Relevant Mrauk U
Mrauk U, the last royal capital of Rakhine has scenic beauty and historical remains which are inextricable and remarkable. Innumerable Buddhist monuments such as Buddha images, temples, Sima ( Thein ), pagodas belonging to all ages can be found throughout the city area.
Mrauk U was founded in 1430 A.D and became the seat of the Rakhine Kingdom of that name. It had attained its highest prosperity for 354 years till 1784 A.D. Before Mrauk U, several other former royal cities Dhanyawaddy, Vesali, Lay Mro had flourished from time to time for many years.
It is no wonder that Mrauk U is popularly known as the “ Land of Pagodas ” and Europeans remarked Mrauk U as the “ Golden City ” in once. The Rakhine of those days were proud of Mrauk U. The history shows what happened in the city in early times.
Mrauk U is situated at the head of a tributary, Kaladan River, about 72 km from the sea coast, but the largest sea-going ships of that period could reach it through a network of deep creeks by which it was surrounded. Mrauk U’s unique position in the Bay of Bengal, with both land and sea routes to the east and west, resulted in the development of tis commercial and cultural center which later emerged as a highly flourishing country because of its strategic location between India and South East Asia. It also received Buddhist religion and Indian civilization from the west.
Mrauk U is in the south-west of Myanmar, lies between Bay of Bengal and Rakhine Yome mountain ranges in Rakhine State. Mrauk U is situated 72 km to the north of Sittwe, which can be reached by land and river route. It lies on a tributary river of Henkayaw, on the right side of Kaladan river, nowadays on the Yangon-Sittwe road. The city holds a much better position strategically. It controls both the Kalandan river and Lay Mro river and extends to the main rivers both by water and land. The city was built on a valley within the series of parallel ranges extending a little north – west. The whole city was covered with a network of numerous creeks and canals forming a maze of interconnecting channels and hills.
The Mrauk U has three seasons. Summer, which is dry and hot, beings in March and ends in May, the rainy season, wet and damp, from June to October, and winter is a cool dry season from November to February. The average annual temperature is about 78’ F. So there are no extremes of heat and cold. Even the hottest months, March to May, becomes quite bearable because of the cool sea breeze and evergreen forests around Mrauk U. The temperature can rise to 100’ F in Summer.
The annual rainfall is from 160” to 200”. Nowadays even in the rainy season, visitor can visit by car from Sittwe only for 3 hours and from Yangon/ Mandalay. The vegetables grow occasionally everywhere around the city. The other awareness is wild cyclones can be encountered in Rakhine during the rainy season. But it is now very easy accessible by car from Sittwe. So Mrauk U is no more isolated area and travellers can visit the whole year round. But during the cool season, the weather is very pleasant an fine.
Mrauk U is densely covered with variety of plants; this is because of tropical climatic condition. Bamboos are dominant the hills and Nepel palm trees are covering the largest part of the creeks and canals. Trees, herbs and shrubs are commonly found during the rainy season. They are alive up to the end of December. Villagers of Mrauk U cultivate coconut palm, betel nut palm, banana, jackfruit, lemon, lychees and many other useful trees. Besides, Mrauk U is the rice bowl of Rakhine State which most are going to Sittwe. After the harvest time, most of rice fields are replanted with vegetables.
Rakhine State has 7 national races, of which the main national race is Rakhine and sub tribes are Mro, Khami ( Khumi ), Dainat, Thet, Kaman, Maramargyi. There are also Bangali ( so called Rohingya ). The Population of Rakhine State is estimated to be over 4 millions. The nationality is Myanmar. Each tribe has own custom, belief, traditions, costume, language but mainly major language is Rakhine language. The religions are Buddhist, Christian and Muslim, and Hindu. English is tiny spoken and understood.
The term Rakhine is believed to have been derived from the Pali word Rakkhapura , (“Rakkhita”) means “land of the people of Rakkha, Rakhaing. The native people usually called themselves “ Rakhine ”.
Arakan, used in British colonial times, is believed to be a Portuguese corruption of the word Rakhine that is still popularly used in English. Many English language users eschew the name changes promulgated by the military government.
They were given this name in honor of their preservation of their national heritage and ethics or morality. The word Rakhine means, “one who maintains his own race and morality.” In the Rakhine language, the land is called Rakhinepray, the ethnic Rakhine are called Rakhinetha.
The Land and rivers
Rakhine State formerly Arakan is a State in Myanmar. Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by Chin State to the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region to the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh to the northwest. It is located approximately between latitudes 17°30′ north and 21°30′ north and east longitudes 92°10′ east and 94°50′ east. The Arakan Mountains, rising to 3,063 metres (10,049 ft) at Victoria Peak, separate Rakhine State from central Burma. Rakhine State has an area of 36,762 square kilometres (14,194 sq mi) and its capital is Sittwe.
Rakhine State was known as Rakhapura or Arakan Kingdom since more than 2000 years ago. Rakhine State consists 4 Waddies and 4 Nadies. 4 Waddies mean 4 major cities such as Dhanyawaddy, Maygawaddy, Ranmarwaddy and Dwarawaddy. And 4 Nadies mean 4 main rivers, names Gissapanadi ( Kaladan river ), Inssananadi ( Lay Mro river), May Yu river and Natt river.
The Rakhine are predominantly Theravada Buddhists and are one of the four main Buddhist ethnic groups of Burma (the others being the Bamar, Shan and Mon people). They claim to be one of the first groups to become followers of Gautama Buddha in Southeast Asia. The Rakhine culture is similar to the dominant Burmese culture but with more Indian influence, likely due to its geographical isolation from the Burmese mainland divided by the Rakhine Mountains and its closer proximity to South Asia subcontinent. Traces of Indian influence remain in many aspects of Rakhine culture, including its literature, music, and cuisine. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Rakhine. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Rakhine are contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.
The Rakhine language is closely related to and generally mutually intelligible with Burmese. Rakhine notably retains an /r/ sound that has become /j/ in Burmese. The Rakhawunna script, found in stone inscriptions in the Vesali (Wethali) era, was used to write in Rakhine.
Rakhine chronicle records that more than six million shrines and pagodas flourished in Mrauk-U. In fact, they formed the pride of golden Mrauk-U. Dr. Forchhammer in his book entitled “Arakan”, “in durability, architectural skill, and ornamentation the Mrauk-U temples far surpass those on the banks of Arrawaddy”. Buddhist arts both in the field of architecture and Buddha-image constructions are on the same line of flourishing. An illustrative example of this fact can be seen in the temple of Shitthaung pagoda and colossal Htutkanthein temple. City walls, gates, settlements, monastery sites, fortresses, garrisons and moats are the other priceless heritages left to the safe keeping of today’s Rakhine people. Stone rubbles of proud mansions of that period are also priceless reminders of Rakhine glory.
Old money Coins
Gold and silver coins serve as the priceless heritage of the Mrauk-U period. The tradition of coin-making was handed down from the Vesali kings who started minting coins around the fifth century. The coins so far found are of one denomination only. Inscribed on the coins are the title of the ruling king and his year of coronation; coins before 1638 had Rakhine inscriptions on one side and Persian and Nagari inscriptions on the other. The inclusion of the foreign inscriptions was meant for the easy acceptance by the neighboring countries and the Arab traders. Twenty-three types of silver coins and three types of gold coins have so far been found. All the kings who ascended the throne issued coins.
Famous Rakhine Traditional Food
In any culture delicious food with amazing taste is always appreciated and highly sought after. In Myanmar we are lucky to enjoy many famous traditional foods which foreigners are also becoming aware of. Among them is Rakhine traditional food with its delicious blend of sour and hot flavors, very popular with the local people. Rakhine Traditional Seafoods is a famous Rakhine food.
Rakhine mont di
Rakhine mont di is the most popular dish in association with the Rakhine people. It is a semi staple dish of the Rakhine State. Many locals enjoy the popular Rakhine Mont Di everywhere can be found in Rakhine State at the corner of the road, village, near market.
It comes in two forms: soup and salad.
The soup is the more common version, in which rice vermicelli is mixed with a thin soup made of daggertooth pike conger,called thinbaw htoe in Arakanese, nga shwe in Burmese, Rakhine ngapi and lemongrass. Dry roasted pike conger eel flakes, fried onion and garlic, fresh coriander, red and green chili paste are added. It is also called arpu sharpu which roughly means ‘hot throat, hot tongue’, due to the green chili paste. Some add fried pulverised nga phe and pork rind.
The specialty of the Mont Di soup which comes in two different options:
* Mont Di with sweet hin yeh is a form of sweet fish soup mixed with noodles, with a sweet and sour flavor especially cooked with Nga Pi.
* Ahr Bhu Shar Bhu Mont Di is a hot fish soup with mainly pounded green chilli and large pieces of fish, great for those who enjoy a truly fiery taste.
In the dry salad form, the same ingredients are mixed into a colorful combination. The green chili paste gives the white rice vermicelli a slight greenish in color.
* Mont Di salad is served with either hot noodle or sweet noodle salad. The hot noodle salad contains green chilly, natural nga pi and lemon so that you can savor the hot and and sour tastes. The sweet noodle option is better for children and those who cannot eat hot or spicy as it is milder without the chilli, but with fried potatoes and sour dressing.
Each of the Mont Di dishes have a different taste to suit all preferences, however for the locals the Ahr Bhu Shar Bhu Mont Di and hot noodle salad are the clear favorites. You will also find condiment boxes of salt and sour dressing on the tables for you to adjust the flavor to your liking.
The basic Rakhine food is mainly rice and curry. Rice is served with meat or fish, soup, salad and vegetables all cooked in different ways, and some relishes to complement the meal.
The most common method of preparation is to cook meat or fish in oil but tiny oil, seasoned with pounded onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili and spices, and simmer. Many Rakhine curries are spicy and therefore soups mostly made of seasonal vegetables in water are taken together with rice and other curry dishes.
The main food of Rakhine is seafood and spicy curry. Rakhine people put chilly almost all of the dishes, even in vegetable curry.
It is the most outstanding and very famous pagoda festival in Rakine State, held on May ( Kasone ) with Rahine Traditional dance, theater perform the whole night in the province of Pagodas. As well as we could also can enjoy the unusual Rakhine traditional wrestling contest in the food of the pagoda with different level as Golden price, Silver price, Bronze price. It is also well known as second water festival of Rakhine as on can enjoy to participate water splashing in Mrauk Oo canal with canoes on full-moon day. There is a good chance to breathtaking of boat races on the Mrauk U creek and.
