The Lost City of Mrauk U
5 Days / 4 Nights
The abandoned city and hundreds of temples and pagodas at Mrauk U (also spelt Mrauk Oo and pronounced ‘Myow Oo’ or ‘Mrow Oo’, depending on Burmese or local Rakhine pronunciation) lie across rolling northern Rakhine State hilltops and form an awe-inspiring sight, whilst providing an experience quite unlike anything else in Myanmar.
From the 15th to 18th centuries, Mrauk U was the capital of a mighty Arakan kingdom, frequently visited by foreign traders (including Portugese and Dutch), and this is reflected in the grandeur and scope of the structures dotted around its vicinity. But after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826, the British moved the regional trading centre down the Kaladan river to Sittwe, and Mrauk U went into decline. 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.
Yangon - Sittwe - Mrauk U - Wethali - Chin Villages - Sittwe - Yangon
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Myanmar with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Yangon - Sittwe (-/L/D)
Morning pick up from your hotel in Yangon and transfer to Yangon domestic airport for your flight to Sittwe. Afternoon arrival to Sittwe, a former seaside capital of colonial Burma where the Kaledan and Lemro rivers meet the grand Bay of Bengal. After enjoying a late lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the following 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 bygone times; and the fascinating local fish market, at times with thousands of fish on display from the deep Bay of Bengal. We continue to the mouth of the Kaledan river where it kisses the Bay of Bengal, and stroll on the black sand beaches amidst a beautiful setting sun.
Day 2. Sittwe - Mrauk U (B/L/D)
Early breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Sittwe jetty for the boat journey to Mrauk U. The 70km cruise upstream the Kaledan river travels though farming regions 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 the hotel. In the afternoon, we embark on a journey to the ruins of the 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.
Day 3. Mrauk U - Wethali (B/L/D)
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 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.
Day 4. Lemro River Trip and Chin Tattoo Villages (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the 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, 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 the day is free at leisure to explore the surroundings.
Day 5. Sittwe - Yangon (B/L/-)
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. A packed lunch is served on board the boat. Upon arrival to Sittwe, we transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight back to Yangon.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS FROM £1,300 per person
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic flight Yangon-Sittwe-Yangon.
Twin sharing accommodation in a double/twin room in standard hotels.
Quality private air-con vehicles & experienced drivers for all transfers and sightseeing.
Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.
Entrance fees for all listed attractions.
Meals as stated in the itinerary (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner).
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Myanmar. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Visa fee for Myanmar.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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