Announcement - Bamarlay's Diary

I am moving my blog to Myanmar Man's Diary.It has already passed the beta testing stage and now up and running. Please visit my new blog. For, I will be updating it with the excerpt from my new posts in Myanmar Man's Diary. Another blog I was invited to contribute to is Today in Myanmar, a website about Myanmar culture, custom, information, travel advice, life and anything about Myanmar. You can also visit the new blog. So far, I am the only one who regularly contribute to this blog while other friends are still writing their articles. Thank you for your support.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mindat - a Southern Chin Town

If you ever want to visit Chin Hills, Mindat is the most convenient and easiest to reach town in Chin Hills. Situated in Southern part of Chin Hills, Mindat is a small but peaceful, beautiful and tranquil town. With a total population of nearly 10,000 people, it is considered a sizable town in Chin Hills. The town is built along the top of a mountain range that runs east and west. So practically, Mindat is a long line of houses built along the main road with some small side roads fanning out here and there.

Situated at 4,860 feet above the sea level, it is cool in summer and very cold in winter. And a lot of rain falls during the rainy season. The best season to visit Mindat is during summer where the weather is cool but not cold, and the roads are dry.

As soon as you reach Mindat, you will notice immediately how beautiful the town is. Tall pine trees line the approaching road while distant mountains shadows the town. It is a scenery that will definitely impress the first time visitors. Then you see the small, beautiful wooden houses with scenic backdrop along the main road. Curious faces of locals will pop through the windows of these houses while the smiling faces of their children will follow you. Welcome to Mindat.

You can see many aspect of Chin life in Mindat. Local people still wear Chin dress and carry Chin buskets and knives while some men carry locally made shot guns on the streets of Mindat. Many women dress beautiful Chin necklaces while some old women still wear enormous Chin traditional earrings. Many people carry woods or rice in Chin head baskets, the one that they carry with a string hung over their head. If you are lucky, you can even observe a Chin wedding or funeral rite. You can also observe the way they make famous Chin Khaung (Chin Beer).

Walk around the town along the small dart roads the run around the road. There are many Chin traditional huts that were built of pine wood and roofed with thatch. See the way real Chin village people live and work over the harsh terrains of Chin land.

If you are a Buddhist, go and visit the Taung Pu Lu (Taungpulu) Buddhist monastery in Mindat. The head abbot is the famous Ashin Pyinnyar Thiri. You can make donation for the monastic school for the local poor children opened at the monastery and operated by the abbot. These children really need your help.

If your guide can arrange for you to stay in a Chin village for a night, ask him. If he cannot, you can still take a walk to a near by village. One thing to be careful is that this area is a malaria area so take a malaria precaution and prophylaxis.

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