How to wear Clothes
As Mrauk U lies mainly within the tropical zone and unless you are not advised to wear a tie or thick jean pans because of the weather condition. Long pants for men, long skirts for women or Myanmar dress style are quite good for visitors. The very modern short pants wearing by ladies are not proper there to see by local, feel like very strange and let them preserve their permitted wearing. Pls bring light clothes, hat, umbrella, sunglasses, and some medicine you may need on your trip. Quick drying cloths are very suitable for rainy season. In winter you should wear a sweater or jacket and should bring rain coke in the rainy season.
How is the Shoes & Socks
As Mrauk U is full of Pagodas, according to tradition one always removes one’s shoes and socks before entering the precincts of religious monuments or private homes. So you’d better bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes which you can slip in and out easily. Or you could buy a new pair of slippers at local market. In additional bonus info for you, antimalarial drugs, antibiotics and other first-aid items should also be packed in the suitcase.
We recommend visitors to bring brand new US Dollars cash. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Myanmar and are easily exchangeable for the local Kyat currency. Myanmar currency is known as ” Kyat ” which comprises 100 pyas. Kyat notes are issued in denominations of 1,5,10,15,20,45,50,90,100,200,500,1000,5000 and 10000.
Only drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide it complimentary.
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area. Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.
How to transport
In general, traveling around Rakhine can be unpredictable and uncomfortable. The roads are spotty in places. Traveling by boat is a great way to see the countryside while moving between riverside towns. The Sittwe-Mrauk U route is particularly popular and scenic, and trips are available in a number of price ranges and comfort levels but takes more or less 6 hours. But the boat trip faces every now and then the unexpected weather with windy, waves as the river is wide and closed to the Bay of Bengal.
We advise and recommend by land motorcar road is better condition takes only 3 hours.
The boat or car should to be arranged with local transportation agent advance because the tourism is not blooms and it is isolated there will not be easy to get transportation traveling to Mrauk U without pre-arranged. Therefore we advise you any transportation going to Mrauk U by car or by boat or public boat, or for more information why not should you contact to Road To Mrauk U Travels & Tours visit www.roadtomrauku.com
By Air from Yangon – Sittwe
There are several domestic private airlines in Myanmar operating from Yangon to Sittwe. Myanmar National Airline and other private airlines operate with modern aircraft F- 100, ATR 72, ATR 42 with good services, reliable and punctual.
Your mobile phones could not be used in Myanmar as Myanmar still do not have network yet. But there can be bought Sim cards at the phone service counter at the airport and so on where you can mobile upon your arrival to be convenience during your trip. There are 3 mobile operators. MPT which is from Myanmar Government, Telonor form Norway and Ooreedoo from Carter. Wifi free service is available at most of the hotels during your trip but very slow and poor connection in Mrauk U.
Myanmar is about 6 and a half hour ahead of GMT.
The voltage is 220 V throughout the whole country. Now Sittwe, Mrauk U get 24 hours electricity.
To get Sittwe
Overland travel from Yangon, Mandalay via Mrauk U to Sittwe is now possible and more popular for foreigners as well. The road leading via Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun is very good, smooth situation with concrete level.
• From Yangon: The bus from Yangon to Sittwe (Minbu-Padan- Ann-Mrauk U-Sittwe) has been upgraded in recent years and the once harrowing journey is now quite comfortable and buses also travel the route, takes 26 hours by passing Rakhine Yoma mountain. Sittwe Bus Station is almost 4 km out of town on the way to Mrauk U. The bus from Mandalay stops at Magway near the bridge across the Ayeyarwaddy river.
• From Ngapali:The bus from Thandwe bus station starts at 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., takes 21 h to Sittwe via Mrauk U.
• From Taungguk: The bus from Thandwe ( Ngapali ) stops at the Taungguk bus station. It is the same buses.
• From Pyay : Yangon buses stop in Pyay Nawaday bridge. Need to wait at the head of Pyay Nawaday bridge or Oak Shit Pin where the immigration check point.
• From Mrauk U: We arrange private car transport takes only 3 hours via Mahamuni-Kyauktaw. On the way you get detour Rakhine Traditional longyi weaving. There are 2 times in a day local public buses run from Mrauk U to Sittwe. A mini car transport runs every day. Also try: Book advance to get the seat at email- [email protected]
From Mrauk U – Sittwe
A journey from Mrauk U to Sittwe on the Kaladan river is very a wonderful trip but private solo boat or public boat have to be needed to organized advance by travel Agent be more confortable for your travelling to Sittwe. Solow boat takes about 5-6 hours. Public boat takes only 4 hours.
From Mrauk U: Private Boat: We arrange private boat transport takes 5-6 hours depends on the tide. The journey along Kaladan river is a wonderful trip.
Local public the Aung Kyan Moe (AKM) double-decker boat also runs also alternative departs from Mrauk U to Sittwe at 07:00 am and arrive Sittwe around 11:00 am and. Shwe Pyi Tan express boat is runs daily departs at 7:00 am which takes 3 h.You can get boat tickets in Road To Mrauk U. For more information, pls contact to: [email protected],
From Taunggok – Sittwe
There are some passenger boats running from Taunggok via Kyauk Phyu such as Shwe Pyi Tan, Malikha, Gissapanadi. Departs from Taunggok at 7 o’clock in the morning, arrive Sittwe in the evening.
Sittwe is the main gateway to Mrauk U from Yangon, Ngapali beach. The Domestic Airlines are daily operating to Sittwe. Myanmar National Air, Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air KBZ, Mann Yadanabon, Air Apax all fly to Sittwe from Yangon for $70-140. Most of the flights go on to Thandwe (Sandoway). The airport is only a couple of miles from the city.
How to get Around
Sittwe does not have much sightseeing. Half day sightseeing by private car is enough to see all main tour sites the easiest way to get around for destinations outside this range. In Sittwe you can explore by walking around city center, a pick up car and air-conditional car. For more information of renting any transportation price in Sittwe, why not should you contact to email: [email protected] Discover Sittwe with at least a car is a good idea, especially if you want to see all sites in the city.
What to see in Sittwe
Foreign nationality must pay Sittwe Culture Museum fee is 5,000 kyat. The museum is opposite of the Noble hotel
Just walking around main road of the city, especially Fish market and vegetable market will be very interesting. Mahakuthala monastery where the collection of Buddha images, old coins, palm leaves inscriptions.
Should not miss
The most famous of the Sittwe is Sittwe beach and View Point where the edge of Kaladan river and Bay of Bengal. You could enjoy walking on the sand and will get fresh air. For the View Point better to go in the evening for wonderful sunset.
Where to sleep
1. Radanar Htun Motel No.39,Infront of U Ottama Park, Kyi Bin Gyi Qtr, Main Road, Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar Phone: 043-22997, 22998, 098615599, 09450866948, 09450866949
2. Yuzana Aung Motel No.35, Ngapin St, Rupa ( North )Qtr, Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar.
Phone: 043-24275, 22378, 09773476234, 0942176636
3. Prince Guesthouse:
4. Shwe Myint Mo motel:
5. Mya Guesthouse:No.51/6, Bowdhi Street, Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Phone: 043-23315, 22358, 09254242309, 09453072866
6. Kiss Guesthouse:No.145, Main Road ( in front of the Old Clock Tower ), South Rupa Quarter, Sittwe. Phone: 09451165896, 09456240324<br>
7. Shwe Thazin: hotel No. 250, Main Road, Kyaebingyi Qt, Sittwe Township, Rakhing State Phone: 043-23579, 22314, 22319,
8. Hotel Memory: No. Akaut Yone Street, Kyaebingyi Qt, Sittwe Township, Rakhine State. Phone: 043 21794, 22701, 098500178
9. Noble Hotel: 92 Main Road, Maw Leik Quarter, Sittwe, Rakhine State. Phone :043 23558, 24050, 24108, 095450202864
10. Royal SIttwe Hotel: West San Pya Qt, By the Sittwe Beach, Sittwe, Rakhine State. Phone: 043-23478, 24001, 0949321018
11. Strand Hotel ( Sittwe ): No. 9, Strand Road, Kyaebingyi Qt, Sittwe, Rakhine State. Phone: 043-22881, 22882, 0936173888, 0936173999
Where to eat
Sittwe is a much better place for trying Rakhine food than Mrauk U. Rakhine food is spicy and is a nice change from the blander Burmese curries. Rakhine Mondi, the Rakhaing version of the mohinga, is thinner and spicier. Rakhaing fish curries, craft, catfish is the local favorite.
River Valley Seafood Restaurant: at the Main Road & Strand road.
Gisspanadi Restaurant: near Mya guesthouse. Fresh Seafood is available and mostly cheaper.
SS Seafood Restaurant: at the Strand Road closed by River Valley restaurant. Newly born.
How to proceed next
Road travel is becoming more and more popular. In the past it was only possible to fly into Sittwe and take a boat to Mrauk U due to travel restrictions for tourist and bad road.
• To Mrauk U – Famous for is ancient sights and traditional, surrounding Chin Villages. We arrange Private boats, private car to Mrauk U
• To Taungup – Is nothing special, but there exist some tourist accommodation options. It can be a convenient hub for road travel between Sittwe, Mrauk U, Pyay and Ngapali. There are at least two buses a day heading for Ngapali with a stop in Taungup. The trip is quite unpleasant due to the terrible condition of the road – expect to arrive very tired and make sure to get a decent seat in front. 14 h. Taungup also has a harbor where boats from Sittwe go – Monday & Thursday, leave Sittwe at 6 a.m., arrive in Taungup at 3 p.m..
• To Ngapali –is the most beautiful beaches in Myanmar, but is mostly a resort place with few budget options available. There are at least two buses a day heading for Thandwe Bus Station, 6 km away from Ngapali at the highway, with a stop in Taungup.
