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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.
Lunch, Dinner

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 Vesali Hotel.
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.
Breakfast

Included

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

Not Included

Services not mentioned in the itinerary
All other expenses of a personal nature

Notes

* 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 October.
* 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, etc.
* 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

 

 
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