The beautiful and remote mountainside town of Falam was founded by the British in 1892, and served as an important administrative centre until 1974, when Hakha became capital of the newly formed Chin State. Falam is well worth a visit both to experience Chin culture and take in the distinctive surrounding scenery, both of which are very different to the rest of Myanmar.

Bringing to mind a smaller version of Darjeeling, Falam is dramatically set amongst the imposing and lush northern Chin mountains. Only recently made accessible to foreigners again after decades of isolation, it remains largely unaffected by modern development, with simple wooden buildings centred around a large Baptish church, which is visible for miles around.

On the mountain ridge above Falam, a pagoda  offers stunning views of the town and neigbouring valleys. Despite this nod to Buddhism (and, some might say, central Burmese power), over 90% of the population here is Christian; along with the rest of Chin State, the locals are deeply religious and proud of their heritage - for more information on religion in Myanmar, go here.

Simple meals can be found at a number of teahouses and restaurants around the central church. Guesthouses in Falam are basic and electricity and hot water supplies are sometimes limited. Being at relatively high altitude, temperatures are in general lower than the rest of Myanmar, particularly during December and January (although the sun remains intensely strong).

Take a look at our YouTube video of a mountain pass between Kalaymyo and Falam and, for a wider selection of photos from Falam, go to our Flickr photo set.

To find out about local music, go to our blog post ‘Musical traditions in remote Chin State’.