5/17/2011 to 5/19/2011 | India , Mizoram

Champhai: Ri Lake Denied

After a few days of rest and recuperation in Aizawl I headed east to the district capital of Champhai, a region along the Burmese border famous for its grapes which are made into the only legally sold alcoholic drink in Mizoram, a slightly sweet red wine, and for having the largest area of flat land in Mizoram, a valley which by its relatively small size serves to only emphasis how hilly Mizoram really is.  I took a day trip to the border town of Zokhawthar is about an hour by sumo (an Indian SUV used as public transportation in mountainous regions) from Champhai.  If you are Indian you can cross the border to visit Ri Lake (the largest lake in Mizoram, as Mizos will tell you, but it happens to be few km inside Burma).  I had been assured though various channels that as a foreigner I wouldn’t be allowed the same privilege.  Nevertheless I walked to the border post to find out.  The very polite customs official said the Burmese would not allow it and invited me to take a rest in his office where as a conciliation he sent someone across to the border to buy a couple beers for me to drink in the “dry state” of Mizoram, tax free as well I’m sure.

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