We shouldn't exaggerate.But it´s hard not do with this trip. Because, without a doubt, „Rakhine State - In the Ancient Kingdom of Mrauk Oo“is one of the outstanding highlights among tour offers in Myanmar. Especially for those, comfort is not a top priority. And for those who have already visited our country and now want to see more. A visit to Rakhine (former Arakan), Burmas most westerly state on the Bay of Bengal, is, even today, a fascinating pioneer trip. Our managers organized the first tour group there many years ago. Some early difficulties have been resolved: both in Sittwe and in Mrauk Oo there are now new, small hotels - not first class, of course, but there's everything you need. But there is still a lack of comfortable transportation: the old ferries are somewhat uncomfortable, you reach the temples on foot and use old vehicles or horse-drawn carriages. But for all that you´ll see Burma as it was years ago - authentic, exotic and impressive. And unforgettable!
Yangon - Sittwe - Mrauk Oo - Sittwe - Yangon
Welcome to our World!
Day 01 Arrival Yangon: A one hour morning flight to the Burmese capital. You will be met at the airport with a garland of flowers by our local guide, who will take care of everything from now on. Then you will be brought by minibus/bus to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will get to know our capital on a city tour: Drive along scenic Royal Lake to Karaweik Hall, a ship-like construction built in the shape of the mythological bird Karaweik; have a look at the lake with world famous Shwe Dagon Pagoda in the background! Then visit to huge Reclining Buddha and the octogonal Bo-ta-taung Pagoda in the harbour area along Yangon River. Then, shortly before sunset, the 107 metres high golden stupa of Shwe Dagon Pagoda will glitter in the soft light of the early evening. Optional: Classical dances in the evening? Overnight.
Day 02 Yangon-Sittwe – Mrauk Oo: An approximate one-hour morning flight to Sittwe, formerly called Akyab. Sittwe is the most important town in Arakan, Burma´s „Wild West“ on the Bay of Bengal. Arakan, actually called Rakhine, is divided from the rest of the country by the mighty jungle mountain range of Arakan, which begins in the Himalayas, runs underwater along Myanmar's coast and ends at the Indonesian island of Sumatra. „Antlers that fell in the river“ is the poetic name of the port of Sittwe on a tributary of the Kaladan. The six to eight hour boat trip on the Kaladan River from Sittwe to Mrauk Oo, once the center of a mighty kingdom, begins. Travel time depends on the tides, the water level and also on the condition of the boat (in any case it will be a more or less uncomfortable ferry). With luck you will see dol-phins and rare birds, timeless villages along the shore, white-washed pagodas and ancient sampans on their way from here to there. The width of the river and the size of the land will leave a lasting impression. In the course of the afternoon you will reach Mrauk Oo and sightseeing can begin. In Mrauk Oo there is a small hotel with basic comforts.
Note: You have arrived in an Asia which has been closed to tourists since 1941 (and even before that there were very few foreigners) and in which not so many tourists have visited since being opened only few years ago. Original, authentic - and unforgettable! A few organizational slipups should be excursed.
Two Days in the Past
Day 03/04 Mrauk-Oo-Vesali: Two days full of sightseeing, hikes, and rides in horse-drawn carriages in and around Mrauk Oo. You will stand among the ruins of ancient temples, visit the excavations at the city wall and 2,000 year old temple foundations of Vesali. You will be astounded at the almost Gothic atmosphere in intact Buddha temple Shit Taung of the medieval Mrauk Oo period. You will meet the peoples of the Thet tribe, with huge holes in their ears. And in the evening, Buddhist monks preach ancient sutras. 2 days full of sightseeing. 2 Overnights.
Optional: On the second day in Mrau Oo we could bring you on a 3 hours boat trip to a Chin village, where the woman traditionally tattooed their faces.
Day 05 Mrauk Oo-Sittwe: We will let the water level on the Kaladan decide when we begin our trip back to Sittwe. It´s usually faster in this direction, if we´re lucky the trip will take about 4 hours. You might see huge bamboo rafts, which silently and decoratively move along tributaries and canals, covered by thick vegetation. In the course of the afternoon you arrive at Sittwe, and this small city will now seem to them an outpost of the present. Sittwe is a small town and we will show you the sights in the afternoon. The first impression of a very unspoiled area! The small and not so bad hotel, completed 1996 and overlooking the sea and the beach, relieves the accomodation bottleneck.
Back to Yangon and departure
Day 06 Sittwe-Yangon-Departure: A one-hour return flight to Yangon, depending on flight schedule. Transfer to hotel or departure.
Price per Person in US$: Prices for 2010 / 2011 on request