Morning Markets, Ancient ruins & Trading Routes, a Rich Cultural History
Afternoon arrival to to SITTWE, a former seaside capital of colonial Burma where the Rivers Kaledan and Lemro meet the grand Bay of Bengal. Fascinating fish markets, morning markets and exciting boat cruise upstream on the Kaledan River though farming regions and small riverside communities on route to Mrauk U are all part of this outstanding itinerary. What a great way to see Myanmar. If there was one tour to do, this is it!.
You will be met at your hotel in Yangon in the morning or at the airport in Yangon. We will need to know your flight arrival and departure details in advance. Your tour starts after airport pick up.
Hotels in Sittwe and Mrauk U (4 nights inlcuded)
This tour includes one night stay in Sittwe (deluxe room) at the Shwe Thazin Hotel and 3 night stays in Mrauk U, also at the Shwe Thazin Hotel (deluxe room)
Domestic Flights in Myanmar
Mrauk U Tour involves 2 domestic flights in Myanmar. Yangon to Sittwe and retrun to Yangon. The cost of these 2 flights combined is $290 per person over and above the tour price. Please read the itinerary for more information. We use one of these airlines, Air Kanbawza, Yangon Airways, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines.
Tour Itinerary & Map (below)
Morning pick up from your hotel in Yangon or at the airport and transfer to Yangon domestic airport for flight to Sittwe. Afternoon arrival to SITTWE, a former seaside capital of colonial Burma where the Rivers Kaledan and Lemro meet the grand Bay of Bengal. After enjoying a late lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the following town highlights: the CULTURAL MUSEUM, with an impressive wealth of cultural artifacts representing the Rakhine civilization that dates as far back as 3000 BC; the BUDDHIST NUNNERY, a stately building hailing from by gone times. We continue to mouth of the RIVER KALEDAN where it kisses the Bay of Bengal, and stroll on the black sand beaches amidst a beautiful setting sun.
Early breakfast at the hotel, visit to the fascinating LOCAL FISH MARKET, at times with thousands of fish on display from the deep Bay of Bengal and transfer to Sittwe jetty for the boat journey to Mrauk U. The 70km cruise upstream the Kaledan River travels though farming region and small riverside communities. The travel time varies between 4-7 hours depending on boat size and river conditions. Simple packed lunches are provided on the boat. On arrival to the Mrauk U Pier half a mile south of the town’s central market, we transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, we embark on a journey to the ruins of LOST ARAKAN KINGDOM OF MRAUK U, a seaport at the crossroads of ancient trading routes between the East and West. Mrauk U has inherited a rich cultural legacy, particularly the 700 enchanting temple ruins scattered over misty hills.
We visit the fortress-like SHITE THAUNG TEMPLE, a solid structure with thick heavy walls housing some 84,000 Buddhas and reputed to be modelled after Indonesia’s Borobudur. We continue to adjacent ANDAW THEIN ORDINATION TEMPLE, which houses a stupa believed to contain the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka by the Burmese King Mindon. Nearby on a hill is HTUKKAN THEIN FORTRESS TEMPLE, with only one entrance, three inner chambers and small windows designed to let the rays of the dawning sun shine directly onto the central Buddha statue in the main vault.
After breakfast, we visit the central MRAUK U MARKET to see the typical Rakhine foods and products sold, then drive 30min/14km to the ruins of the Wethali. The ANCIENT CITY OF WETHALI (VESALI) was a thriving dynasty from the 4th to 9th centuries, though little but overgrown bushes remain. At the GREAT WETHALI PAYAGYI, we admire the 17ft-high seated Buddha crafted from a single slab of sandstone, set amidst a panoramic view of quaint villages and farmland. We return to Mrauk U for lunch and later in the afternoon, visit the serene PHARAOUK TEMPLE, built in late 1500s and with a solid stupa featuring 29 life-sized Buddha’s seated radially in its wall. Continuing to KOTHAUNG TEMPLE, we visit the most colossal temple of Mrauk U, named for the 90,000 statues it originally housed. If weather permits, we climb to the SHWEGUDAUNG PAYA, the highest pagoda of Mrauk U to enjoy the captivating views of temples winking under the setting sun.
Breakfast at hotel and depart for a pleasant boat trip upstream on Lemro River from Mrauk U. During our river journey we see vegetable gardens and cultivations, make a stop at lively Pan Mraun morning market (held on Tuesdays and Saturdays) and visit several ethnic Chin minority villages. Some of the old ladies still have facial tattoos in this region and are proud to pose for some pictures for extra income for their families and to receive visitors curious about Chin traditions and culture. The disappearing tradition of facial tattooing has been practiced among Chin tribes since the ancient Burmese Kings times throughout generations. Return back to Mrauk U in the afternoon. Rest of day is free at leisure to explore the surroundings.
