UNKNOWN MRAUK U
10 DAYS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ADVENTURE
Mrauk U (once known as Myo Haung) was the capital of a mighty Arakan kingdom from the 15th to 18th centuries, 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 centre, 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 centre, 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. Discover the deserted ruins of Mrauk U’s grand palaces, temples and pagodas of this important trading port and former capital. Situated by the lovely Kaladan River in a charming rural setting dotted throughout farmlands the ruins will take you back to the 16th century. It can be accessed from Sittwe on a scenic river journey on the Kalatan River. Today part of its allure lies in its isolation from the rest of the country; the lack of development; and that (for the moment) you are more likely to bump into a cow or a goat than into another tourist.
Route: Mandalay – Bagan – Magway – Ann – Mrauk U – Sittwe – Yangon
Arrival at Mandalay.
On arrival, pick up from the airport and transfer to down town.
See some attractions I Mandalay and a sunset view from Mandalay Hill.
Overnight in Mandalay – 1 night
Accommodation : The Link 83 Hotel or similar
The Link 83 Boutique Hotel
A very modern hotel, in the centre of chaotic Mandalay. Rooms,well appointed, quiet, very comfortable bed give cozy feeling and some rooms offer amazing sunset view through the window.
Location is walking to Zaygyo market and couple of restaurants.
Depart Mandalay .
Make a stop at Amarapura and take a stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.. Then, departs on your 6 hour drive to Bagan by offering picturesque vistas of local villages and farmlands.
The views are pleasant – a mixture of palm trees, villages and paddy fields dominate the landscape.
Overnight in Bagan – 2 nights
Accommodation : Arthawka Hotel, Superior room
Two storied cozy style hotel is nice, clean and full of practical accommodations. Tastefully decorated rooms facing to the garden and pool are big, comfortable, clean and big windows offer enough day light.
Sitting at the pool area by the garden with a glance to the busy street will give you relaxing ambience.
Hotel is walking distance to Dhammayan Gyi Temple , That Byin Nyu Temple and nearby local restaurant.
Your discovery in Old Bagan begins with some of the site’s most important monuments such as
HtilominloTemple, one of the greater temples of Bagan, Ananda temple, an architectural masterpiece, built 1105 AD in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance and angle from which the statues are viewed. Continue to Thatbyinnyu Temple standing within the city walls, rises to a height of 201 feet above the ground and overtops all the other monuments, Gubyaukgyi Temple which dates back to the 13th century AD and Sulamani Guphaya Temple.
You will return to your hotel for a couple of hours to escape the hottest part of the day.
Later this afternoon, end the day atop a pagoda which affords a magnificent sunset view of Bagan's temple studded plains.
Drive from Bagan to Magway (approx. 4 hours drive)
Arrive Magwe in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy attractions of the town in the afternoon such as Myathalyon pagoda and sunset view over the Ayeyarwaddy river.
Overnight in Magway – 1 night.
Accommodation : Htein Htein Thar Hotel or similar
Htein Htein Thar Hotel
Nice and clean small accommodation with comfy bed, hot shower, working wifi, good breakfast and attentive service. Quality is decent as an accommodation in small town with lack of tourist. Room has nothing special but efficient for a night stay.
Drive from Magwe to Ann valley (approx. 5 hours drive).
Make a stop at little town Minbu to see Mud Volcano’s. Locally they are known as Naga Bwet Taung which loosely translates to something about Dragons breath. Starting from Nga Phe, it is hilly drive. Continue to Ann valley. The scenery is interesting - rolling hills as the road climbs into the mountains of Rakhine Yoma mountain. The road takes about 3 hours. Arrive Ann. Enjoy the cool, refreshing air and relaxed atmosphere of this charming and sleepy town.
Arrive Ann and overnight.
Accommodation : Paradise Motel or similar
Family running cottage style accommodation. Air conditioned rooms are fitted with a private bathroom and balcony overlooking view to the garden. Walking distance to nearby local attractions such as Ann creek, morning fresh market and local tea shops.
Breakfast at local teashop. Take a stroll in the tiny off beaten track town and witness the local daily life beside the Ann creek.
After lunch, set off about 5 hour journey to Mrauk U by road. by passing Ramaung bridge and small villages.
Mrauk U, pronounced Mira Oo – an area featuring a concentration of temples and pagodas that is often compared with what is probably Burma/Myanmar’s most famous tourist sight, Bagan. Mrauk U is generally touted as being the less touristy, more “real” version, as on account of its difficulty to get to.
Arrive Mruak U in time for sunset.
Overnight in Mrauk U – 3 nights
Accommodation : Mrauk U Hotel, Superior room
Mrauk U Hotel is located to enjoy the town's attraction and activities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to temples.
Each guestroom features modern amenities such as air-conditioning, hot and cold shower and mini bar including private balcony.
Early morning around 0530 am, you will be met by local guide and leave the hotel to Herri Hill behind the hotel in time to catch an impressive sunrise over the misty hill of Mrauk U.
