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This trip was quite varied in that at times we were just part of the mass of tourists seeing important sites yet out trekking in the Chin Hills we saw other tourists only three times in six days. In the Chin Hills dirt roads are replacing the original donkey trails and the former are not as interesting to walk along as the latter. Hunting in the Chin Hills made them rather devoid of wildlife. Nevertheless, it was interesting seeing the culture of the Chin people.
Highlights of the trip were sunset on Mandalay Hill and the visit to the Shwedagon pagoda.
Though very young (or is it just me getting old) our guide was very knowledgable and had great organisational skills. Everything ran smoothly and when sickness struck a couple of people in the group he made arrangements for them to drop out and be transported to our destination for the day.
An enjoyable trek in a little visited, remote area of Myanmar, coupled with a tour of the country's tourist highlights makes this a well balanced, informative travel experience.
Coming off the trek and being struck by the contrast between the introduction to the rural, real life experiences of the local peoples and the impressions one gains in the tourist populated areas.
Lin is an impressive young man, unhesitating to answer any question, very knowledgeable and expressive. He handled the planning challenges of traveling in the hills of the Chin State probable as well as anyone could.
The difficulty rating for the terrain of the trip is accurate, but the hot temperatures, especially for folks coming from cold February areas, makes some days challenging.
Tourism is growing in Myanmar, welcomed by the Burmese and expanding into less traditionally visited areas. This trek through the very rural, little changed villages of Chin State could soon become a different experience. For those considering the trip, go early.
An ambitiously varied trip to Myanmar which includes cultural city visits and also trekking between remote villages where the Chin people live and hunt.
Sunrise on top of Mount Victoria next to the Buddha statue.
The group leader was excellent and calmly resolved a number of problems during the trip.
Whilst the Chin mountains are remote, the old donkey tracks have now largely been replaced by roads as the locals now use Kenbo bikes. This presumably has increased their ability to slash and burn the forest meaning that the landscape is changing fast.
Thanks to our guide Lin for rearranging the day with the river trip even though an important monks ashes were being scattered that day.
For information on travelling through Burma, and it's recent history, see here.
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