8 Days from Bagan over the Chin Hills to Mrauk Oo
starting from $1603
This tour is based on an excursion that we personally experienced in April 2015. We offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk amongst picturesque scenery through remote Chin villages, plantations and green refreshing jungles. These three days of satisfyingly strenuous hiking and a breathtaking river trip on the Ley Mro will give you a glimpse of a rare living history that few people outside of – or even within –Myanmar have seen. Due to the fact that we were travelling with our three daughters (ages 13, 15, and 19), we decided to add an extra day to stave off exhaustion and spend a bit more time in the villages.
A two-day drive from Bagan via Mindat will bring you to Matupi, the starting point of your journey over the southern Chin Hills to Mrauk Oo. Mrauk Oo is the capital of Rakhine State, well known for its magnificent, fort-like temples and pagodas of stone and brick and for its distinctive statues. For 6 days you will be travelling through one of the most isolated parts of Myanmar, getting a taste of the lives of local people by living in traditional Chin houses and experiencing the breadth of the Chin culture and lifestyle.
BAGAN - MINDAT - MATUPI - AMSWAY VILLAGE - GWEZAR VILLAGE - HTON NAR VILLAGE - MARDU VILLAGE - WE LU VILLAGE - HTIN KAUNG VILLAGE - LON TON VILLAGE - LAY MRO RIVER - HOME VILLAGE - THAN TAUNG VILLAGE - MRAUK OO
|Type of trip:||
starting from $1603 (based on 2 travellers)
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- 1 night including breakfast at Hotel Mindat (standard)
- 1 night including breakfast at Grace Guest House (very simple)
- 5 nights in local houses
- Full board as mentioned in our itinerary
- English speaking guide throughout the tour
- Pajero, Surf, Landcruiser from Bagan to Matupi
- Entrance fees for the national park
- Cook & porters during the 6-day adventure trip
- International flights to/from Myanmar
- Visa fees
- Domestic flights to/from Bagan
- Lunches and dinners not included in the itinerary
- Early check-in/late check-out
- Personal expenses such as camera fees, tips, laundry, etc.
- Hotel baggage handling fees
Day 01 BAGAN – KYUN CHAUNG – MINDAT (185 km / approx. 8 hours) (L, D)
Most of your luggage will be left behind for your convenience and will be sent separately to Mrauk Oo. We advise you to pack your necessities in a small backpack for the coming days.
After breakfast, you’ll drive via Pakokku to Mindat, (approx. 8-hour drive). The countryside is dry and smooth, and there are many sandy streams to cross. At Pauk Township, you’ll stop for lunch at the Shwe Aye Ka Yee Restaurant for great local food. After Pauk, the scenery will gradually become greener and hillier. Before you reach the Chin Hills, you’ll also have the chance to see fascinating rice fields and vegetable cultivation. After a while, you will see the Amay Ye Yin Nat shrine, which marks the border of Chin State. Take a coffee break at the village of Kyauk Htu before the steep road climbs the Chin Hills to Mindat (1481 meters), a former British hill station in southern Chin. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight stay at Hotel Mindat.
Day 02 MINDAT – MATUPI (165 km / approx. 7-8 hours) (B, L, D)
After a short market visit, you will travel deeper into Chin State. The winding road, which is mostly in good condition, passes through the National Park, also known as Natma-taung. The 722-km² national park stretches from Mindat to the towns of Kanpetlet and Matupi.
The road takes you through hilly evergreen forests, damp, high-lying deciduous forests, and pine forests, as well as hilly savannahs. Interesting sights along the way include plenty of rhododendrons with red and white flowers, colourful birds and, if you’re lucky, a wildcat or two.
In the afternoon, you will pass Mt. Mobi, which – at about 3100 meters – is the second-highest mountain in Chin State. Then it’s time to cross the Ley Mro River and drive up to the township of Matupi (1085 meters). Dinner will be at a local restaurant; you’ll spend the night at Grace Guest House, which provides simple rooms with shared bathroom facilities.
Day 03 MATUPI – AMSWAY VILLAGE – GWE ZAR VILLAGE (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast at a local teashop, you will drive for another 14 km (approx. 1 hour) through the mountains to get to the starting point of your adventure over the Chin Hills to the Ley Mro River. For the first hour, you will follow a dirt truck down the valley to the village of Amswe Ga, and from there it’s another hour crossing the valley up to Amswe Ka, another typical Chin village. When you arrive, there will be enough time to explore the village while your guide prepares a simple Myanmar lunch.