Then, return to hotel for breakfast.
After refreshing up, being your exploration of Mrauk U temples
Your first visit to Shitthaung Pagoda known as "80,000 Images", which was built in 1535 and considered to be the city's most highlight monument. Continue to Andawthein, ordination hall with tooth relic, and Yadanabon stupa, a multi-spire structure filled with inimitable stone carvings.
After lunch, return to the hotel to escape the heat.Return to the city in the afternoon to continue visit to circular Ratanabon pagoda, Yadana Manaung Zeti, Dukkhanthein temple,vaulted passages with impressive stone sculptures in the huge fortress-like temple, Laymyetnha temple, the first pagoda to be built in Mrauk U in 1430, Pitakataik and Laungbanpyauk pyaya, built in 1525 by King Minkhaung is also known as the “colored tile pagoda.
After breakfast, start a scenic journey on a bumpy road by car about 20 minutes to Seik Phyu jetty.
Make a stop at Koe-Thaung Pagoda. Koe-thaung means ‘shrines of the 90,000 images of the Buddha’. It has been partly restored since the excavation works in 1996. Koe-thaung temple is surrounded by 5 receding terraces where hold hundreds of small stupas. Its entrance leads to a long vaulted passageway, spiraling through the interior towards the central chamber. Along the passageway stand various large images of the Buddha seated on a pedestal at regular intervals. For Buddhist followers, it is ritual to walk around the central image three times and keep the image to the right at all times.
Then continue to Seik Phyu jetty where small wooden boat is waiting for boarding along the Lay Mro River for about 2 hours to visit from one village to another. Enjoy scenery beauty of the river, fishing boats, agriculture faming along the river bank and chance to learn their fishing method by local technique along the way.
Visit Pan Baung village where Chin people are living Chin people are probably best known for their colorful fabrics, as well as tattoo on faces of women. A legend said that the Burmese King from central land used to explore their State as Chin women are most beautiful among other minorities. Chin girls not later than age of 13 had to tattoo on their faces to make them ugly and to prevent from being taken to the Burmese palace. As tattooing habits are stopped, you can see mostly elderly women with tattoo nowadays.
On arrival, take a drink of fresh coconut juice (if selling). Then, visit small village to see their hand weaving, clothes and take a memorable photo with them.
From there, we will continue to another chin village named Kone Chaung. Enjoy overlooking view over the Lay Myo river and surrounding before heading back to Mrauk U. Visit last village at Sin Baw Gine where more than 500 Rakhine families are houses. Take a stroll into the village and enjoy Rakhine Mouti soup for lunch.
Return to Mrauk U. Arrive at jetty and transfer to hotel.
Afternoon at leisure
Depart Sittwe for Mrauk U by road (approx. 4 hours)
A stop at ancient city of Wethali, the original site of the famous Mahu Muni Buddha which is now located in Mandalay and another stop at U Rit Hill in Pone Nar Island by passing suspension bridge over the river . Enjoy fabulous view from the top of the mountain.
Arrive Sittwe in time for lunch. Hotel check in
See some attractions in Sittwe in the afternoon. Visit cultural Museum (closed Monday, Tuesday and public holidays) where collection of various different items up to 400 hundred years old such as Buddha statues, coins, bank notes, small sculptures of animals used as weights, paraphernalia and various religious objects are displayed . Afterwards, continue to Phayagyi temple , a hundred year old golden face Buddha and hundred years old Shwe Zay Ti monetary.
Then, drive though along the strand road to View Point in time for exquisite sunset over Sittwe’s Bay and the Gulf Bengal.
Before heading back to hotel, venture into the roadside stalls to enjoy a couple of local beer together with seafood BBQ by taking fresh breathing passing from the sea.
Overnight in Sittwe.
Accommodation : Hotel Memory or similar
It is a modern style hotel and located in the of the city is walking distance to Myo Ma fresh market, habour area, restaurants and shops. Rooms are large ,comfortable, good bathroom with hot/cool shower. Windows are large and nice view to the streets.
Alternatively, we suggest from Mrauk U to Ngapali beach by road on day 9. This journey takes approx.. 8 hours, party hilly drive and party bumpy road.
After leisurely breakfast , take a walk to Sittwe central market to discover vendors selling from fresh vegetables to seafood products. It is interesting to find out various kind of fishes catching from the sea and how to trade.
Then, take a stroll into a local quarter to witness local buildings, their way of living and trading.
Return to hotel.
Then, return to the hotel to collect your luggage.
Transfer to airport for flight to Yangon. On arrival, connect your international flight to home.
- Tour for min party of 4 people/pax
- Price per person based on twin/double sharing basis
- 9 Nights middle range accommodation (decent accommodation in Magway and Ann)
- Daily breakfast & 1 lunch at riverside village
- All transfers and transport in private air conditioned vehicle
- English speaking guide service in Mrauk U
- 1 local flight (Sittwe-Yangon)
- Private boat to riverside villages in Mrauk U
Validity : from now to end of Mar 2019