Geographical Information:Peak Name: Maithai-Jama Haphong
Latitude: N 22°00.713′
Longitude: E 092°35.864′
Measured Height by GPS (in meter): 974.3m
GPS Tolerance/Accuracy (in meter): 3m
Data measured by/ or source:
Garmin eTrex 30x
Team Name: Shangshaptak Ovijatri
Expedition Name: Punorgrohon Ovijatra (Reclamation March)
Summit Date: June 5,2017.
Arafat Hosen Nobin
Mahdi Al Masud
Zahidul Islam Jewel
Maithaijama Haphong is unofficially the 6th highest peak of Bangladesh. It is located in Bilaichari upazilla,Rangamati. The peak is situated on Rang-Tlang Range which separates Bangladesh from Indian state Mizoram and Chin state of Myanmar.
‘Maithaijama’ is a tripura word. In tripura language ‘Mai’ means ‘paddy’.’Haphong’ means ‘Mountain’.Thus Maithaijama Haphong means ‘The mountain where no paddy grows’.
How to go:
Though the peak is located in Bilaichari,Rangamati,it is easy to access from Ruma,Bandarban. The conventional routes would be as following:
Route 1: Bandarban> Ruma> Bogamukh para> Ananda para> Enong para> Pukur para> Pranjang para> Suraha para(New para on the bank of Raikkhiang canal)> Maithai-jama Haphong
Route 2: Bandarban> Ruma> Boga Lake> Harmun para> Saikat para> Ananda para> Enong para> Pukur para> Pranjang para> Suraha para(New para on the bank of Raikkhiang canal)> Maithai-jama Haphong
The above routes are suitable when army administration gives permission to access the area. If you start your journey from Bandarban city early in the morning,you can reach Pranjang para or Suraha para on second day evening. Make any of the two villages your base for the summit.
As for now this area is restricted for the tourists. So if you are much enthusiast,you have to follow a different route which will take you much longer time but give you extraordinary scenic view during your trek. And the trail will be a lifetime memory for you. The route is like,
ROUTE 3: Bandarban> Bolipara bazar> Kechu para(Located on the bank of Chema khal)> Shatirang para> Chinglok para> Hlaching para> Thaikkinag para> Tlabong> Esom para> Tui-Ku-Tumu> Senda Vo> Chedlang> Rili Te> Maithai-Jama Haphong.
If you choose the last route,you need to make Rili Te your basecamp. You have to make an approach march of 3 to 4 days to reach the basecamp. It is one of the highest water body of Bangladesh situated at an elevation of 1728 feet. Rili Te is situated on the west face of Maithai-Jama Haphong.
After reaching Bandarban early in the morning,try to catch the 1st bus of thanchi. It will take you around three hours to reach Bolipara bazar.
In Bolipara bazar there is a BGB(Border Guard Bangladesh) checkpost which will definitely hinder you to cross the bazar for any kind of trek. So you need to manage yourself a wayout from Bolipara bazar. Bolipara bazar is located on the bank of mountain river Sangu. You have to cross the river to start your trek. Chema khal (another mountain river) flows into Sangu river just opposite of Bolipara bazar. You have to trek along Chema khal from the mouth of it up to the meeting point of Chema and Naitiang khal Then you have to trek along the upstream of Naitiang khal up to Chinglok para. But in monsoon it will be nearly impossible to trek along Chema and Naitaing Khal. So you have to manage a boat which will take you up to Chinglok para from Bolipara bazar.
After passing the meeting point of Chema and Naitiang khal,you have option to trek up to Chinglok para in hilly path which passes through Menpa para(Murong).
Just before Cinglok para you will find another mountain river flowing into Naitiang khal called ‘Sangrai Jhiri’. You may need to camp on the bank of Sangrai jhiri as it might be already dark.
The following morning start your trek towards the upstream of Sangrai jhiri. After approximately two hours trek you will find the trail of Hlaching para in your left(just after you cross a junction of two jhiri). Do not go to the left side jhiri of the junction if you do not want to be misguided. From the jhiri to Hlaching para it is 1750 feet steep hike. It’ll take you around two to three hours to reach Hacling para(a Marma para).
Halching to thaikkinag para trail will be around two hours long. And to reach Tlabong(Popularly known as Double falls) you will need an extra hour from Thaikkiang para. If it is already late in the evening,make a camp beside the falls for night stay.
Next day start your trek early in the morning to follow the upstream of the right side jhiri(Paikkhinag jhiri) of Tlabong. After walking for around an hour following the upstream,you will find Sungsung para-Esom para(Sungsung para-Jarusri para) trail. Follow the right side of the trail. It will lead you to Esom para within three hours. The trail passes through the north west col of Kreikung Taung peak. From Esom para you have to descend on Raikkhiang Khal(a mountain river). Now it is your job to follow the downstream of the river up to Chedlang falls. The river is wildly beautiful in its structure. So it’ll take time to negotiate the river. Depending on season the trek along Raikkhiang river can take two to three days up to Chedlang. So you may need to camp beside the river if you wish to visit the beautiful falls Tui-Ku-Tumu,Senda Vo,Chedlang during your trek. There is an excellent camping spot just in front of Chedlang.
Just right after Chedlang there is a trail leading to Rili Te which will be your basecamp. If you follow the downstream,the trail will be in your right. If it is hard for you to find the trail,go forward around 1.5 km downstream from Chedlang. You’ll find a village called ‘Charging para in your right’. Anyone from the village can help you to find the trail or locate the position of Rili Te. From Rili Te it is around two to three hours hike to the peak of Maithai-jama Haphong.
Where to stay:
As this route is restricted to the tourists,you may not be able to stay at any villages. It is highly prohibited by the military administration to the indigenous people to provide any lodging to the tourists. So you have to be self dependent for your shelter. You’ll find very beautiful camping spots on this trail.
What to eat (food):
As the people of this place are not accustomed to see tourist for a long time because of restriction imposed upon,it might be difficult to collect your food from them. So it is wise to carry your own food yourself.
Tips/advise for traveler:
-Boli para bazar is not yet a popular tourist destination alike Ruma or Thanchi bazar. So you will not get the facility of conventional guide system. If you can manage someone as your guide,do not offer anything way too expensive.
-Normally Sangu river is not deep enough near Bolipara bazar. One can cross the river walking in bare foot.But in monsoon the river gets wild and water level increases drastically. Keep all kind safety precaution such as life jacket. If you are lucky enough,you’ll get ferryboat.
-Keep machete or ‘daa’ with the team as it is very much helpful when you penetrate through dense bush to make your way forward.
-Keep 50 to 100 feet rope with you for crossing river and climbing.
-respect the indigenous people and their cultures.
-Do not litter. The trail is one of the cleanest in Bandarban as it is not regularly roamed by the tourists yet.
-If you camp in trail always try to leave no trace. Burn the non disposable and bury all the garbage you make under the earth.
-Keep always a fist aid box with the team. Know the basics of first aid as the trail may leave some injuries to you during your trek.
-Try to wear socks as you have to walk through stream in maximum time. Stones and vegetation can scratch your toes and feet badly. It is learned in hard way.
-If you trek during pre-monsoon or monsoon,take all kind of preparation for leeches.
-Take saline,glucose,energy bar and dry food with yourself.