• To Bagan – One of the most famous attractions in Myanmar. There are currently no direct buses available to Bagan, you will have to take a bus to Mandalay and get off at Kyauk Padaung (19 h, same price as Mandalay), respectively. From there it should be easy to catch onward transport, pickup/van or another bus. Make sure the bus really goes through there (Kyauk Padaung), especially when entering the bus. Often the ticket seller and the bus are different companies, because passengers are shuffled around depending on supply and demand of buses. Kyauk Padaung is very close to Bagan and you can drop by Mt. Popa on the way, to enjoy the sunrise on top of the pagoda there. 22 hour.
• To Mandalay – Famous for the U Bein Bridge, the Buddha face washin. 23 hour.
• To Yangon – Most buses to Yangon leave early morning between 6 to 9 a.m.. You have to get to the bus station early, even at 5:30 a.m., to ensure you get a seat, or book sufficiently in advance. Overall duration 26 hour.
To get Mrauk U
Overland travel from Sittwe to Mrauk U is now possible and more popular for foreigners as well. The road leading via Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw is very good, smooth situation with concrete level. It takes only 3 hours to be Mrauk U along beautiful countryside road. On the way can detour Rakhine Longyi weaving in a village, Mahamuni Buddha image. No need to worry about the weather situation, flight delay, storms of unexpected situation. As Rahine State is just at the India ocean, every now and then happen storms, cyclones and big waves in the Kaladan river. Due to the weather situations, the boat trip vaces unexpected causes. Therefore it would be better to prefer by land to travel from Sittwe to Mrauk U.
– From Yangon to Sittwe
First, from Yangon to Sittwe by flight for 1:30 hour.
– Sittwe – to Mrauk U
Private car and Public buses can be organized by Road To Mrauk U and Public buses leave from Sittwe 2 times in a day ( 7:00 am, 2:00 pm ). Then from Mrauk U onward destinations like Mandalay, Bagan, Ngapali Beach and Yangon can be proceeded. However, there will also be smaller short distance pickups/vans between Sittwe and Mrauk U.
– From Yangon
The express bus tickets can be bought in Yangon from any agent or ticket selling counter. Be aware, there are two categories buses, ordinary and Air-conditional buses. It takes about 21 hours to reach from Yangon to Mrauk U.
– From Mandalay
The express bus from Mandalay stops at Magway near the bridge across the Irrawaddy river and takes about 24 hours.
– From Bagan
If you starting from Bagan, you have to take a bus to Kyaukpadaung and switch to the bus to Mrauk U (or Sittwe) . The bus from Bagan via Magway to Mrauk U is about 24 hours.
– From Ngapali
The bus from Thandwe bus station starts at 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., takes 12 h to Mrauk U.
– From Taungup
Mostly the same buses that start in Thandwe bus station (Ngapali). They will stop at 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. in Taungup and take 12 hours.
– From Pyay
Served by the Yangon buses that stop in Pyay. Make sure to book in advance to get a seat. 16 hours,
A journey from Sittwe to Mrauk U on the Kaladan river is very a wonderful trip but private solo boat or public boat have to be needed to organized advance by travel Agent be more confortable for your travelling to Mrauk U. Solo boat takes about 5-6 hours. Public boat takes only 4 hours. For more information, contact: [email protected]
-Sittwe – Mrauk U-Sittwe
Road To Mrauk U has private boats which can be chartered from Sittwe – Mrauk U- Sittwe round trip. One way takes 6 hours against the tide and 5 with the tide. Sittwe-Mrauk U-Sittwe round trip.
There are some public ferries running from Sittwe to Mrauk: the Aung Kyaw Moe (AKM) double-decker boat takes 4:30 hours and Shwe Pyi Tan express boat takes 3:0 hours. The tickets can be got from Road To Mrauk U.
Sittwe to Mrauk U: Aung Kyaw Moe boat runs: Monday, Wednesday, (AKM) at 07:00. Shwe Pyi Tan Express boat runs daily at 14:00 pm.
Mrauk U to Sittwe: Aung Kyaw Moe boat runs; Tuesday at 07:00. Shwe Pyi Tan Express boat daily: 07:00.
Food is available for purchase. The AKM is not in great condition, but seems safe enough. Be warned though that the ferry has been known to skip a day or two every now and then so, if relying on it for travel, keep a reasonable buffer to avoid getting stuck.
Private boats are available for rent from Road To Mrauk U and may take (5 to 6 h). Flights from Yangon arrive in Sittwe in the afternoon and some time delay. It is better to rent your private privacy boat and be in Mrauk U in the late evening, which means a travel time of one day from Yangon. If you want to take AKM boat, as it departure time is at 7:00 am, you have to stay one night stop in Sittwe. If you want to take Shwe Pyi Tan Express boat, check the departure time is at 2:00 pm. Please note that any boat is not permitted to depart for Mrauk U after 4:00 pm.
How to get around
The surrounding area is not restricted to foreigners anymore. For more detail up to date information can be obtained from Road To Mrauk U.
In Mrauk U you can explore by walking, renting a Mountain bikes from Road To Mrauk U, renting a city bicycle (available from most hotels or road side ), three wheel bicycle-car or a pick up car and air-conditional car. For more information of renting any transportation price in Mrauk U, why not should you contact to email: [email protected] Discover Mrauk U with two wheels is a good idea, especially if you want to see the sights out of town and off out the town.
What to see in Mrauk U
Foreign nationality must pay Mrauk U zone fee is 5,000 kyat. The Mrauk U zone fee collection counter is at the Shitthaung temple, and Mrauk U Archaeological Museum entrance fee is 5,000 kyat. The museum is at the Royal Palace ground.
For the Royal Palace ruins go early in the morning. This will allow for some different pictures with the palace still wrapped in morning mist.
Just walking around, especially around Shitthaung Temple gives you a good view of many picturesque and interesting sights. Try walking or riding some of the more remote tracks to see sight normally not beheld by the tourist eyes.
Should not miss
You will be quite busy with visiting all sights. However, to explore untouched and nature is just riding Mountain bikes off the beaten track and boat around Mrauk U to discover mangroves at the out skirt busy town Mrauk U in the nearby villages can be more interesting experience. Around Mrauk U there are further sights and former kingdoms.
–Sunrise in Mrauk U from the vantage hills are should not miss your trip and that will be surprised you what a wonderful time in your life. Sunrise is from U Mra Wah Taung ( near telecommunication tower and 5 min walk from Nawarat hotel Mrauk U hotel and walk up through the monastery), Ta Kywat Say Sayar Taung ( on the out the Vesali by the city wall with 128 steps ) , Shwe Taung ( which is heist hill in Mrauk U city with out steps ), Koe Nawin Taung ( up the hill from Alodawpyi Monastery. Walk into the monastery and from there up the hill). This places set of pagodas allow for a great view of Mrauk U and the surrounding area. Depending on the time of year, it could be that a lot of mist blocks your view is very beautiful.
–Sunset in Mrauk U is also amazing. You should bring good camera with tele-lens and tripod. The best sunset in Mrauk U is from Discovery Hill where with steep steps and better bring mosquito repellent, Radanabon Hill( just by the Radanabon pagoda) , Hari Taung ( just north of Royal Palace wall on the U Ottama road with steps. Please check the name and orientation with your car driver, guide.
–Chin Villages. Day trips to semi-remote villages of the Chin people should not miss in your holidays. The trip there first need transport by car for about 30 min or by Mountain bike 45 min ride. Then take a boat trip upstream of Lay Mro River about 2 hours one-way. Need to prepare lunch box from Mrauk U. You will visit 2-3 Chin villages by the river but after one village, you need to proceed to go another by boat. You should take private chartered boat that can be loaded from 1 to 5 pax in a boat. Boat Tickets are also available in Road To Mrauk U.
And we also have Lay Mro River House for those who would like to stay one or two nights in the Chin village. For more information, why not you should contact us: [email protected]
1. Shitthaung Pagoda (Ran Aung Zeya) (1 km northeast of the royal palace, between the other sides). This pagoda is still being used by local people. Many angled corridors can be found inside, along which interesting stone carving work can be admired and photographed, like the 550 Jakata (birth name of Buddha) reliefs. The name means 80,000 Buddhas, and so more than 80,000 (actually 84,000) displays of Buddha can be found here. The other name of the pagoda, Ran Aung Zeya, means “victory over the enemies”, which refers to reunited 12 provinces of the Bengal before construction of the pagoda began, which was repelled. The pagoda was built in 1535 by king Mong Ba Gree (Minbun), who ruled from 1513 to 1553. The construction took just one year and started in November with 1,000 workers. Walking towards the Buddha in the center, and you will have to enter first inner tunnel decorated with stone carving reliefs. Then enjoy the view from the west of Pagoda and continuous to be out again. Then next time enter to the another inner tunnel with Buddha images and follow until end of tunnel. To be out again, just walk back the same way.
2. Andawthein Temple ( Adjectcent of Shitthaung Temple with octagonal shape from the bottom to the top. Inside there are two inner corridors with Buddha images. The 8 Buddha images with beautiful decoration stone sculpture against the central pillar which supports the upper potion. This temple
3. Htukkam Thein Temple (Just opposite of Shitthaung). This temple was built in 1571 by king Minphalaung on sand stone. The entrance is to the east and the temple is famous for its internal stone sculptures. It inhabits many displays of live at the royal court. In addition, 140 Buddha statues are lines along the interestingly circling corridors. You could study also 64 different kind hair styles.
4. Pitaka Taik (Further north from Shitthaung Pagoda). Great for sunset due to its location uphill, to whose feet Shitthaung and Htukkam Thein can be found.
5. Sakya Man Aung (About 1 km northeast/east of the palace). This is a very nice looking pagoda and allows for great photos. Stemming back from 1629, this pagoda was built by king Thirithudhammaraza. At a height of 33 m, this sight displays the ground layout of a lotus blossom. City pass might be checked here.
6. Koe Thaung Temple (2.5 km northeast/east out of town). This used to be the biggest pagoda in Mrauk U but has fallen apart during the past centuries. Outside of the temple has many small satellite Stupas attached. The temple is facing the east and starts with the a few steps then flat platform. Before leading up to the top main stupa, should turn your head to the right and enter the inner platform. Then you will be surprise seeing thousands of Buddha images on the temple walls as stone sculpture.
7. Pisi Pagoda. In the east of Mrauk U which is on a small hillock. Need to walk up without the steps. Take care not to slippery. Very beautiful landscape of rice field, vegetable cultivated field. Very nice photo spot to Koe Thaung Temple from the Pisi pagoda. There are 4 entrances with 4 Buddha images against the central and on the top, there is a seated Buddha image. Pisi pagoda was build in the Lay Mro period before Mrauk U.
