Mandalay – Bagan – Magway – Ann – Mrauk U – Sittwe – Yangon
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.
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 : Esperado Getaway Hotel or similar
Esperado Getaway Hotel
Nice family running home-stay style this accommodation is a central location in Mandalay in a rather 'offside' street and walking distance to Royal Palace. Two storied cozy style accommodation are nice, clean and full of practical accommodations. The rooms are in cabins in a well laid out garden and are decorated in flamboyant local style. The beds are comfortable and the lighting is excellent (possible to read in bed!) Each room offers balcony facing to the tropical garden and pool gives relaxing ambiance.
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 : Ruby True Hotel or similar
Ruby True Hotel
Local style Ruby True Hotel offer standard services and a broad range of amenities. Bungalow style rooms are fitted with a private bathroom and balcony overlooking view to the garden. Hotel features free WiFi throughout the property. Breakfast is served at the garden. Easy access to nearby attractions by bike. Very good location in New Bagan and walking distance to nearby local restaurants.
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) via some stops at Chauk and Salin on the way.
After breakfast at the hotel drive about an hour to Chauk, visit a colorful local market that is busy in the morning with vendors selling a range of products. The next stop will be at Ta Nyaung village to see way of life of friendly people working as farmers and Blacksmiths. Then short drive to Shin Pin Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda from the 12th Century. Next about an hour drive to Sa-Lin, an old town with ancient ruins from the Bagan era.Visit Wooden monastery, U Okatama fort and English Cemetery.
Arrive Magwe in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy attractions of the town in the afternoon such as Myathalyon pagoda and Min Hla fort, has some great history and was built by Italian military engineers for the Burmese king around 1852-1853. It was used without success in the 2nd Anglo Burmese war against the British. The river facing wall section is collapsing but you can still go up on the ramparts to get a great view of the Irrawaddy river
Overnight in Magway – 1 night.
Accommodation : Phan Khar Myay Hotel or similar
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 of sunset from Harri Hill.
Overnight in Mrauk U – 3 nights
Accommodation : Shwe Thazin Hotel or similar
Shwe Thazin Hotel
Shwe Thazin Hotel is located to enjoy the town's attraction and activities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destination.
Each guestroom features modern amenities such as air-conditioning, hot and cold shower and mini bar including private balcony.
Meet with your local guide and explore temples such as Shitthaung Pagoda known as "80,000 Images" ,
erected in 1536, after King Meng Ba conquered Bengal, Andawthein, ordination hall with tooth relic, and Yadanabon stupa, heap of Jewels and gems. The temples are very different to Bagan, much more simple in appearance and made of stone rather than brick. The landscape is also different, with myriads of small hills meaning the whole site has a very different look to Bagan.
Return to the city in the afternoon to see more temples such as Kothaung temple which was built in 1553 and shrine of 90000 buddha images. Yadana Manaung Zedi , Dukkhanthein temple,vaulted passages with impressive stone sculptures in the huge fortress-like temple, Laymyetnha temple, Pitaka taik and Laungbanyau.
Sunset from discovery hill.
This morning, a visit to morning open fresh market where all kinds of fish, seafood ,vegetables are on sale.
Then, After breakfast, start a scenic journey on a bumpy road by car about 30 minutes to the village.
Then continue by boat up along the Lay Mro River to the Lay Too Chin minority villages for 2-3 hours. 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.
In the afternoon, continue to see see some of the temples of Mrauk U, which nestle amongst hills, streams and leafy trees. Stroll through the streets of Mrauk U.
End the day with a visit to Shwetaung from where there is a good view over Mrauk U
Depart Sittwe for Mrauk U by road (approx. 4 hours) .Kissapanadi River and Rakhaine Yoma mountains are lining along the road.
A stop at ancient city of Wethali, the original site of the famous Mahu Muni Buddha which is now located in Mandalay and it is interesting to enjoy a hike to Kyauk Taw Hill or U Rit Hill in Pone Nar Island by passing suspension bridge over the river if you are well energetic. Enjoy fabulous view from the top of the mountain.
Arrive Sittwe in time for lunch.
Take a stroll along the busy streets later in the afternoon to see activities of the town.
Overnight in Sittwe.
Accommodation : Hotel Memory or similar
It is a modern style hotel and located in the of the city closed to Myo Ma fresh market, habor area, walking distance to River Valley seafood restaurant and nearby shops. Rooms are large ,comfortable, good bathroom with hot/cool shower. Windows are large and nice view to the streets.
This morning, a visit morning open fresh market where all kinds of fish, seafood ,vegetables are on sale.
Then, take a drive along the Strand Road past fishing boats to The Viewpoint , at the mouth of 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. Then, drive through the town to see picturesque colonial buildings built in British days, local style houses, local family business of fried fish snack (papara) and pork sousage and nearby fisherman village to witness the same daily routines .
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 2 people/pax
• Price per person based on twin/double sharing basis
• 9 Nights middle range accommodation (decent accommodation in Magway and Ann)
• Daily breakfast
• All transfers and transport in private air conditioned vehicle
• English speaking guide service in Mrauk U
• 1 local flight (Sittwe-Yangon)
• Private boat to nearby Village in Mrauk U
Validity : from now to end of Sep 2017
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