One of the outstanding places for tourist attraction in Myanmar is Chin State which lies western part of Myanamr border with India. Lovely Chin state can reach by road from Bagan. 40 minutes drive from Bagan stop at Chauk petrol land and Chauk market can buy some fruits and food for 3-4 days during your stay at Chin state. It is recommendable to by some fresh vegetable, salt and rice for Chin tribe as they have very few food.
Before arrival to Kanpalet can stop at Saw, there is simple teashop, clean toilet and short break for tea time. Driving over high Chin mountain approach to Kanpalet past time called Kanpale which is well-known place traveler use to do night stop before visit Mt.Victoria. Kanpalet can be reach by public buses from Yangon and Mandalay.
Kanpalet is small town on the slope of high mountain. For the limit of flat land, all houses are on the slope of mountain. Only one main road is on the highest part of mountain range that link with Mindat. There are many Chin Tribe villages around
Kanpalet can reached by 4*4 car, some cannot, walk to approach Chin villages. The biggest Chin village is formed with group of 35 houses. Some villages are just group of 10-15 houses. They have strong and small society. Chin State situated on high mountain, land is soft, very limit of flat land and poor region, not easy to make good road. Only main road that join with important city is quite good and can use all year around. Off road between the villages very difficult to travel during raining season. 4*4 car is considerable.
What can see around Kanpalet and how to visit.
Down town of Kanpalet beside the football playground there is local coffee shop and teashop. Sitting at teashop for some minute will give you information how Chin tribe do business. Some Chin ladies with their traditional basket do shopping for daily food. Kanthayone village, Okkpho village and Makyauk-ah villages are Chin tribe villages to visit around Kanpalet.
How to go Kanpalet to Mindat?
There are two options traveling from Kanpalet to Mindat. If you have very short time, just one day, drive from Kanpalet to Mindat from off road. Open season from October to March all kinds of car can be used 4*4 car is recommendable during raining season. kyatchan village, Aye village, Shein village, Mashiyaw village are road side villages between Kanpalet and Mindat.
For travelers who like trek on high mountain, can drive to 10 miles camp and walk to peak of Mt.Vitoria. Driver will drop at the place start to trek to Chin villages where you can do night stop. Then can walk to Chichaung river where driver come and pick you up for Mindat. As there are many routes, can manage trip for 1 night two days or 2 nights 3 days between Kanpalet and Mindat. As you love Chin tribe, there is possibility to visit around Mindat.
Chin tribe is one of 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar, they are descendent of ancient Phyu which is sub group of Tibeto Barman. Authentic beauty of Chin tribe is chin ladies with tattoo on their faces in different patterns. Tattoo on their faces serves to distinguish a group of people in tribal societies. Some people say, they consider that tattoos are as a sign of Beauty. Some people say, past time when price came to visit Chin state, use to choose beautiful Chin ladies as his servants. He did not car she is married or not. Chin ladies were afraid and started to protect their beauty by doing tattoos on their face. There is no document to say why Chin ladies do tattoo on their faces. They also do tattoos on neck.
There are many different tattoos patterns: simple shape, linear pattern, geometrical pattern, stripes and black dots. Tattoos patters are related to nature and animals that they have seen their surroundings. Around 1960, Myanmar government tried to stop doing tattoos. Chin lady about 29, is the youngest generation with traditional tattoo. Chin tradition will make you dream about the time of Neolithic and Bronze Ages as we can see the evidence of Megalithic Stone Culture at Chin State.
Most families still keep old tradition of keeping stone slab in front of their houses belief that it is symbol of place in the heaven after their death which is family burial chamber. According to Myanmar traditional point of view it is tomb of family. Some villages there is a place of many burial chambers together for the village as a village cemetery. The structure of stone slabs is very similar to Megalithic grave in Germany (3000BC), Dolmen at Ganghwa Island South Korea (300BC), Poulnabrone dolmen at Iraland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poulnabrone_dolmen) and Stonehenge at United Kingdon which is one of the world’s best known megalithic structure (constructed between 3100-2200BC) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge
Some villagers who live near the city are Christian and some are Buddhist. Most villagers still practice animism which is similar Totemism. There are many ritual poles (as totem poles) in front of Chin traditional houses. The poles are made of wood carved with lines and symbols or figures.
They proudly decorated with the skull of bull, goats and wild animals that they got from hunting in the forest that show their power and wealth.They mainly cultivate elephant yam nearby their house as well as on the slope of the mountain. There are several hotels at Kanpalet and Mindat. There is no recommendable restaurant around Kanpalet, hotel where you stay can provide good food. Myo Ma restaurant at Mindat is only one Chinese restaurant for fresh food. There will be many people in the people as they love drinking beer at Chinese restaurant.