very warm and dust walks. Select your hiking appointments with care. Maybe you could find a motorcycle to take you back to Mindat, but it would be a very dirty trip, or you could spend another overnight at Aye Camp and go back to Mindat the next morning.
Hopefully the above information will help those of you who are considering a hike in Chin State. Since it was difficult to find information about hiking on the web, except in the Lonely Planet Thorntree trip forum, we sincerely hopes that passing on this manual has assisted you. Merry Christmas!