8. Archaeological Museum (Just inside the royal palace). 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.. A collection of artifacts from the Mrauk U sites: Buddhas, slabs with inscriptions, Wethali era coins, paintings that show Mrauk U in its heyday, and an excellent model of Mrauk U that will help you get your bearings. Crumbling walls are all that remains of the royal palace itself. 5,000 kyat.
9. Wethali (8 km north of Mrauk U). Now a small village but fifteen hundred years ago Wethali was the capital of an ancient Arakan kingdom. While temples are probably buried under the many mounds that dot the area, the only thing to see today is the layout of the palace and a statue known as the Great Image of Hsu Taung Pre.
10. Mahamuni Pagoda (35 km north of Mrauk U along bumpy roads). Once housed the Mahamuni Buddha that now resides in the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay. There are several ancient artifacts on view here and at the small museum nearby. Hire a jeep ($30-50) for a day for Wethali and the Mahamuni Pagoda, or take a local pickup or shared taxi up north. 7,500 kyat pP for a tour Wethali and the Mahamuni Pagoda booked in town or at your guesthouse.
11. Launggret and Parein (5.5 km southeast of Mrauk U take the road left). The trip there is done by boat and takes 30 minutes. The only things left to see are Taungmawtaung hill and the Kadothein shrine (15 km south). Further sights around Mrauk U like this are Pataw and Vesali. Take a local pickup or bus.
12. Kyauktaw, Dhanywaddi & Salagiri Hill (45 km north of Mrauk U along the road to Sittwe). Salagiri Hill offers spectacular views of the river, nearby bridge and surrounding area.
13. Betel nut palm tree farms: It is great experience to explore there by Mountain bike riding which is untouched corner of Mrauk U and our one of the signature new sites.
Better having a guide in Mrauk U
Mrauk U is not much touristic area. To communicate in Foreign Language with local is rather hard. Mrauk U is located between many hills, not like flatted Bagan. The orientation of the town and pagodas to find your wish will be hard. Even Car drivers, boat men can not speak English. Therefore having local English Speaking guide is would be better to be smooth, learn more history background, culture, traditions and as well as for worth of your discovery and holidays. Road To Mrauk U has a number of well experienced, well English speaking guides. For more information, why not you contact to: [email protected]
Where to sleep
1. Happy Garden, Min Bae Gyi St (Just west of Kan Hla Lake). 5 decent Bungalows incl. breakfast.
2. Kyaw Soe Guest House (Min Bae Gyi St south on the left side right before the bridge), Phone :0 9 265 715 799. You have to take your shoes off at the entrance, hence it will pretty much clean inside. Very nice staff and including breakfast. However, cold shower.
3. Golden Star Guest House, 116, Min Bar Gree Road. Rooms are rather basic and old already. You probably get better value for money somewhere else.
4. Kant Kaw Phue Guest House.
5. Pleasant Island Guest House (On a tiny island near Royal City). Shower, WC. Bungalows, simple and close to the Bandoola bridge.
6. Prince Hotel, No. (536) Yangon-Sittwe Road, Mraund Bwe Rd, Alzee Quarter (On the eastern way out of the city), Phone 09-260701079, 043-50174, 09-4958331. Bungalow-style rooms a bit away from the city (an easy bike ride). The best of budget choices.
7. Royal City Guest House & Bungalows, Mini Ba Gyi Rd (Around the corner from the Sittwe jetty). Simple rooms, some with attached bath. Two bungalows (concrete rooms) across the street. Friendly and helpful but, as it is on the main path to the jetty, it can be very noisy. No generator. A little overpriced nowadays.
8. Mrauk U Palace Resort & Restaurant (Next to Alodawpyi Monastery), Phone: 098532277, 09252660880, 09450204357, 095006894, 04350262, AC, breakfast, WiFi, warm water.
9. Mrauk U Hotel, Yangon-Sittwe Rd, Nyaungpinzay Qtr (Opposite Narawath Hotel). Air-con, shower, WC, TV, fridge; very large rooms; large garden; well equipped. This hotel is run by the government.
10. Nawarat Hotel, E-27, Yangon-Sittwe-Rd, Nyaungpinzay (200 m from the Shitthaung Pagoda), Phone:04350203, 04350077, 098522264, Very friendly, pleasant but worn-down hotel; air-con, shower/bath, WC, TV, refrigerator; clean and beautiful, not too large rooms in bungalows.
11. Vesali Resort Hotel (Near the Shwetaung hill, on the eastern way out of the city), Phone:01526593, 01525609. Rooms are bungalow-type. Includes breakfast; good food.
12. Shwe Thazin Hotel ( on the Yangon-Sittwe road, Sanchaseik Qt, opposite of KBZ bank. Phone :098501844, 098502330. Air-con, shower, WC, TV, fridge; very large rooms; large garden; well equipped. The best hotel in the
13. Mrauk Oo Princess Resort, Mrauk U, Aung Tat Yat (At the southwestern end of the city), Phone:043 50232, 09 8500 556 , 09 8500 557. This is the top place on Tripadvisor, but unfortunately not the cheapest but the opposite.
Where to eat
Just walk around in the area of the guesthouses and near the market, and you will see many options. Also, many of the more price intensive hotels have their restaurants open to non-guests, with the to expect cleanness standards.
1. Mo Cherry Restaurant (Follow the Yangon Sittwe Rd by the Narawat Hotel and Mrauk U Hotel east to the crossing, then turn right. After a few metre you see the restaurant on the left side). Offers good Chinese and semi-authentic Rakhine food. The food is good and less risky than the places in the market but, if you have the time explore other restaurants, often unnamed, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
2. For You, Min Bae Gyi St (On the way to Happy Garden on the left side). Highly recommended, offers a wide range of dishes.
3. Ngwe Taung Restaurant, Small but clean and typical Rahine Food. Friendly staff.
4. Pyae Wa Restaurant, Min Bae Gyi St (West of the market). Authentic Rakhine food. Try the cashew chicken and butterfish.
5. Triple One Restaurant, Near the Shwe Thazin hotel at the same side of hotel. Clean and quiet. Friendly.
What to buy
There is no handicraft shop but can visit Bronze casting and could buy Bronze Buddha images, Byala figure and the model of Vesali period the lady with oil lamp. And there are some home cottage works to see such as making hats, fans and should buy to provide the local people but very cheap.<br>
What to drink
This region is quite remote, but most of the local beer and spirits can be got in the hotels and restaurants. The price is no much different with other part of Myanmar.
How to proceed next
Road travel is becoming more and more popular as it is short drive only for 3 hours drives. The road is not bad but not particularly interesting. In the past of some years ago, it was only possible to fly into Sittwe from Yangon and only way to take a boat to Mrauk U due to travel restrictions for tourist.
To Sittwe – Not particularly interesting, more a transport hub for in- & outbound travel from & to Yangon. Many buses leave from the Highway Bus Station north of the city. But there are also local pickups and so available. Also boats are available to Sittwe. One leaves in the morning at 7 a.m., takes 3. For the ticket, pls contact: [email protected]
To Ngapali – is the most beautiful beaches in Myanmar, but is mostly a resort place with few budget options available. There are a few mini buses a day heading from Sittwe-Mrauk U to Ngapali beach with a stop in Taungup. The trip is quite unpleasant due to the terrible condition of the road – expect to arrive very tired . By private air conditioning car is more convenience then Bus.
To Bagan – For those who don’t want to return back the same way to Sittwe by car and flight to Yangon, One of the most famous attractions in Myanmar. There are no direct buses available to Bagan at the moment, you will have to take a bus to Magway (9 a.m. & 12 p.m., 16 h) or Mandalay (8 & 10 a.m.) and get off at Magway or Kyauk Padaung (19 h, same price as Mandalay). From there it should be easy to catch onward transport, pickup/van or another bus. Make sure the bus really goes through there (Kyauk Padaung), especially when entering the bus. Often the ticket seller and the bus are different companies, because passengers are shuffled around depending on supply and demand of buses. The Kyauk Padaung route is preferable, because Kyauk Padaung is very close to Bagan and you can drop by Mt. Popa on the way, to enjoy the sunrise on top of the pagoda there. 20 hour.
To Mandalay – Famous for the U Bein Bridge, the Buddha face washing. 9 a.m., 21 h, 25-30,000 kyat.
To Yangon – Most buses to Yangon start in Sittwe and leave early morning between 6 to 9 a.m.. You have to get to the bus station early, even at 5:30 a.m., to ensure you get a seat, or book sufficiently in advance. The first bus starting in Sittwe will arrive in Mrauk U around 7-8 a.m. You can take bus from Mrauk U which comes from Sittwe.
Dos & Don’ts of Mrauk U
1. Try to understand local people can not speak Foreign Language as other tourist developed destination.
2. Communicate with local people gently
3. The infrastructure in Mrauk U is not very good. Try to understand the situation of remote area tourist destination.
4. Rakhine Traditional Food is spicy food and not recommend to eat at the very cheapest local road side restaurants. Better to have meal at the hotel or hygienic restaurants. There are very limited hygienic restaurants in Mrauk U.
5. Don’t give anything the children on the road or villages not spoilt their mantle. If you wish to help children, better ask advise your guide or your hotel how to manage it.
6. Please don’t ask any Buddhist order to post as model for your photos.
7. Please understand the some local people don’t like to take photo them as they are afraid of social media. Therefore, please ask firstly their permit before taking photos.
8. The weather during the rainy season of Rakhine State is sometime happen storm and rain. Bring the raincoat during the trip.
9. As Mrauk U is rounded with greenery hills, recommended to bring anti-mosquito repellent spray.
10. There two private banks, KBZ bank and World Wealth Bank but there is no money changer in Mrauk U. KBZ bank has ATM machine but internet connection is sometime a little poor. Therefore advise you to prepare local Kyat and dollar notes as cash.
11. Visitors are not asked to abandon their ways, they are asked to adapt to the Myanmar environment. Respect the Myanmar people and their unique traditions.
12. It is considered disrespectful when tourists take photos o women taking a shower. Don’t take any photos that may make people feel embarrassed.
