The small town of Kanpetlet lies in the Chin State, in West Myanmar. This sleepy town is home to a number of eco lodges and makes a popular base from which to explore Mount Victoria and the Natma Taung National Park. Don’t expect much in the way of electricity here – generators are typically switched off at 10pm to conserve power, so a trip here is very much about embracing the traditional way of life that has survived here for hundreds of years. Kanpetlet Township remains one of the region’s least developed areas and is still home to many southern Chin tribes.
The town is best known as a base for exploring Mount Victoria, the highest peak in the Chin Hills. Towering above Kanpetlet at 3,053 metres tall, it’s the third-highest mountain in Myanmar. From the top, you’ll enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, as well as the chance to explore the pagoda with its Buddha.
A climb to the top isn’t challenging and the trail starts from a 45-minute drive uphill from town. It’s around a five-hour trek on a rough road, so pack plenty of water and snacks! The coolest time to visit is between November and February, when you’ll also spot rhododendrons in full bloom. If you don’t fancy the trek to the top, you can hire a motorbike at the base of the summit – the journey to the top takes around 45 minutes. While you’re here, make sure you explore the national park with its trails, forests and waterfalls. It’s home to some of the rarest species of birds on the planet, including the Burmese tit and the endangered white-browed nuthatch.
For a bit more of a buzzy vibe, one of our favourite things to do is head to Mindat – it’s around a five-hour drive. Here you’ll find the indigenous Ya, Upu and Dai tribes. You’ll notice older tribal women have their faces heavily tattooed, a practice once used to hide their beauty and prevent their kidnapping (it’s been outlawed today).
The best thing to do in Mindat is check out the local market where you can shop for colourful Chin tapestries and clothing, locally-produced millet wine and handicrafts.
Plan your trip to Kanpetlet today.