Community-based Tourism Key to Chin State, Myanmar: Minister

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Falam, Chin State, Myanmar. Pic: Jared Downing

Falam, Chin State, Myanmar. Pic: Jared Downing

Myanmar’s Chin State, and its picturesque north in particular, is worth a visit, according to Jared Downing, writing for Frontier Myanmar.

The region is home to an almost untouched land of sweeping ranges, hidden valleys and rustic villages.

But the state has almost no proper hotels, limited mobile phone coverage, and most of its roads are unpaved, winding trails that are prone to landslides during the rainy season.

A modest number of tourists cross the border from India to visit the famous heart-shaped Rih Lake, but the only feature on the radar for most tourists is the wilderness around Mount Victoria, in the state’s south.

The rest is virtually untouched.

The responsibility of enticing tourists to one of Myanmar’s least developed states falls in part to Salai Isaac Khen, Chin state minister for development, industry and tourism.

His strategy? Make Chin’s rugged landscape an asset.

“We are not like Bagan or Inle where the tourists enjoy walking around the pagodas and [boating] on the lake,” he said. “But in Chin State, we have very, very beautiful forests and very, very beautiful mountains.”

And tourists can stay with local families, eat local food and experience local culture.

“It is called community-based tourism or community involvement tourism,” Isaac Khen said.

Full story at Frontier Myanmar.

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