Chin State – Mt. Victoria
Mt. Victoria is only about 80 miles west of Bagan but it’s an 80 miles that can take 8 hours to drive. At 10,016 feet, Mt. Victoria is Myanmar’s second highest peak. The national park for which it is named contains 279 sq miles and is among the best places for bird watching in the country.
Mindat is also an 8 hour drive, but far from the more picturesque Kanpetlet, Mt. Victoria area. It’s a charming town dominated by Chin Christian converts who live side by side with Buddhists. Area villages that require long treks to reach, are home to many of the last of the Chin women who wear traditional facial and neck tattoos as a form of inter-tribal branding. This dates back centuries when the kidnapping of women between tribes got out of control. The face band was the answer, and became a form of adornment and pride.
Really the only semi-decent places to stay in either location, is Mountain Oasis. Expect limited electicity and bucket delivered hot water. The settings are gorgeous, and the staffs very accommodating. Some new guest houses are expected to be completed by Fall of 2015.