Early breakfast at the hotel followed by a boat ride to Sittwe. If time permits, we visit enroute a MRO ETHNIC MINORITY VILLAGE, known for intricate designs of the Khami traditional dress hand woven by the local tapet backstrap loom. Lunch is served on board the boat. Upon arrival to Sittwe, we transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight back to Yangon and transfer to your hotel or connecting international flight.
Good to Know
Myanmar Introduces New Online Visa Application Effective August 2014!
- You must travel to Myanmar within 90 days of Visa application
- Foriegners can stay in Myanmar for up to 28 days
- Please ensure that your passport has sufficient validity (over six months) before traveling to Myanmar.
- Other convient for purchasing your Myanmar entry visa. VisaHQ also has operations in Europe and UK. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for visa processing.
Travelling in Myanmar is essentially adventure experience. Road conditions vary greatly, communications, electricity supply and standard of lodging and local services are often not up to western standards. Travel times and schedules are subject to changes without prior notice. Tourchoice.com and the tour operator, tour guide reserve the right to amend touring schedules and itinerary if needed before and while on tour.
Getting to Yangon By Air
If you arrive from Bangkok, then Bangkok Airways is a good option with a 90 minute flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok's main international airport. Air Asia flies to Yangon from Bangkok as well from Don Meung Airport. The cost of these flights is between $110 to $130. There are also flights from both Phuket or Chiang Mai but you will probably be routed through Bangkok first which adds several hours to the travel time.
International connections to Yangon are available from Hong Kong with Tiger Air, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, China Eastern, Vietnam Airlines and several other choices. Yangon is also well serviced out of Japan, Korea and Tawian. Thai Airways, Air Ana, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines all service Yangon.
Terms & Conditions
Booking the Tour:
- Minimum 2 persons per booking
- Suggest booking a minimum of 2 months in advance during high season (October 1 to March 31)
- Allow up to 48 hours for TourChoice.com to confirm your booking after you submit your request to us. Some Myanmar tours take longer to confirm if it involves a hotel reservation or airline reservation
- Pricing in USD, per person inclusive of all local tax ,10% VAT
- We accept secure payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal
- TourChoice does not receive any customer sensitive data from credit card processing companies
- Prepayment in full once your reservation has been confirmed by TourChoice.com if booking is 5 weeks or less in advance of tour start date.
- Full payment must be paid 5 weeks prior to departure or the booking will be cancelled and the deposit forfeited
- If booking more than 5 weeks in advance a 30% deposit is required after your tour has been confirmed
- A booking voucher & invoice will be emailed to you immediately upon confirmation of your reservation
- Please read about TourChoice.com's unique consumer protection
- Please bring US cash to Myanmar, clean new fresh bills
Domestic Flights in Myanmar
Mruak U Tour involves 2 domestic flights in Myanmar. The cost of these 2 flights combined is $290 per person over and above the tour price. Please read the itinerary for more information. We use one of these airlines, Air Kanbawza, Yangon Airways, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines.
Refund / Cancellation Policy:
If guests cancel after booking and after deposits are paid, refunds and cancellations are processed as follows:
- 61 days or more prior to tour start date, full refund less 5%.
- 60 – 31 days prior to arrival, the 30% deposit will be forfeited.
- 30 – 15 days prior to arrival, 50% of the tour cost will be forfeited.
- 14 days or less prior to arrival, 100% of the tour cost will be forfeited.
We strongly recommend that you buy your own personal trip cancellation insurance for your own protection. You should also buy insurance coverage appropriate for medical, travel coverage and personal liability which should include travel repatriation. The tour operator or tour agent cannot be held responsible for personal loss or injury where customers choose not to secure such insurance coverage.
Important Note about Myanmar
Myanmar is going through major changes at rapid pace. Hotel capacity can become scarce during peak visiting periods. We may need to look at alternative options to your preferred hotels. Local services such as transportation, meals and accommodation are in Kyats and in case of sudden fluctuations in exchange rate we reserve the right to price adjustments.
Many of the hotels require now up to 50% deposit to guarantee bookings. Dealing with many of the local hotels, airlines and transportation suppliers in Myanmar is unpredictable. Sudden rate increases can be applied without prior notice. These types of events are beyond our control. If your Myanmar tour inlcudes hotel reservations or airline ticket purchases as part of the itinerary such as this tour (boat cruises and river cruises are different) we need to advance payment immediately to secure these reservations. Your participation in this Myanmar tour implies your understanding of this condition. Thank you!
Ask about Myanmar's Ancient Kingdom of Mrauk U