13. The Myanmar people are very friendly. A smile lighten up everyone’s day. Do smile.
14. In Myanmar the feet convey messages. Pointing with your feet means disrespect. Don’t point with your foot.
15. Please cover your shoulders and knees, and take off your shoes and socks when entering pagoda areas. Wear decent clothes when visiting religious sites.
16. When you sit, your legs should not be stretched out and your feet should never face the Buddha. Do tuck away your feet.
17. The head is the most esteemed part of the body. To be touched on the head is considered aggressive. Don’t touch anyone on the head.
18. Please read also Dos & Don’ts relevant Myanmar which is also useful information relevant Mrauk U.
19. Displaying physical closeness in public places is frowned upon in Myanmar. Don’t kiss in public.
20. Visitors should avoid loud talk and should take care not to touch people meditation. Don’t disturb people praying or meditation.
21. Calling someone with your fingers down is considered polite. Calling with your finger up means calling for a challenge.
22. The people of Myanmar are very diverse; each ethnic minority has their own local customs. For example, when tourists visit Akha villages they should know not to take photos of pregnant women. Please learn the local customs before visiting ethnic minority villages.
23. If they wish, visitors are encouraged to be a bit adventurous and to support local transport facilities. Do try Myanmar traditional transport facilities. It’s sustainable and benefits the locals.
24. Tourists are urged to be understanding about the electricity situation in Myanmar. Visitors may experience electricity outages.
25. Monks are very revered; they observe; they observe many rules, study the Dhamma, practice meditation and are highly respected in Myanmar society. Visitors should never touch the robe of a monk not even if they see a worm crawling up his robe. Don’t touch the robe of a monk.
26. Visitors should change their money at the reliable exchange counters, and local banks, not on the black market. Myanmar currency should be exchanged at the official exchange counters and banks.
27. Visitors can donate to communities, schools, health facilities, NGOs or monasteries that take care of children. If tourists wish to help the people of Myanmar, they should consider creative ways to contribute to communities, not to individuals.
28. Instead of creating children’s dependency on tourism, visitors should consider the saying: Don’t give a helpless person a fish, teach them how to catch a fish and they will learn for a lifetime. Giving money or sweets or shampoos or anything to children on the road is not advised.
29. It makes Myanmar people very happy and proud of their traditions if they see foreigners participate in their festival. Myanmar people are delighted when tourists participate in their festivals.
30. Myanmar loses its heritage every time antique items are taken out of the country. To maintain Myanmar’s unique heritage, do not buy antiques. Buy arts and crafts instead.
31. Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar. Practice safe sex.
32. Myanmar is slowly opening up and more destinations will be accessible to foreigners in the future. Do not go where you are advised not to go.
33. Buddha images are sacred objects. Taking photogram together with Buddha image or king statue by posing must not. So don’t pose in front of them for pictures and definitely do not clamber upon them.
34. It is possible to take the photos to the pagodas, temples or the people. But ask the permission first if you want to make the persons nearby.
35. The feet are the lowest part of the body; pointing by feet is considered impolite and rude. Don’t point your feet at somebody.
36. Pagodas, Temples, Buddha images are sacred objects. When sitting in front of them, try to sit proper to show respect. Don’t sit by pointing your feet to them.
37. Whenever take a seat in the religion monuments, should be under the level of Buddha images, Monks and Nun. Don’t take a seat above level of the Buddha images, Monks and Nuns. And please take care not to lay down the feet toward the Buddha or the monks or even the normal persons.
38. Indicating something with the foot is not the polite manner. Don’t point anything by foot.
39. If a woman wants to offer something to a monk, the objects should be placed within reach of the monk, not handed directly to him. Monks are not supposed to touch or be touched by women.
40. When we speak with the monks, the elder peoples or high rank persons, we should maintain the attitude of humble respect. Show your respect to monks and elder people.
41. Myanmar people use very load speakers and sound box for their special occasions and religion festivals. Try to understand it when you visit. Don’t complain of the load speakers and noise from occasions.
42. You should read also all Dos & Don’ts Myanmar as the all traditions, customs, belief, religion are the same.
How to pronounce Mrauk U?
Mrauk U is pronounced Meow-eww
How to get to Mrauk U?
Mruak U is accessible from Yangon 1. by flight first to Sittwe, then need to have transportation to carry on by private car takes only 3 hours or by private boat for 5-6 hours. This is the easiest, fast and safe route is flight to Sittwe and take a private car to Mrauk U. There are some buses servicing Mrauk U from the big cities, Yangon and Mandalay. . You can also take a bus to/from Bagan to Mrauk U.
How long to spend in Mrauk U?
Whichever way you come it will have been a long journey to get there, so best to allow yourself at least a few days in Mrauk U, 5 days 4 nights is enough to see most of the major attractions and get a feel for the place. For extend your tour can be 8 days-7 nights. Any your tailor made tour, pls mail to [email protected]
Where is Mrauk U?
Mrauk is in the Rakhine State in western Myanmar.
Should I go to Mrauk U or Inle Lake?
They are very different and are almost opposite from each other and should not be compared. Inle Lake is easier to get to, more touristy and most of the life is happening on the water. Mrauk U on the other hand feels very remote and in the middle of nowhere, the main attractions are the local life of the village, temples, views and history. It depends on what you would prefer to see and experience with your time in Myanmar.
Mrauk U vs Bagan?
The Mrauk U vs Bagan debate still reigns strong with Mrauk U often being compared to Bagan and even earning the nickname ’little Bagan’ however, they are in fact quite different. Yes they were both Myanmar Kingdoms and are full of old pagodas and Temples, but there are differences. You don’t get the sprawling Pagoda fields in Mrauk U like you do in Bagan (Bagan is very flat, whereas Mrauk U has many hills), whereas you don’t get the rawness and remote feeling in Bagan that you do in Mrauk U.
Is there a flight from Mrauk U to Yangon?
The nearest airport is in Sittwe, which is a car ride or boat-ride away, there is no airport in Mrauk U so far, so if you want a flight to Yangon you will first need to get to Sittwe
What to see in Mrauk U?
Plenty of pretty scenery, temples, local life and especially sunrises and sunset from vantage of hills are amazing.
Is Mrauk U open to tourists?
Yes, it is open to tourists with one **** hotel, 4 **** hotels and guesthouses. Very authentic tourist destination because not crowed, friendly people, rich history, green hills. But don’t expect standard food likes of Bagan or Inle Lake, you won’t find western food or many English speaking people here. It is very attraction place who has allergic shopping as there is no shop to do shopping.
Mrauk U to Ngapali Beach?
Going to Ngapali beach is a great idea after the end of your holidays. One route is going to Sittwe by car or by boat. then flight to Ngapali beach ( but limited airlines are going to Ngapali beach from Sittwe). The second route is by car from Mrauk U to Ngapali. The road first follow Yangon-Sittwe road until Ann town. Then continuous to Taunggok and Ngapali beach. It will be better to take private car to as long drive. There is no big passenger express bus running but some minibus are running.
Mrauk U to Bagan ? or Mandalay?
As there is no airport at Mrauk U, the only one option direct way is taking private car or passenger bus. But there is no direct bus to Bagan. The bus will stop at Kyaukpandaung which is nearest to swift to Bagan with another trasnportation but bus will lead to Mandalay. You should have some pill to sleep and not to vomit especially express bus when drive over the Rakhine Yoma mountains ( Ann-Minbu pass ). But if you take private car, there beautiful landscape will be seen.
How to get from Mrauk U to Sittwe?
You can take a boat to Sittwe, it takes a couple of hours. However be aware there is still some violence in Sittwe and it is not that safe.
Mrauk U to Yangon / Yangon to Mrauk U?
It is long drive by land Yangon-Pyay-Padan road and drive over the Rakhine Yoma mountains to Ann. Then continuous to Mrauk U about 24 hours.
Need transportation car/bike doing sightseeing?
Mrauk U is not big town but doing sightseeing, you are recommended to have any transportation such as a car or at least a bike. Having a car is more comfortable. As Mrauk U town is established between the hills, city bike is a little hard to ride, more effort energy but sightseeing Mrauk U and beyond off the beaten track is better with Mountain bikes.
Mrauk U Tours
There are very few infrastructure of of hotels and tour guides around Mrauk U, however being off the beaten path you will have to go in search for them. You are highly recommended to have at least English speaking guide. Otherwise without guide, your sightseeing is only a few outstanding temples.
The legendary “Golden Land” – this is still the Myanmar of today. Certainly one of the most exotic countries in the world-a land of astounding beauty and charm that moved Kipling to pen these apt words: “quite unlike any land you will ever know”. Myanmar has numerous cultural and natural heritages such as pagodas, temples, archeological sites, pristine beaches, snow-caped mountains, beautiful natural lakes, evergreen deep forests, rivers, different nationalities with colorful costumes and customs, different religions, national heritage of arts and crafts etc.. make Myanmar becomes the attractive destination in Southeast Asia.
Visitors never forget not only national beauty but also very warmly and friendly and hospitality people after one time visiting.
Myanmar, a republic in South-East Asia, bounded on the north by Tibet Autonomous Region of China; on the east by China, Laos, and Thailand; on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal; and on the west by the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, and India. It is officially known as the Union of Myanmar. The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles) and it is the largest country in South East Asia Peninsula, it is divided into seven States and eight Divisions, containing snow-capped mountains ranges, rise to 5881 meters atop Hkakaborazi, the highest peak in South East Asia, high plateaus, fertile central plains of rice fields along the artery of Ayeyarwaddy River (the biggest river with the length of 2000 km), islands, beaches and many others more.
The history of what is now Myanmar has been made by a succession of peoples who migrated down along the Ayeyarwaddy River from Tibet & China, and who were influenced by social and political institutions that had been carried across the sea from India. First came the Mon, perhaps as early as 3000 BC. They established the centers of settlement in central Myanmar, in the Ayeyarwaddy delta, and farther down the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal.
The first unified Myanmar state was founded by King Anawrahta in the 11th century. It was the zenith period of Myanmar. In 1287, Bagan was conquered by the Mongols under Kublai Khan. In the second quarter of the 16th century, a new Myanmar dynasty emerged from the sleepy principality of Taungoo in central Myanmar by King Bayinnaung. After his death, the invasions of Portuguese, Thais, and Manipuri horsemen brought on the decline of the period. The dynasty was finally toppled by a Mon rebellion in 1752.
