Hakha – Capital of Chin State, Myanmar

Hakha, the capital of Chin State, is situated in the Northern Chin State. It is situated over the mountains, at 6,200 feet above sea level. As Chin State is quite hilly, Hakha is built on the slope of a large mountain, in U shape. There is only one main road running along the middle of the city, in a curve U, and the whole city is built along this road. Another road runs from the middle of the city, for a short while, forming the foot of U.

Most of the population is Chin with a few Burmese. Most are Christians. Daily language of communication is Chin although Myanmar(Burmese) remains the official language.

As the city is located on the side of a mountain, the scenery is very beautiful. On one side of the city is a large mountain shadowing the city, while on the other side is a range of mountains running miles after miles. In the rainy season and in winter, clouds cover most of the lower parts of the city, so the city looks like it is built on the clouds. It also looks like a big lake is surrounding the city. It is quite cold during the winter months. Sometimes, the temperature drops to as low as minus two degree Celsius. And is it also very windy in Winter. The whole city is foggy in the morning and in the evening. The weather is excruciatingly cold. So be careful to carry a lot of warm clothes if you intend to travel to Hakha during winter.

The best time to visit Hakha is in summer, when the weather is warm and dry. The roads are dry and hard so it is not very dangerous to travel during summer. However, in rainy season, the roads are quite wet and slippery, and there are frequent landslides so it is quite dangerous and inconvenient to travel during rainy months. In winter, although the roads are dry, the weather is quite cold and harsh.

To travel to Hakha, you can either take a bus from Mandalay directly or first go to Kalay and then take a bus from there. The bus from Mandalay leaves everyday, except Sunday, but it takes about 24 hours to Hakha. The bus is quite cramp and small, and packs a lot of things under the seats as well as over the roof. Two buses leave Kalay everyday to Hakha, and it takes about 12 hours to reach Hakha. On the way you will pass the famous Manipur River and Bridge, which is very beautiful, and also Phalam, which is another town in Northern Chin State. I think bus from Kalay, via Phalam, to Hakha is a better path, as it is more exciting and the scenery is a lot more beautiful.

In Hakha, there is only one guesthouse, Zwe Guest House. It is quite close to the high way bus station. The guest house is quite cheap, but very clean and tidy. The owner is also very nice and friendly.

There are 3 or 4 nice restaurants in Hakha. A tea shop closed to the guesthouse, Yangon Teashop, sells good tea and fried rice, so it is a good place if you want to have dinner late at night but don’t want to walk too far.

There is no public transportation in Hakha, but it is possible to hire a motorcycle. Ask the guest house for help.

While in Hakha, don’t forget to visit the main market. Although small in size, there are a lot of chin traditional clothes and bags. They are quite cheap for their good quality and beautiful design. Always bargain before buying. But please remember that people in the region are quite poor, the the clothes have to be made by hand for quite a long time, so even if you don’t bargain, it is still cheap. And they usually don’t ask for a very high price.

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Contributed by Bamarlay. First posted at in Myanmar Man’s Diary.

25 thoughts on “Hakha – Capital of Chin State, Myanmar”

  1. Welcome to Myanmar Today. The blog is about Myanmar culture, custom, information, travel, places, and tips and advices for foreign travelers to Myanmar (Burma)

    1. Thanks for you suggestion. We are planning to change our site design to a new design with more functionality. We will include the feed burner email subscription with our new design.

    1. As far as I know, Hakha is not open for tourism. Those who come to Hakha on rare occasion are expatriate from NGOs such as WHO, UNICEF and so on. I do not know of any tourist arrival in Hakha. Mindat and Kanpetlet are a bit different. They are tourist destinations and are open to tourists. However, you will need to get permission from the Myanmar government to travel to these places. Your travel agent might be able to arrange one for you. Apart from Mindat and Kanpetlet, other towns are not open to tourists.

