5 Days / 4 Nights - Tour
Sittwe and Mrauk-U
Extension from Yangon
Union of Myanmar
Day 1 Yangon - Sittwe
Transfer from your hotel to Yangon Airport. Air Mandalay flight
from Yangon to Sittwe. Transfer from Sittwe Airport to your hotel
or guesthouse. Lunch at local restaurant. Sittwe, known to the Bengalis
as 'Akyab', is in Rakhine State and used to be a busy trading port..
Sittwe was founded by the British in 1826 and is situated at the
mouth of the rivers Kaladan and Lomro near the border with Bangladesh.
Due to its history as a major town during the time of the Raj, many
people who came here to work came from India - to this day approximately
25% of the people are Muslim of Indian origin. Visit the local market
where all kinds of fish and seafood are on sale. Stop at a Buddhist
Museum in the grounds of a monastery and see the interesting collection
of Rakhine-style Buddha images, silver coins from the Mrauk-U era
and engraved astrological charts. Visit a pagoda and make photo
stops at one or more of the mosques, evidence of the large Muslim
community in Sittwe. At sunset, drive out along Strand Road past
fishing boats to The Point, at the mouth of the Kaladan River. There
are some interesting shale and sandstone rock formations, as well
as fabulous views over a black sand beach stretching for miles towards
Bangladesh along the edge of the Bay of Bengal. In the evening,
go for a walk in downtown Sittwe where local people sit on the pavements
outside their homes enjoying the cool evening air. Dinner at local
restaurant or hotel. Accommodation at Sittwe Hotel or similar.
Day 2 Sittwe - Mrauk U
Breakfast. Transfer to Sittwe jetty for departure by private boat
(depending on availability) or public boat to Mrauk-U. The journey
on the Kaladan River takes from 4 to 7 hours (depending on boat
and river conditions) through changing scenery, upriver towards
the hills surrounding Mrauk-U. A simple picnic lunch is included.
Arrive in Mrauk-U in the afternoon and transfer to your hotel or
guesthouse. Mrauk-U (once known as Myo Haung) was Rakhine's capital
in the 15th Century, when it enjoyed great wealth and was an important
commercial port. A visitor described it as one of the richest cities
in Asia. Being a great trading center, it was coveted by many surrounding
kingdoms including the Bengalis, the Moguls and the Burmese. The
end came about after two disastrous earthquakes in 1761 and 1762,
and the takeover of Rakhine by the Burmese King Bodawpaya in 1784.
In the wake of the first Anglo-Burman war in 1826, and the subsequent
founding of Sittwe by the British as an administrative center, Mrauk-U
fell into oblivion. Little remains of this wealth but Mrauk-U has
great charm with its many local markets, solid wooden houses, canals,
hills and friendly people. Some of the ancient pagodas and ruins
can be visited on foot from the town, whilst others require a bullock
cart or vehicle. Depending on exact time of arrival of the boat,
visit some of the pagodas or stroll through the streets of Mrauk-U.
Dinner at local restaurant or hotel. Accommodation at Nawarat or
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Mrauk U
Breakfast. This morning, drive to Wethali (Vesali) - a kingdom founded
in the 4th century that prospered for some 400 years. The ruined
city walls and moat give you an idea of the size of the former city.
See the Great Image of Su Taun Prai, a 5 meter sitting Buddha in
Rakhine-style, which is said to have been carved out of one piece
of rock. From Wethali, continue towards Kyauktaw and visit Mahamuni
Pagoda, according to legend the original site of Mandalay's famous
bronze Buddha image. Nowadays, three stone images sit on the pedestal
that was once home to the Mahamuni Buddha. Return to Mrauk-U for
lunch at local restaurant or hotel. In the afternoon, visit the
museum which houses ancient stone slabs with inscriptions and an
interesting collection of Rakhine-style Buddha images. Then see
some of the temples of Mrauk-U, which nestle amongst hills, streams
and leafy trees. Most famous is Shittaung, perhaps the best preserved
Pagoda, and home to some 80,000 holy Buddha images. 33 smaller ones,
rising from platform to platform, similar in style to Indonesia's
Borobudur, flank the large central stupa. Inside the Pagoda is like
a maze and it's fascinating to wander through the interior passages,
admiring reliefs and Buddha images in niches. Visit Andaw Pagoda,
an eight sided monument which is smaller than Shittaung but with
a similar linear layout. Opposite Shittaung, visit Dukkanthein "ordination
hall", a construction of laterite and sandstone bricks that
resembles a huge bunker from the outside. See also Laungbankpyauk
Pagoda, locally known as "plate pagoda" because a wall
at the front is embedded with plate-like tiles in bright colors.
Late afternoon, go to Shwetaung from where there is a good view
over Mrauk-U. Dinner at local restaurant or hotel. Accommodation
at Nawarat or Vesali Hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Mrauk U - Sittwe
Breakfast. Transfer to jetty for departure by private boat or public
ferry back to Sittwe. Simple packed lunch is included. Arrive in
Sittwe in the afternoon and enjoy wandering through the town, or
relaxing on the beach. Dinner at Innpaukwa Restaurant on the banks
of the Kaladan River. Accommodation at Sittwe Hotel or similar.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Sittwe - Yangon
Breakfast. Transfer to Sittwe Airport. Air Mandalay flight from
Sittwe to Yangon. Arrive Yangon and transfer to your hotel.
Same guide throughout the whole tour, with the
language guide of your choice (English, Italian, French or German
- other language guides available on request)
Full board as specified in the itinerary
Accommodation in hotels as specified above
Transportation by jeeps or minibuses
Boat trips as specified in the itinerary
All entrance fees
Domestic flights with Air Mandalay as detailed in the itinerary
Services not mentioned in the itinerary
All other expenses of a personal nature
* Travel to Rakhine State is recommended only during
the dry season from November to April - this area is known for its
heavy monsoon storms that make travel near impossible from May to
* Note that flights do not operate daily from Yangon to Sittwe.
It is usually possible to depart on Monday and Friday.
* A trip to Mrauk-U must be regarded as an adventure tour because
of the prevailing travel conditions: substandard accommodation with
infrequent electricity supply, bad roads, vehicles with NO air conditioning
and of doubtful road worthiness, erratic supply of public and private
boats, poor condition of boats, etc. Itineraries may have to be
changed on the spot because of weather, transportation problems,
* It is essential that all guests visiting Rakhine State are fully
aware of travel conditions as described above.
* In case delays occur in Rakhine State, we recommend that guests
traveling to Mrauk-U allow at least one extra day in Yangon after
returning from Sittwe. This is to avoid them missing their international
departure flight out of Yangon.
* The reward for accepting the above inconveniences is that few
foreigners currently visit Mrauk-U - the most important cultural
and archaeological site in Myanmar besides Bagan.
SITTWE and MRAUK-U
Tours to Sittwe & Mrauk-U are not operated in summer
season due to the heavy monsoon in this area