In the afternoon, the journey continues on foot for another 9 km to the village of Gwe Zar, where the scenery is very diverse. Walk along the mountain ridge and take in the panoramic views over the valley through the jungle. Along the way, you’ll see many different species of orchids and birds, and perhaps some squirrels. Dinner will be served in a local house in Gwe Zar, where you will spend the night. (Bamboo mats, mosquito nets, and blankets will be provided.)
Day 04 GWE ZAR – HTON NAR VILLAGE – MARDU VILLAGE – WE LU VILLAGE (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you can enjoy the early morning activities in the village. After a pleasant rest, you will continue trekking for another 6 kilometres to the village of Hton Nar, (1450 meters). It is an enjoyable walk through the thick, lush forest and another 2 kilometres to Mardu (1284 meters), another Dai village, for lunch. After lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the village, or have a nice siesta in a local house. With three churches (Presbyterian, Baptist and Catholic) and a primary school, Mardu is one of the bigger Dai villages.
In the afternoon, you’ll leave the dirt truck and follow a small footpath for 12 km, passing bamboo plantations, rice fields and thick forests as well as open fields, to the village of We Lu, where you can enjoy a panorama of beautiful vistas over the Chin Hills. Dinner will be provided in a local house in We Lu where you will also spend the night.
Day 05 WE LU – HTIN KHAUNG VILLAGE – LON TON VILLAGE (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will keep trekking for about 10 km, which will take approximately 3 hours. The path first takes you uphill through dense forest, then through bushes and bamboo forests, passing freshly harvested fields, and once again through dense forest to Htin Khaung (930 meters), which is a beautiful Chin village full of traditional Chin warehouses a picturesque square, and a church. There are still several Chin women whose faces are tattooed with intricate patterns. This was once a tradition among the Chin people; its origin is a legend that the tattoos would make women “too bizarre” to be kidnapped by the kings of the Bagan empire.
After lunch, you will trek another 8 km (approx. 3 hours), mostly uphill, through a bit of light forest to the old village of Lon Ton which consists of a few simple, small bamboo huts. The inhabitants are very shy and usually retreat into their huts when strangers appear. From here it is another 30-minute walk to the new village of Lon Ton with its new bamboo houses and a village well where you can take a refreshing wash and cool yourself off after another hot day of hiking. Dinner will be provided in a local house in Lone Ton where you will also spend the night.
Day 06 LONE TON VILLAGE – LAY MRO RIVER DOWNSTREAM TO HOME VILLAGE (B, L, D)
After a leisurely morning, you will bid farewell to your hosts and start your scenic 8-km (3-hour) trek downhill through bamboo forests. The last section to the banks of the Lay Mro River is a bit steep. You can stop on the riverbank to cool off, or choose to go for the swim in the clear waters of the Lay Mro and enjoy a picnic lunch under a shady tree.
After lunch, you will continue your exciting journey on a simple long-tail boat through the Lay Mro River downstream for around 5 hours to the village of Home. The river winds through the Chin Hills for the first couple of hours and passes through some rapids, which makes the trip quite spectacular! You can see an astounding variety of flora and fauna, including hornbills, many varieties of kingfishers, herons, sandpipers, monitor lizards, and monkeys. At the end of an eventful day, you will stop at Home, a traditional Dai village. Dinner will be provided in a local house in Home where you will also spend the night.
Day 07 HOME VILLAGE – LAY MRO RIVER DOWNSTREAM (B, L, D)
Enjoy the early morning activities before you embark on your long-tail boat for another lovely day on the Lay Mro River. The first few hours you will pass through rapids once again, and later in the afternoon the river grows wider and calmer. After visiting the village of Daung, you will enter the territory of the Lai Tu Chin people. The Lai Tu Chins are Tibetan-Burmese descendants who have made their homes on the banks of the Lay Mro. Women in many of the 53 Chin tribes tattoo their faces, but the Lai Tu can be easily recognized from their distinctive spider-web facial patterns. In the late afternoon, you will stop at one of the traditional Chin villages on the banks of the river, where your guide will prepare dinner for you. Dinner and overnight stay in a local house.
Day 08 LAYMYO RIVER DOWNSTREAM TO MRAUK OO (B, L)
After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing walk through the village to watch local morning activities. Then the journey continues by boat for about 6 hours. When you enter the region of Mrauk Oo, the villages you encounter have both Buddhist and Christian inhabitants, and the river widens considerably to the point where it becomes a major waterway.
