Falam Chin stateState of Falam Chin
Reverend Thawng Bik is serving Falam Baptist Church, a picturesque reddish brickwork building on the city' s central plaza that provides a wide panoramic roadway. Ask, and Thawng Bik tells you about the Lailun Cave, the legendary birth place of the very first Chin tribe, the secluded hamlet of Tashon, the birth place of the anti-colonial battle-heroe Con Bik, and the grass-covered, wind-swept summit of Buannel, which is said to be bewitched by cherubs.
China State, and especially the scenic northern part, is definitely a place not to be missed and is home to an almost unspoilt country with vast mountainous stretches, secluded dales and rural towns. However, the state has almost no real hotel, restricted cellular cover, and most of its streets are dirt tracks, twisting paths that tend to slide during the wet seasons.
It will take ten hrs from the next international airports - in Kalay, Sagaing area - to the provincial capitol Hakha under good weather as well. Humble numbers of visitors are crossing the Indian frontier to see the famed heart-shaped Rih Lake, but the only characteristic on the radar for most visitors is the wildlife around Mount Victoria, in the southern part of the state.
Salai Isaac Khen, the Chinese Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Industrial Affairs and Trade, bears part of the responsability for attracting visitors to one of Myanmar's least welldeveloped states. The people who promote Chinese country touring want to use what the state already has: Guests can spend the night with indigenous people, enjoy a meal and enjoy the cultural life of the area.
Khen was inspired by similar community-based tourist programs in the states of Kachin and Kayah. Not only does it skip the tradition of the tourist industries, but it also emphasizes the Chinese people and cultures, which makes the state so unique. In January, the first government-sponsored CBT program was started near Lake Victoria in the municipality of Kanpetlet in association with ActionAid Myanmar, and similar programs are being contemplated for communities in the Falam and Tedim communities.
Everything can happen," said Isaac Khen. It is also important that visitors have an understanding of the cultures of their city. "Nobody is prepared to be a good, conscientious tourist," said Isaac Khen. "However, so far we have hardly seen any report of significantly misbehaviour from visitors, but in other parts of Myanmar there are some cases of misbehaviour from visitors.
Recently, when the United States Ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Scott Marciel, was visiting Chin State, he was not staying in a real motel, but in dedicated state lodging in Hakha reserved for prestigious people, " said Salai Amen, a Chin State interpreter and leader. However, for most people Amen said that one of the only option in the state capitol is a simple walk-in room with warm running waters and ensuite facilities for about $20 (27,000K) per city.
There may be inns in other parts of the north of Chin, but you can leave out the warm waters or a separate bath. Amendment said that the China state's travelling regulations took so long, not because of politics or safety concerns, but because the guest houses were an awkward state issue. Mr. Amen attended a three-month course in hospitality and hospitality at the Strategy First Institute in Yangon, but most of his customers are aid agencies, reporters or policy makers.
The majority of the few visitors who come do so because of "poverty tourism," or, as Amen put it, "to respond to need. Like Isaac Khen that there is room for eco and adventurous travel, he shares the CBT concept, but thinks that innovations and new policies will have little impact.
The tourist sector can only really get going with old, regularly maintained conveniences. With Isaac Khen, this is not a losing fact. Said the Chinese administration has tried to promote investments in more and better properties and said that 12 are currently scheduled for cities like Hakha, Tedim, Falam and Paletwa, with accommodations range from backpacker budgets to luxurious suit and private staterooms.
In addition, they need dependable electricity supply, wireless communications, good road safety and skilled personnel - in other words, fundamental needs for growth that go beyond the tourist industry. He said he was positive about developing the country's infrastructures and expected traffic to improve within the next year. Local governments are collecting funding for on-line advertising and are planning a partnership with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and the Myanmar Tourist Federation to run promotional trade shows in Yangon and Mandalay.
However, he said it was more about making people more aware that there are things to see and do in Chin State: there are hills, streams and a wealthy people.