In 1752, Alaungpaya founded the Konbaung dynasty by restoring Myanmar rule first at Ava and later in the delta. Then, Myanmar was occupied by the British after three Anglo-Myanmar Wars in 1824, 1852 and 1885 with the last capital of Myanmar Kingdom-Mandalay. During the Second World War, Myanmar was conquered by Japanese and the British returned back after the war. In 1948, Myanmar gained back her independence.
Myanmar is now moving forwards to market-oriented economic system and most of the business is handed over to private sectors and foreign investments are warmly invited.
The country is divided in seven States and eight Divisions. In seven States, the majorities- Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine & Shan are living in their respective States. In eight Divisions, the majority of Myanmar peoples living- Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Magwe, Mandalay, Naypyidaw, Sagaing, Thanintharyi and Yangon. Each state and division is subdivided into villages, village tracts, township and district.
Myanmar has the effects of the Monsoon in different parts of the country. Temperature varies from 38°C to 19°C; humidity from 82.8% to 66%. The ideal time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low, even in the rainy season.
Myanmar has three distinctive seasons; namely, hot (March to May with average temperatures 30-35°C), rainy (June to October with average temperatures 25-30°C) and cool (November to February with average temperatures 20-24°C).
Temperatures are generally lower in mountainous regions. The country receives practically all its rainfall between mid-May and October, the period of the Southwest Monsoon. Annual precipitation in most of Upper Burma averages about 890 mm (about 35 in) and in Lower Burma about 5080 mm (about 200 in).
Myanmar is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower.
Myanmar is made up of 135 national races, of which the main national races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Population is estimated to be over 60 million. The nationality is Myanmar. There are more than 100 ethnic groups in Myanmar.
Some of the Ethnic groups are listed as Akha, Palaung, Padaung, Naga, Taron, Eng and many more near extinct tribes. The relig ions are Buddhist, Christian and Muslim. The major language is Myanmar, but minority ethnic groups have their own languages. English is widely spoken and understood.
Language & Religion
Predominantly Myanmar (Bamar) and ethnic minorities speaking Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Shan and other 135 hill-tribe dialects and also Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu spoken Chinese and Indian Immigrants. Being once a British colony English is also widely spoken. More than 86% of the people of Myanmar are Buddhists; most of them adhere to the school of Buddhism, as Buddhists in neighboring Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The everyday practice of Buddhism is a well-developed culture of animism, the worship of spirits known as Nats. This culture provides a basis for many Nat festivals and for much of traditional medical practice. Christians (mostly Baptists) have also long formed a part of the population (about 15%) and there are a significant number of Muslims as well.
Myanmar lies on the crossroad of two of the world’s great civilizations – China and India – but its culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmar. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Myanmar are contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.
Myanmar is primarily an agriculture country. About two-third of the working population is engaged in growing or processing crops, while about one-tenth works in industry. Before World War II Myanmar was the world’s major rice exporter. After the war, the area of land devoted to agriculture slowly recovered, but as the population grew the surplus available for export never reached the earlier level. For a while forestry was the major export earner. Today, tourism, though small by international standard, is the major source of foreign exchange. From 1962 to 1988 the country was closed to the world and in the 1990s, the military government took over the power and has opened the economy to market forces, particularly inviting foreign investment.
Education is free and compulsory for primary and middle schools, but fees are charged for high school. Secondary education consists of four years of middle or vocational school and an additional two years for high school. About one-fifth of the secondary school-age population is enrolled in school. About 85% of the population is truly literate. There are also many universities and colleagues, mainly in the big cities.
Jewellery, electrical goods and cameras must be declared at the airport. Antiques and archaeological valuable items are not allowed to be taken out of the country.
Duty free allowance are 2 bottles of liquor, 2 cartons of cigarettes, 100 cigars, 1.5 lb of tobacco, one pint bottle of perfume or eau de cologne.
Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.
We recommend visitors to bring brand new US Dollars cash. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Myanmar and are easily exchangeable for the local Kyat currency.And now Visa & Master cards are widely accepted and money can be withdrawn from ATM cards everywhere.
Myanmar currency is known as ” Kyat ” which comprises 100 pyas. Kyat notes are issued in denominations of 1,5,10,15,20,45,50,90,100,200,500,1000,5000 and 10000.
Only drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide it complimentary.
The basic Myanmar food is mainly rice and curry. Rice is served with meat or fish, soup, salad and vegetables all cooked in different ways, and some relishes to complement the meal.
The most common method of preparation is to cook meat or fish in oil, seasoned with pounded onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili and spices, and simmer. Many Myanmar curries are spicy and therefore soups mostly made of seasonal vegetables in water are taken together with rice and other curry dishes.
Favorite desserts are sanwin-ma-kin (Myanmar sweet cakes made with semolina, sugar, egg, butter and coconut), Myanmar style banana cakes, Kyaukchaw (sea weed Jelly) and jiggery.
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area.
Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.
Please contact us if you would like detailed information.
In general, travelling around Myanmar can be unpredictable and uncomfortable. The roads are spotty in places. Travelling by boat is a great way to see another side of the country while moving between riverside towns. The Bhamo-Mandalay and Mandalay-Bagan routes are particularly popular and scenic, and trips are available in a number of price ranges and comfort levels.
Myanmar Railways offer another interesting means of travel. Trains connect Yangon to the rest of the country, with daily runs connecting the capital and Mandalay. Further services go to Bagan and Inle Lake. The train schedules are not very convenient, with many trains departing in the early hours of the morning.
Buses services are widely use among local people as well as Foreigners. Nowadays, local buses service are good and comfortable to travel except road condition.
There are several domestic private airlines in Myanmar. Myanmar Airways (Government airline) is used only for the off beaten places, where private airlines don’t go due to its poor services, less punctuality and not so reliable. The other private airlines operate with modern aircraft F- 100, ATR 72, ATR 42 with good services, reliable and punctual.
Your mobile phones could not be used in Myanmar as Myanmar still do not have network yet. But there is international phone service counter at the airport where you can rent mobile upon your arrival to be convenience during your trip. Anyhow, we can arrange phone service upon your request.
Email service is available at most of the hotels during your trip or at internet cafe shop at downtown area in each destination.
Myanmar is about 6 and a half hour ahead of GMT.
The voltage is 220 V throughout the whole country.
We recommend all clients should do yourself advance before coming to Myanmar of personal baggage, camera, medical and accident insurance before arrival as our agent is not included any insurance services in Myanmar.
Ways of Life
Myanmar civilization is largely an outgrowth of Indian influences. For the majority of Myanmar’s population, Buddhism is the center of individual life and the monastery is the center of the community. This is especially true in the villages, where most of the population lives. Wisdom is believed to reside at the monasteries and refuge may be sought there. A rite of passage for every adolescent boy is the Shinphyu, in which the boy briefly relives the princely life of the Buddha, and enters into the life of the monastery as a novice monk. At any later time in life he may return to the monastic lie for a longer or shorter period of time. If married, he should ask his wife to do this. The daily life of the village begins with the monks making their rounds in the morning with their alms-bowls. By donating that day’s food, the villagers earn merit, and the monks, who are forbidden to work, are nourished. The annual cycle of life follows the season, with all hands put to work for rice planting when the summer monsoon brings the first rains. The time during the three months of the most intensive rain is the Buddhist lent, when such activities as marriage and hunting are put off, but Nat festivals can be enjoyed.
The Myanmar orchestra that accompanies the theatrical performances in a folk opera consists of a bamboo xylophone, tall bamboo clappers, many kinds of tuned gongs, a small pair of cymbals to keep time, and a six-reeded oboe that carries the theme. That mimics the sound of the human voice speaking in the tonal Myanmar language. In cities and towns music is piped into the streets for the public’s benefit through loudspeakers located in teashops and videocassette recorders bring cosmopolitan musical culture to eve the smallest settlements.
For much of Myanmar’s history, women played a stronger role than in traditional Western societies. From early on they could own property and were independent in economic activities. In religion, however, their place is secondary. Males can become monks and they can earn religious merit in a number of ways; the few women who become nuns and the many who offer gifts to monks usually hope at best to be born as a man in their next reincarnation.
A popular form of recreation is traveling by coach or oxcart to visit a notable pagoda or attend a festival. Football is a prominent sport, even during heavy rains; kites are flown in season; and a frequent occurrence on any day is a local game of Chinlon, in which a small circle of men keeps a ball of woven cane up in the air with gentle blows from the foot, knee, shoulder, or head. Golf is particularly favored among military leaders.
Myanmar is a very friendly and safe country. You can go around the cities, towns and villages without any worry even in the night time. But basically, there is nothing on the road apart from 22:00 in the big cities and in the small towns or villages everybody goes to bed at about 20:00 or 21:00. Myanmar can be said ONE OF THE SAFETIEST COUNTRIES in the world.
All postal, telegraph, telephone and broadcasting systems in Rakhine are controlled by the government. There are three government TV channels. In some of the big cities, such as Sittwe, Mrauk U, etc., satellite dishes are used. The postal service is quite slow but it doesn’t cost a lot. If we mail from outside of Yangon, it can take more. Telephone system is now easier than before, but it quite expensive. The mobiles outside of Myanmar don’t have the network in Myanmar. The country does have its own networks for using internally (mainly in most of the cities). The internets are available in Sittwe, Mrauk U but yahoo & hotmail accesses are banned. We can open our new account with other accesses to receive or send the messages. In Sittwe & Mrauk U, we can find some services, where we can have access to internets and e-mails. IDD country code of Myanmar is 95. The area code of Rakhine is 43, of Yangon 1, Mxandalay & Bagan are 2 and, of Inle Lake is 81.
The most common units of weight used in Myanmar are viss, pounds and ticals. One viss equals 3.6 pounds (1.6 kg) or 100 ticals. One tical equals 16 gm.
At the retail level, rice and small fruits or nuts are sold in units of volume rather than weight; the most common measure is the standard condensed milk can. Four cans equal one small rice basket or Theik. Petrol and most other liquids are sold by the imperial gallons (4.55 liters). One exception is milk, which is sold by the viss.
Length & Distance
Cloths and other items of moderate length are measured by the yard (91.5 cm). Road distances are measured in miles (one mile=1.6 km). Shorter distances in town or in the countryside may be quoted in furlongs. There are eight furlongs in one mile; thus one furlong equals about two-tenths of a km.