You will pass the villages of Cho May and Sinkay and arrive at the jetty near Mrauk Oo in the afternoon. From there, it’s only 30 minutes to return to the capital, Mrauk Oo. Upon arrival, you will transfer to the hotel to check in for your overnight stay.
PRICES IN US$ PER PERSON VALID FROM 01.11.2020 BIS 31.03.2021
Supplement for German speaking guide: US$ 1.736 per group
Supplement for Italian- or Spanish speaking guide: US$ 1.604 per group
CHECKLIST – 8 DAYS FROM BAGAN OVER THE CHIN HILLS TO MRAUK OO
Baggage: We provide a duffel bag for your personal gear, which will be carried by your porter. You should pack what you may need for the trek depending on the length of the trek. Personal belongings not required for the trek may be left in the car. You may wish to pack items in an inner plastic bag, since the duffel bags are not waterproof.
Daypack: Your daypack should be medium-volume and able to hold your personal belongings such as medications, camera, extra clothes and drinking water, etc.
Water bottle: We initially provide two water bottles for each guest. We suggest you carry one in your daypack. Your porter will carry the other.
Clothing & footwear: We recommend bringing one pair of lightweight hiking boots, a couple of t-shirts, one pair of trousers for evenings, shorts or skirts, two pairs of thick socks, one long-sleeve shirt, one sweatshirt or fleece jacket and one good quality raincoat.
River Wear: River sandals, swimwear, headwear, sunglasses and a longyi ((a long piece of cloth wrapped around your waist), a traditional garment that can be used in many ways.
Personal items: We recommend bringing items such as a flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries, water purifying tablets, a pocketknife and reading and writing materials; these things are essential. A personal first-aid kit is also essential for your convenience.
Insects: For the most part, the jungle is free of biting insects, but we do encounter some insects in the lowlands such as sand flies around the river banks and leeches in the lowland bushes. It's important to use insect repellent to keep them away.
(Mindat) Room comes with attached bathroom. Hot shower available from 6:30 am to 8:00 am and 5:30 pm to 7 pm. With 24-hour electricity from a solar unit and Wi-Fi on request.
(Matupi): The Grace Guest House offers simple rooms with shared bathrooms.
(During trek) Nights will be spent at local homes or in tents. Bedding such as a mattress, pillow and blanket will be provided. The toilet will be clean but of the local squat type. A limited amount of hot water will be supplied for face washing in the morning on request.
Meals: Breakfast is usually served around 7 or 8 am; lunch is usually simple, light and served at mid-day whereas dinners are more extensive and usually at local restaurants, guesthouses or local homes. Clients with special dietary requirements must inform us of these at the time of booking.
Guide: Unless an alternative arrangement has been made in advance, we provide an English-speaking guide.
Trekking hours: All our treks are designed to include 4 to 6 walking hours per day. Your day normally starts at 8 or 9 in the morning, followed by breakfast. We try to reach our destination well before nightfall in time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Flora and fauna: This region generally isolated and is home to many species of birds and plants. One can come across several species of birds in lowland tanbark forests through the high elevation up to the summit. Due to its isolation, the southern region of Chin State has retained its unique Chin tribal culture. The Chin are of Tibeto-Burmese descent and live in the hills of Chin State bordering Bangladesh and India. As hill people, they have been isolated and to this day little is known of their animistic culture. The women of the Chin tribes have various patterns tattooed on their faces and wear beautiful amber necklaces.
Fitness: This trek is classified as "Moderate to Demanding" and is thus suitable for most trekkers, as it involves relatively short days on paths and trails. A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these trips involve a certain amount of ascending and descending and the occasional challenging day. During your expedition, you will be under the direction of your trip leader; he or she has total authority to determine your suitability to participate. You may also be asked to sign a waiver form.
Temperature: Our season is between October and April, when there are mostly clear skies, warm days and cool evenings. Temperatures steadily decrease between late December and early February. The average temperature is between a low of 4-10 degrees and high of 20-30 degrees Celsius.
Medical & travel insurance: As a precondition of booking, it is compulsory for all clients to have prior medical insurance which must cover emergency evacuation. In addition to this, you need comprehensive personal insurance which should cover flight cancellations and other events due to unforeseen circumstances.
Emergency evacuation: In the event of an emergency, you will be taken to Bagan and given further medical care. Please ensure that your insurance policy covers such unlikely eventualities.
Do you have any questions?
Feel free to contact us. Our team will be happy to help you.