Off the Beaten Track and Off The Grid / by David Johnstone


The quote above is from a friend of mine, Army Mark, who once said that you can never do enough preparation - he should know, he was in the forces for many a year and led expeditions and the like. 

And whilst I’ve done a lot of prepping for my trip generally, the next leg involves a leap into the unknown. 



Tomorrow sees me heading from Bagan to Mindat in Chin State via a stopover in the town of Pakokku. I’ll be picked up by my guide, Kee, in Mindat Thursday then head by motorbike up to our starting point high up in the mountains in western Myanmar.

From there we’ll be trekking to places rarely, if at all, visited by outsiders let alone foreigners, staying with the tribespeople in their homes (and no doubt drinking their local hooch). 

One of the most interesting things about the various Chin tribes - there are 6 in total - are the tattooed faces of the womenfolk. Some say this tradition comes from folklore, from religious dictat or simply peer pressure! 

You can read a little more about the tribespeople of Chin State here.

As with Bagan, the weather in Chin State has been bad so I can’t expect a walk in the park. Whatever happens, I’m sure I’ll have a story or two to tell. 

Until the next time...