Climb Mount Victoria in Myanmar's Chin State

The Chin State - with its rugged landscape and women historically so rebellious that they tattooed their faces to avoid being married off to invading kings - is one of Myanmar’s most intriguing regions. It also boasts one of South-East Asia’s ‘ultra prominent’ peaks - Nat Ma Taung, or Mount Victoria, which soars at 10,000 feet above sea level, and is surrounded by 280 square miles of national park. 

What to expect on Mount Victoria...

Accommodation will be basic, and this journey will take you far off that much maligned beaten track, but your reward will be a superb climb and views that stretch across the Chin State, in western Myanmar.

To reach Mount Victoria, you'll drive cross-country from Bagan for a couple of days, visiting the deeply traditional villages of the Chin people as you go. Having arrived in the Nat Ma Taung National Park region and spent some time in the pretty hill town of Mindat, you'll be drive to Aye Camp, just over 1,790 metres up the mountain, with six basic rooms and an outside loo.

If you want a shower, the camp’s staff will have to boil water for you - that’s how basic we’re talking. It’s only the start of your climb, but the camp still offers magnificent sunset views across the Chin Hills before you settle down to rest before your climb.

First thing in the morning, drive to base camp to start your ascent up to the pagoda that marks Victoria’s summit, which should take around two hours. With beautiful scenery to distract you on the way up, the climb certainly won’t be dull, although it is physically challenging. Gazing out across montane forest to the Rakhine mountain range in the distance, you’ll certainly feel grateful to yourself for putting the effort in.

Twitchers will also be rewarded by the region’s diverse birdlife, while botanists should visit in November for the showy abundance of rhododendron that erupts at this time of year.

What do you do when you reach the remote Myanmar mountaintop? Have a picnic, of course - enjoying panoramic views from the climbers’ shelter as you savour your lunch. After your lofty meal, descend to base camp where you’ll be driven to a nearby mountain town for a hot meal and a well-earned rest.

Location: Chin State, western Myanmar

Duration: 4-5 days total, 2 days on mountain (overnight at base camp)

Accommodation: Mt Victoria base camp

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Nick says...

'If you’ve got the calf-muscles for it, this is one of the most rewarding treks available in Myanmar.'

Important to note...

It’s not Everest, but this is a serious trek - only for the fit, hardy, and genuinely adventurous. The climb isn’t easy, and if you enjoy a physical challenge and tremendous mountaintop views this experience is most definitely for you.

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