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.
A pagoda sits on the mountain ridge above Falam, offering stunning views of the town and neigbouring valleys. Despite this nod to Buddhism (and, some might say, central Burmese power), 99% 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 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’.