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The Chin people of Myanmar // Photo essay


viaggifotograficiblog - March 20, 2018 - 0 comments

Published on The Travel Magazine // UK - March 2018

If classical Myanmar with its main landmarks like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, is a magical place, then Chin State will totally capture your soul and your heart.

A visit to Myanmar is an experience that involves all your senses and the journey puts a strain on even the hardest core travellers.

If classical Myanmar with its main landmarks like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, is a magical place, then Chin State will totally capture your soul and your heart.

A mother and her son waiting at a first aid center in Sozang village

In the Chin State, you will find adventure, where unexpected events colour a never certain itinerary. Buses don’t have timetables and food is oily yet so delicious.

Chin children are the true leading actors even if stunted, underweight and with a poor education because of poverty and malnutrition.

A 90 year old woman sitting in front of her house in Tui Khing Zang village
Feet detail of a 40 year old woman on the way to Falam
Woman in front of her shop somewhere between Hakha and Tlangzar village, looking for travellers
Children of construction workers widening the road between Falam and Hakha

According to the Myanmar government, the Chin State is the second poorest state in Myanmar. It is located in the mountains with poor road conditions that make travel difficult.

The State borders with India in the north and west, Rakhine State to its south and Sagaing and Magwe divisions in the east. It has a population of about 500,000, half of whom are children.

Children in Tedim village smiling at the camera
Children in Hlan Zawl Village
Children in Tedim village
A primary schoolgirl writing on the blackboard in Hlan Zawl Village
A young girl playing in front of the camera in Tedim village

It can be reached in an arduous seven hours overland journey from Pagan to Mindat. Alternatively, to get to Hakha, the capital of the State, you could fly from Yangon to Kalaymyo and then drive the long stretch from there to Falam and finally to Hakha.

Whichever way you look at it, traveling the Chin State is tough, especially during monsoon season, but it’s absolutely worth the effort.

For the most part Chin people live in villages or small towns, and houses are traditionally built from wood on pillars with thatched roofs and split bamboo walls. Despite their poor conditions, Chin people are willing to open the doors of their home and smile because they want to know and discover more than we do.

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