Steeped in ancient tradition and folklore, Rih Lake (also known as Rih Dil) is of significant spiritual and cultural importance to the Mizo people – considered a hill tribe of Southeast Asia – dwelling in nearby areas of Myanmar and India. The lovable lake was traditionally believed to be a pathway for the dead to reach their final resting place.
This relatively small, natural body of water along the India-Myanmar border is a nook of Chin State still largely unexplored due to its remoteness and a history of regional travel bans. Surrounded by rolling hills of green and vibrant rice paddies, the journey to get to Rih Lake is definitely worth a little (or a lot of) discomfort.
One way to reach Rih Lake is with a jeep operator out of Kalay. It takes approximately nine hours to arrive at the closest village of Rihkhawdar and costs about US$30, round-trip. This scenic, somewhat treacherous route to Rih Lake is definitely for off-the-beaten-track enthusiasts smitten with adventure.
Rihkhawdar is a tiny, bustling border town with an interesting blend of Indian and Myanmar cultures. A motorbike taxi from Rihkhawdar to the lake takes about 15 minutes and costs approximately US$5 there and back. Rihkhawdar lacks in overnight lodging options for foreigners, so consider a long-haul day trip from Tedim.
Postcard-perfect Rih Lake remains a pilgrimage site for Mizo people of both Chin State in Myanmar and Mizoram State in India. It’s also a popular weekend spot for locals to swim, fish or simply relax. The best time to go to Myanmar’s lake shaped like a heart is during the week for a truly tranquil experience that will surely leave you love-struck.