Dear Valued Client
We, Road To Mrauk U Team are great pleasure and proud to be your reliable trip assistance of your valuable holidays traveling to Mrauk U & beyond as customize tours.
To be convenience, comfortable and complete of your vacation, Road To Mrauk U Travels, We hereby would like to provide you all necessary travel tips before heading off to our country “ Myanmar ” that will help and be useful for you during traveling. Here are some practical travel tips to help with your preparations and when you are getting around on the ground.
1. How to apply for Visa?
Regarding the Visa-Application Process, Tourist E-Visa system would be available and launched since 1st September 2014. All International Tourist who are determined to travel to Myanmar can obtain the entry visa through online. All entry Visa applied through online will be obtained within one week and must be used within three months of issued date and is valid for a visit of up to 28 days.
For more detail information for Visa- Application Process, Why not visit at http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/
2. Do I need to register travel details with embassy?
To let your government know about your planning to visit Myanmar, register your travel and contact details at your country’s embassy in Myanmar. They can contact you in case of an emergency.
3. Do I need to get travel insurance?
Making sure to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers treatment in Myanmar and medical evaluation out of the country in case of emergency as repatriation can be very expensive. Get advice from your doctor about your travels needs of any vaccinations for you, especially if you’re expecting to visit rural areas.
4. Do I need to have insurance for belonging?
Better having insurance of your valuable items of your belonging such as camera, travel luggage etc to be ensure of any damages in case of happening accident.
5. Should I bring copies of travel documents?
Make sure to have a spare copy of your passport particulars, travel insurance policy, emergency contact numbers of relevant travel agency or person, travel visas and other important particulars on hand in case you need them. Keep these in your hotel safe and don’t forget to leave a copy with a friend or relative back home.
6. Do I need to bring US dollars in mint condition?
Myanmar is a country to accept US dollars should be very fresh, clean without any tony, marks, dirty. Let you advise not to fold and kindly keep flat otherwise you won’t be able to exchange them for Myanmar currency.
7. How to wear clothes during traveling in Myanmar?
Of course Myanmar is in tropical weather, that makes dry and warm in the most of the regions. So it’s important to wear light clothing. But whenever you go to visit the Buddhist temples, you have to wear longs pants cover the knees to be properly covered up and decent the shoulders and not see through clothes.
Wearing footwear is should be easily to remove in & out. You will need to walk barefoot in the Buddhist temples platforms and leaving your footwear by the entrance. Sandals or flip flops are probably the way to go.
8. Do I need to negotiate the price first before get in it when taking a taxi?
Taxis in Myanmar don’t have meters. But some have meters just for show and it doesn’t use. Ask your guide or organize receptionist for an approximation of the taxi fare for your intended destination.
9. Should I try to be patience is a virtue on the road?
Traffic can get pretty jams, and some cars do not have working air conditioning proper.
10. How about the use of mobile phone in Myanmar?
For more than decade , SIM cards in Myanmar were quite expensive and difficult to obtain, but as of August 2014 cards sold by three telecommunication operators of MPT, Ooredoo and Telenor have become generally available for a cheap with 1,500 kyat. Cards work on a top-up basis, with K1000, K3000, K5000 and K10,000 cards available with internet package are available. SIM cards and top-ups can be bought at numerous street-side retailers in the whole country. Shops usually display this sign.
Note that mobile network access is often patchy or non-existent in rural areas, but usually works well in towns.
Dialing codes-To make calls from Myanmar to another country, dial 00 then the international code for the country you are calling, then the local area code (minus the 0).
To make calls to Myanmar from abroad, dial your country’s international access code, then 95 and the local area code (minus the 0). Be warned that making calls to Myanmar can be difficult: calls will often not connect, particularly to numbers outside of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw.
Internet Access -Given the lack of development in Myanmar, the availability of internet access is surprisingly widespread: you can find hotel with wifi even in remote locations. However, internet speeds can be extremely slow, especially in rural areas. You can find free wifi at many restaurants and bars.
Due to bandwidth restrictions, internet speeds can change markedly according to demand through the day. Speeds are often quickest in the early morning. If you use Gmail and you are working or spending an extended period of time in Myanmar, it is worth downloading Gmail Offline; this works much better than regular Gmail with slow connections, and also allows you to work offline. So people are free to access most websites and services – including Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and so on.
11. How to do Money Exchange and ATM’s cards?
Brand new foreigner currency Bills -One more thing to know and care is Foreigner Currency Matter that you all are highly advised to hold crisp , un-creased, unmarked, brand new dollar bills while travelling to Myanmar .Only four foreign currencies are widely accepted and can be exchanged at all authorized money changer . These foreigners curriencise come in range of US DOLLAR, EURO CURRENCY , SINGAPORE DOLLAR AND THAI BATH . The rest of foreign currencies are not likely to be accepted and exchangeable in Myanmar.
Exchanging dollars to kyats -The best way to exchange recommended foreign currencies is at the authorized money changer which are widely available at Local Banks , Domestic Airports and all popular tourist spots. But It is advisable to refrain from using the money exchange on the street who try to lure you with higher rates- it is said they cleverly short change you and unless you are willing to count your money three times , then it’s not worth the hassle .
ATM’s -There are true stories in Myanmar that a sporadic scattering of ATM machines are widely equipped drawing out kyat, there are machines at the airports and that can be found many in Myanmar (including at the most famous spot in town – the Shwedagon Paya) and Mandalay city centres, as well as in Nyaung U in Bagan as well as hotels. You might find ATM’s in the smaller towns, but don’t leave it this late to stock up on cash, just in case.
12. When to use dollars and when to use kyats ?
Typically, US dollars are mainly used for paying for your accommodation and some forms of transport, such as internal flights, souvenir . Everything else from food, street snacks, local restaurants, tuk tuks are paid for in kyat. However, should you find yourself low on dollars, most locals are happy to except kyat instead.
13. What to take for holidays to Myanmar?
1. Flat walking shoes or sandals or flip flops.
2. Hat & sunglasses.
3. Swimming attire.
4. Lightweight travel towel.
5. Money belt.
6. Lightweight waterproof coat or umbrella.
7. Basic first aid kit.
8. Alarm clock.
9. Small torch ( flashlight ).
10. Travel plug / international adapter.
11. Women’s sanitary products.
12. Ear plugs / Eyes Mask.
13. Day pack and / or small back pack.
14. Appropriate clothes for religious monuments.
We kindly inform you to contact directly Road To Mrauk U Travels Customer Services Team at any time you are in need of our prompt assistance.
Myanmar Round Up
There are two air accesses to Myanmar, Yangon – the capital, Mandalay – the second capital.
Myanmar Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Thai Air Asia, China Eastern Airlines, Silk Air, Myanmar Airways International (Jet Star), Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Air China, Indian Airlines. Vietnam airlines, Quarter Airways, Korean Airlines, Condor Air are directly operate to Yangon International Airport.
China Eastern Airlines flies between Mandalay & Kunming daily with Boeing 737.
Thai AirAsia also flies from BKK (Dommuang Airport) to Mandalay 4 days a week. Air Mandalay & Air Bagan flies form Chaing Mai to Mandalay.
As Myanmar is sharing the borders with China, Laos, Thailand, India & Bangladesh, some of the borders are open to foreign visitors.
#From China (Ruili-Muse & Tar Law´-Kyaing Tong)
Originally built to supply the Chinese forces in its struggle against the Japanese, the famous “Myanmar Road” runs from Kunming in China’s Yunnan province to the city of Lashio. Nowadays the road is open to travelers carrying permits, from the Chinese side (Ruili) into Myanmar via Muse.
Three hours drive (90 km) from Kyaing Tong is another Myanmar-China border, Mine Lar. This access will bring us to China-Xishaungbanna province. The permit has to be asked at both sides, Myanmar and China.
The permits from Myanmar can easily be arranged but only if the travelers book the whole arrangements with local tour operators and travel agents in Myanmar.
#From Thailand (Mae Sai-Thachileik)
The bridge spans the Sai River between Myanmar’s Thachileik & Thailand’s Mae Sai. The border check-point opens daily from 6 AM to 6 PM. We just have to cross the bridge on foot for five minutes then, the border check-points of both Myanmar & Thailand sit in each side.
#From Thailand (Sangkhlaburi-Three-pagodas pass, Payathonezu)
This is one of the most interesting and accessible of the border crossing points. Now there is also legal trade going on at Three Pagodas Pass- Payathonezu. Travelers have been allowed to go inside the country but the road is quite bad.
#From Thailand (Mae Sot-Myawaddy)
This crossing begins a route from Myawaddy to Mawlamyine via Kawkareik along a rough road.
The following details are required at one month in advance for border-pass.
-Date of Birth
-Passport numbers with issued & expire dates
-Airport Departure Tax
-There is a departure tax of 10 USD per person payable on international departures only. Now most of the international flight tickets are included airport tax.
-A 28 days tourist visa is available at any Myanmar embassies or diplomatic missions abroad. Two application forms and three passports size photos will be needed.
Now Evisa is available and please visit this page for your visa application:
The Myanmar government reserves the right to change visa regulations at short notice, contact Taste of Myanmar Travels & Tours for the latest information.
Pre-arranged visas on arrival at Yangon International Airport can be obtained in exceptional cases upon request in advance, contact Taste of Myanmar Travels & Tours for further information.
Business and Tourist Visa will also soon be possible to obtain with advance arrangement. 6 months valid passport and an entry visa are required for all visitors.
Entry Visa Formalities
It can be obtained all the visitors traveling in Myanmar under the arrangements of local tour operators. The complete personal data is required minimum two weeks ahead. We need the scanned passport of the client including arrival and departure flight time.
As soon as we receive those data, we apply for arrival visa and finally we will send the letter with the kind attention to airlines concerned or To Whom It May Concern, depending on the airlines which the passengers take. The passengers have to bring that letter with them when they come to Myanmar in order to show at the transit counter before embarking on board. Please bring two passport-sized photos for the visa. The validity is 28 days. 6 months valid passport and an entry visa are required for all visitors.
Foreign currencies, jewelries, electrical goods and video cameras must be declared at the airport.
Duty free allowance: Two bottles of liquor; two cartons of cigarettes; 100 cigar; 1.5 lb of tobacco; one pint bottle of perfume or eau de cologne.
