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Start your 5 days Mrauk U and Arakan Explorer by a short flight to Sittway, a port city on the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the Kaladan River and was an important trade centre during British colonial times. Travel by boat from Sittwe to Ancient City of Mrauk U, Myanmar's second most famous archaeological site to discover the rich history of Burma through the beautiful temples and pagodas. Explore the 15th century monuments that dot the landscape and hear tales of the once prosperous kingdom that ruled over the land. In its golden days, it served as a free port, trading with the Middle East Asia, Holland, Portugal and Spain. King Minbin (1531-53) built a naval fleet of some 10,000 war boats that dominated the bay of Bengal and Gulf of Martaban. You also take a lovely boat ride to Chin villages on nearby Lemro River. You can observe Chin Hill Tribes and the traditional way of living, see the famous Chin-women with tattooed faces.
Itinerary Idea in Detail
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Day 01: Yangon – Sittwe
This morning, you will be transferred to Yangon airport for a domestic flight to Sittwe, was an important trade centre during British colonial times. On arrival in Sittwe airport, you will be welcomed by our Asia Senses guide and transferred to the hotel for check in. Then continue with a leisurely sightseeing tour of Sittwe.
Start our sightseeing tour of Sittwe with an excursion to the Rakhine State Cultural Museum (closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and public holidays), a museum that displays figurines of the Rakhine people and their traditional dress, traditional looms and arts of Rakhine people. Then visit Thet Kya Muni Temple, one of the highlights of this seaside town is the big sitting Buddha image. This is located in the same area with U Ye Kyaw Thu Monastery. After that, we walk along Strand Road and take a visit to Fishing Port & Fishing Village to observe and study not only variety of tropical fishes and other species, but also local fishing systems and life style of the people. In the late afternoon, we head to View Point Lighthouse (Farkir Point) a lovely recreational spot where one can enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Bay of Bengal. West and south are the Bay of Bengal while east is the Paladin River estuary with several islands.
Have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Sittwe hotel.
Shwe Thazin Sittwe Hotel
Day 02: Sittwe – Mrauk U By Boat
After breakfast, pay a visit to the local market of Sittwe and observe how the local buy and sell products. After that, you will be transferred to to travel to Mrauk U. It takes about 5 to 7 hours to sail from Sittwe to Mrauk U, depending upon river conditions. The trip travel upstream on the Kaladan River, offers fantastic views of the area and rural river life in Myanmar. Upon arrival Mrauk U, you will be transferred to your hotel for check in. Take a short break at hotel.
Mrauk U, which means "North Far" may seem to be a sleepy village today but it was former capital in the 15th Century and once one of the richest cities in all of Asia. At its peak, Mrauk U controlled half of Bangladesh, modern day Rakhine State (Arakan) and the western part of Lower Burma. There are hundreds of ancient temples and pagodas, many of which are well preserved remain of the powerful empire that once flourished here.
In the afternoon, we begin the tour with a visit to Htukkant Thein Temple, the reputed temple in the ancient Arakanese city, on a small hill near the Shittaung Pagoda. The temple was built in 1571 by King Min Phalaung whose reign brought prosperity and expansion of the Rakhine Empire. After that we drive to famous Shittaung Pagoda or "temple of the 80.000 Buddhas" with a maze-like floor plan inside built in 1535 by King Minbin who reigned from 1513 to 1553. The king built this fortress-temple after repulsing a Portuguese attack on the City of Mrauk U. After that, head to Andaw Thein Temple which is located at the northwest corner of Shittaung Pagoda. The name means 'Tooth Shrine'. It contains a tooth relic of the Buddha coming from Sri Lanka. Enjoy sunset over Kaladan River then transfer back to your hotel. Overnight at hotel in Mrauk U.
Wake up early and leave the hotel at around 06:00 (Note: the departure time will depend on the season) to enjoy the sunrise over the misty hills of Mrauk U.
After that return to the hotel for breakfast and then start our full day tour to explore Mrauk U temples, including the Koethaung Temple, Laungbanpyauk Pagoda, Yadana Mannaung and Sakaya Mannaung Pagodas. These temples and pagodas were built from the 15th to 18th centuries, set in a low-lying area surrounded by hills, are some of the most important religious shrines of Mrauk U which primarily remain day-to-day places of worship for the local Rakhine villagers
In the afternoon, we head to Ratana Pon Pagoda to discover its pure Arakanese design; the impressive, massive monument is without decorative elements or ornamentation. Afterwards, we will visit Le Myet Hna temple which is located North of the Royal Palace, near the Htukkanthein temple. It is one of the oldest temples of Mrauk U; it was built in 1430 by King Min Saw Mon, the founder of the Mrauk U Kingdom. Then we visit Laungbanprauk Pagoda locally known as "Plate Pagoda' because a wall at the front is embedded with plate-like tiles in bright color. In the late afternoon, visit to Shwe Taung Hill where there is a good view over Mrauk U and spend the time till sunset.
Transfer back to your hotel for relaxation. Overnight in Mrauk U hotel.
Mrauk Oo Nawarat Hotel
Day 04: Mrauk U Chin Villages
Today, we will visit the villages of the Chin ethnic communities, one of the major ethnic nationalities in Burma. They are of Tibeto-Burman descent and probably came to Myanmar, especially the Chindwin valley, in the late 9-10 century A.D. Chin people are well known for their colorful fabrics, as well as the tattooed faces of their women. Chin legend has it that when a Burmese king travelled to the region, he was so impressed by the women’s beauty that he kidnapped one to take as a bride. Because of this, Chin families began to tattoo their daughters to ensure they would not be taken away. The practice was outlawed a generation ago. During the 1960s, the Burmese socialist government banned the practice of face tattooing as part of their program of getting rid of the old and ushering in modernisations, with missionaries in the Chin also criticizing it as barbaric. So now only the elderly women have tattooed faces.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Ngagya Jetty, then take a lovely boat ride to Chin villages on nearby Lemro River. The boats used have to be small and nimble in order to navigate the difficult waters of the Lay Myo River. On the way, observe local villagers’ life and spot the wild birds that make the river their home, including the elusive hornbill. Upon arrival at village, you can observe Chin Hill Tribes and the traditional way of living. You may have the chance to see the famous Chin-women with tattooed faces, a fading tradition. Stop an hour or so at a couple of villages to meet Chin people. Then return back to Mrauk U.
Mrauk Oo Nawarat Hotel
Day 05: Mrauk U – Sittwe – Yangon
Free at leisure until our guide come to pick up and transfer you to jetty to board the local longtail boat departing to Sittwe. Then be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Yangon.
Private Tour Price (2 Pax Up)
Tour Price Includes
04 hotel night accommodation.
Local English speaking guides.
Meals as mentioned.
02 domestic flights Yangon - Sittwe - Yangon.
Boat in Sittwe to Mrauk U.
All sightseeing as specified and entrance fees included.
Bottled drinking water per touring days.
Permits to visit Chin villages.
Tour Price Excludes
Visas if required.
Other meals not mentioned in the program.
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, etc.
Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
Any camera or video fees at any sites.
When to Go
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