    1. As far as I know, there is no language teaching or training kit for Chin language. Chin people speak many different languages. However, the official Chin language is Hakha/Falam dialect.

    1. The above website is an English to Zomi Chin online dictionary. It has a database of more than eleven thousand Zomi Chin words. Thanks Chin Lay Ko Khai Pi for the link.

  2. Thanks everyone for the online language links. I am wondering about whether the dialects are close or not. Is Zomi at all recognizable to Falam speakers? The other link looks very interesting, I wonder if it is about Tiddim? Would that be understandable by Falam speakers? I’m trying to learn whatever Falam I can because a Falam boy is going to be visiting me in the USA — this is very exciting for both of us. Any tips anyone could give on cultural expectations would be appreciated, as would links to the history of this area.

  3. Dear Ann:

    Thank you for your interest in the dialects of the Chins. Almost every town in Chin State has its own dialect. But some of the root-word are the same (Eg. Pa=Father, Nu=Mom, dog=ui, pig=cow, pi=grandmom, pu=grandfather, etc)
    Well, transportation and communications is very difficult among Chin towns/villages which made it difficult to have a common language but very strict to our own dialects. Most chin speaks Mizo (India’s mizo state) language which influence all other Chins.
    Ofcourse, some of our word are totally opposite (eg. Hakha word for “give” is “pek” which mean “kick” to Tedim. So, If a Hakha man say “I you want to eat food, I will give (pek) to a Tedim Man, it means, “If you want to eat I will kick (pek=give in Hakha) which can make scare or angry, (Very Funny)
    Hakha dialect is use mostly in Hakha and Thanthlang Township (some in the south since Hakha Bible is available to them). Falam was the District Office during the colonial period and the dialect was mostly known to the older officers and Falam township. But like others, within Falam Township there are some other minor dialects too such as Ngawn, Laizo, etc. Hakha also has Zotung, Zophei, etc. Tedim (Tiddim) dialect is used in Tedim and Tonzang Townships.
    The proper Burmese called us Chin. But some of the people who has “ZO” in their village and names prefer “ZOMI” while Hakha and Falam prefer “Laimi”. But, the motive of our hearts are the same though our expression show our limited minds.

    (By the way, I am Rev. Nang Lyan Kap, Pastor of Tedim Evangelical Church and President of Timothy Bible School in Tedim. Now, I am in the States for my deputation. We will go back to Tedim, Chin State in December). My cell phone: 615-477-6610; My email: tbskap@gmail.com

    1. I have been searching everywhere for an english to Chin dictionary. Where can I find one? You mentioned that you now have English to Chin? where at?


  4. Hi!Bamarly

    I have never known that Hakha/Falam is the official language in Chin State. Where did you get that information? Could you please send me some information about that. So that I know for sure with all the proves that Hakha/Falam is the official language for Chin State, if not it’s hard for me to believe.Thanks.

    1. Cuddle Me to Read

      The Official language remains Burmese in the offices. There are many different dialects in Chin State. Butm Hakha/Falam language is by far the largest speaking dialect. And the official Myanmar Radio broadcast for Chin language program is in Hakha dialect. And almost all publications in Chin language use Hakha dialect.

      1. you don’t know about us.our modern history,our dialects….Hakha/Falam language?I don’t care about your Myanmar Radio Broadcast…Tedim,Hakha and Mizo are the big three languages we use..it might be Mizo>Tedim>Hakha or Tedim=Mizo=Hakha….around 20 years ago..of course it was Tedim>Mizo+Hakha….your official Myanmar Radio broadcast is ‘ektum’…

  5. Hello ! My name is Dephne . I am form Hakha . So i don’t understand Tedim language and if you can hlep me to fine the dictionary in Hakha or Burmese. I am in 11 grade and i try to wirte about senior exit for 12 grade. so i really need dictionay . Help me plese.
    Thank yOu. Hakha is so beautiful adn don’t forget to visit when you get achane.]

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