If you are an outdoor kind of person and you are not ready to set feet on Mount Everest yet, don’t worry! The stunning mountains of Chin State of Myanmar is waiting for your touch with great trekking opportunities.
A blur came in and went out from my mind and one destination stood out far beyond the rest for me: Mount Victoria of Chin State, Myanmar. Mt. Victoria is also known as Nat Ma Taung in Myanmar while it is called Khaw-nu-soum in Chin Language. I chose this one so that I can grab a chance of visiting Nat Ma Taung National Park (wildlife conservation Park) through trekking. It is like hitting two birds with one stone for me. The National Park is one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks that offers rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, Hill savannah, evergreen forest, cherry, orchid and rhododendron blossoms. Mt. Victoria is the highest mountain in the Chin State and is one of the ultra prominent peaks of Southeast Asia as it has an elevation of 3070 metres (10,070 feet) above the sea level.
For Mt- Victoria trek, you can take to and fro motorbikes from 10 miles quarter or just trek on foot through less-touched and beautiful Nat-Ma Taung National Park. In addition, a jeep trail will allow you to reach the summit directly with 4WD vehicles. If you trek, the very first half mile way is a bit steep but a heart-shaped pool can be seen before 9,800 ft height which is a gift of nature for only mountaineers. Along the way to the peak is filled with pine trees, oaks, orchids families such as Coelogyne, Dendrobium, Cymbidium, colourful butterflies and a lot of rare birds. Moreover, the sight of red rhododendron blossoms everywhere might make you feel cheerful if you visit in dry season. It is also possible to observe bluebirds with white eyebrows on the way. If you want to enjoy a more quiet environment without motorcycle buzz, there are jungle trail and trekking routes available for you. Sea of clouds can be watched more clearly when you take a break in the mid-way.
A small pagoda can be seen at the top of Mt-Victoria which is a popular picnic spot for locals. Personally, I enjoy the journey to the summit more than the broad summit itself. Ascending to and descending from the mountain will take about 5 hours in total but it may alter according to hikers’ fitness. It takes about 30 minutes altogether if you take motorbike going and coming back to the trekking basecamp. Most of the people rest and have some snacks they brought before their descents from the peak.
The followings are some helpful tips for your trek. First and foremost, enough energy is needed to fill in your body through nutritious breakfast with sufficient amount of water. Good hiking shoes, torchlight, water and food , sunscreen, a camera with a good zoom lens, warm clothes including sweater, socks, mask, and hat are highly recommended for your trip to Mt. Victoria. November to January is the perfect period to visit the mountain due to its fine weather. Red colour rhododendrons and rare birds watching are possible in that period. The trekking is not recommended for children and old people as it is a tiring and adventurous trip. You have to bring only cash due to the ATM machine absence. The cold climate of Chin State would be another factor to count in.
Most of the visitors regard Mt-Victoria as a must-visit site in Chin State. In fact, the moments I got from Mt-Victoria trek were well worth the effort though it was rather challenging. To summarise, I would definitely recommend visiting Mt. Victoria for those who seek unspoilt nature as well as an adventurous trek.
Written By Ms.Nyein Chan Htwe