A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a wise idea.
Aspirin or Panadol (for pain or fever), Antibiotics, Calamine lotion (to ease irritation from bites or stings), Bismuth preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomoti (for stomach upsets and diarrhea), Bandages (for minor injuries), Insect repellent, sunscreen, suntan lotion, chap-stick and water purification tablets are recommended to carry.
Ideally antibiotics should be administered only under medical supervision and should never be taken indiscriminately.
What to wear
Throughout the year, it is advisable to wear summer clothing: thin cloths in light color. From November to February, warm clothes are recommended for visits to Northern provinces & Shan state. The temperature for the rest of the place are not so much different.
In rainy season (July to September), it is advisable to bring umbrellas or raincoats.
Seasons to visit Myanmar
Generally speaking, Myanmar is well access in all year round. Even though it has the affect of monsoon in July, August & September, it is not rainy the whole country. Only the parts, which are closed to the sea, such as Yangon and coastal regions have sometimes heavy rains but it does not happen in all three months. Since Mandalay & Bagan are in the arid land, even in monsoon period, there is very little rain. Since Inle Lake is hilly region, sometimes it rains and sometimes it does not. Nevertheless, the rains do not disturb our visits and sightseeing.
The best period to come to Myanmar is from October to end of March. April and May are the hottest months in Myanmar but no rain. Here we mention you the average temperature of each destination for your convenience.
Things to buy
Shopping in Myanmar is better than ever now. Bartering is also quiet acceptable. In larger towns and cities the best bargains are usually found in the public markets. Each place has its own particular such as lacquer ware – the local product of Bagan, marionette, tapestry, textile & silver ware in Mandalay & traditional Shan bag, some handicraft & very good quality of Silk are main souvenirs of Inle lake area. The rubies and jades are world famous and you can find the best quality in the world.Simulated antiques, fine ceramics and copies of famous paintings are also possible to buy. Most of the souvenirs shops accept Dollars, Euros or local currency. A few jewelry shop in Yangon accept visa card, master card.
The following items cannot legally be taken out of the country:
Prehistoric implements and artifacts, fossils, old coins, bronze or brass weights, bronze or clay pipes, kammawas or parabaiks, inscribed stones, inscribed gold or silver, historical documents, all religious images including of Buddha.
Myanmar has a great potential for producing hydroelectricity; about 50% of its electricity is from hydroelectric plants. The remainder of Myanmar’s electricity is produced by thermal plants using natural gas, diesel fuel, or coal. The voltage is 230 volt, AC 50 HZ. Most of the hotels and places have three-pin plugs. For those who have brought video camera, adapter is highly recommended.
Gratuities & Tipping
Myanmars are genuinely happy to help foreign visitors and don’t expect anything in return. But if your guide or any other person during your trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.
Do I need any vaccinations?
Vaccination certificates are generally not required for entry to Myanmar. However we advise our clients to consult their doctor to discuss travel vaccinations, ideally 4-6 weeks before embarking on their journey. We also suggest that you speak with your doctor if you have any other health concerns, are pregnant, or would like further information about health-related travel matters.
What should I bring?
When you come to Myanmar you may want to bring:
– Sun protection for your face and body (e.g., hat, sunglasses and sunscreen)
– Insect repellent. We recommend using a cream that contains DEET
– A small flashlight
– Extra passport photos
– Power adaptor
– Travelers’ first-aid kit
What is the weather like, and what should I wear?
The weather in Myanmar will vary according to where you go, and when. In places such as Yangon, the weather can be a little hot and humid, so light, comfortable clothing may be appropriate. However in some of the mountainous regions the temperature can drop to near freezing during the night. In such cases, we suggest that our clients bring warm clothing. When you book your itinerary Grand Lotus will provide you with further information about clothing you should bring.
For convenience, when visiting religious sites such as temples and monasteries, we suggest that our clients wear light footwear that can easily be removed (e.g., sandals or thongs). Also, people in Myanmar are devoutly religious, and we ask that you remember to dress conservatively by avoiding suggestive or revealing attire (e.g., tank tops, tight clothing, shorts and short skirts.)
Communications: can I make international calls and use email?
All of the hotels that we use provide international telephone, fax and postal services. However these can be quite expensive. Internet access and wife services is readily available at these hotels, other restaurants and some touristic area . If you ever require assistance, Panoramic Myanmar staff will always be ready to assist you.
Can I bring my mobile phone and laptop?
Mobile phones from other countries will not operate in Myanmar. If you require a cell phone, please contact Panoramic Myanmar Tours and we will organize to hire one for you while you are in Myanmar upon your arrival. (Please give at least 7 days’ notice).
Electricity: what sort of power adaptor should I bring?
Myanmar uses 230-volt AC (50 Hz) electricity, and 24-hour electricity is available in [All? Most?] of the hotels that we use. We suggest bringing a universal power adapter with a surge protector such as [this: http://www.bixnet.com/intrpoad.html ]
What sort of food is available?
Myanmar offers a wide variety of cuisine, each ethnic group having their own traditional dishes. However at the heart of any meal in Myanmar you will almost inevitably find rice. Rice is the staple of the diet in Myanmar, and is eaten with meat, fish and vegetable curries (which tend to be mild), and is also used to make noodles, sweet cakes, and other dishes. Chinese, Thai, and Indian foods are also available at most major tourist destinations, and Western and International foods at major hotels.
Can RTM cater for vegetarians and people with special dietary requirements?
We advise clients to drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available at all of the hotels that we use, and Road To Mrauk U staff also carry an additional supply on-hand at all times.
Are there any religious or cultural norms that I need to observe?
People in Myanmar are predominantly Buddhist, and it is important to respect religious and cultural norms. In Buddhist culture, the head is deemed to be the seat of the soul, so it is important to avoid touching people’s heads (even those of small children). The corollary of this is that the feet are somewhat less sacred, and it is considered offensive to point your feet at someone.
From time to time, our tour guides may remind you to remove your footwear (including socks)
before entering religious sites such as pagodas and monasteries. Shoes, but not necessarily socks, should also be taken off before entering private homes as well.
People in Myanmar are deeply religious, and many of the traditions and customs that have been passed down over many generations are quite conservative. Please dress with respect for the local culture by avoiding suggestive or revealing attire, and refraining from public displays of affection. Special customs also apply to monks and novices, who must at all times avoid physical contact with women.
Is tipping customary?
Tipping is becoming more customary in Myanmar. If you would like to express your gratitude to a waiter, porter, guide or driver, feel free to show them your appreciation by giving them a small tip – you can be sure that they will be very grateful for it.
Before your departure
Items to bring should include:
– Hat, sun glasses and any other sun protection for your face and body
– Prescription medicines
– Insect repellent
– Umbrella April to October
– Antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches
– Extra pair of prescription glasses
– Small flashlight
– Extra passport photos
What to Wear
Warm weather clothing is quite adequate for most of Myanmar, although the up country mountain areas of Inie Lake and other higher elevation areas may drop to near freezing at night during the ‘winter’ season. Travelers should bring appropriate cold weather clothing in such cases. However, even after a cold night, by mid morning the temperature is again quite pleasant. Suggestive or revealing clothing is never a good idea in this conservative and largely Buddhist culture. When visiting religious shrines and temples, modest dress is required and easily removable footwear is highly recommended as sacred grounds must be visited only in barefeet (no socks). Hats and sunglasses are usually appreciated, as is an umbrella for the rainy season.
– Light, casual cotton wear because of hot weather
– A cardigan or light jerkin, when visiting northern Myanmar in the cold season
– An umbrella during the rainy season
– Umbrella April to October
– Sandals or slippers
– Quick drying clothes are recommended if you visit during the rainy season or Thingyan. The dress code for pagodas and monasteries prescribe decent apparel, with no footwear is allowed when visiting pagodas and monasteries.
1. The typical Myanmar character is kind and trustworthy. The Myanmar people are friendly, helpful and polite.
2. Visitors are not asked to abandon their ways, they are asked to adapt to the Myanmar environment. Respect the Myanmar people and their unique traditions.
3. It is considered disrespectful when tourists take photos o women taking a shower. Don’t take any photos that may make people feel embarrassed.
4. The Myanmar people are very friendly. A smile lighten up everyone’s day. Do smile.
5. In Myanmar the feet convey messages. Pointing with your feet means disrespect. Don’t point with your foot.
6. Please cover your shoulders and knees, and take off your shoes and socks when entering pagoda areas. Wear decent clothes when visiting religious sites.
7. When you sit, your legs should not be stretched out and your feet should never face the Buddha. Do tuck away your feet.
8. The head is the most esteemed part of the body. To be touched on the head is considered aggressive. Don’t touch anyone on the head.
9. People will be delighted to meet visitors who are willing to immerse themselves in the language. People learn the basic words in Myanmar language.
10. Myanmar is a very safe place for tourists but it is recommended women dress decently. Women travelers are very safe in Myanmar.
11. Displaying physical closeness in public places is frowned upon in Myanmar. Don’t kiss in public.
12. Visitors should avoid loud talk and should take care not to touch people meditation. Don’t disturb people praying or meditation.
13. Calling someone with your fingers down is considered polite. Calling with your finger up means calling for a challenge.
14. The people of Myanmar are very diverse; each ethnic minority has their own local customs. For example, when tourists visit Akha villages they should know not to take photos of pregnant women. Please learn the local customs before visiting ethnic minority villages.
15. If they wish, visitors are encouraged to be a bit adventurous and to support local transport facilities. Do try Myanmar traditional transport facilities. It’s sustainable and benefits the locals.
16. Tourists are urged to be understanding about the electricity situation in Myanmar. Visitors may experience electricity outages.
17. Monks are very revered; they observe; they observe many rules, study the Dhamma, practice meditation and are highly respected in Myanmar society. Visitors should never touch the robe of a monk not even if they see a worm crawling up his robe. Don’t touch the robe of a monk.
18. Tourists should purchase non precious items at the local market. Licensed stores will give certificates that guarantee the authenticity of the items, whereas unlicensed stores, as depicted in this cartoon, can not guarantee the authenticity of the items. Spread your wealth, use your money wisely.
19. Visitors are encouraged to learn about Myanmar’s traditional festivals and ceremonies. Myanmar is a cultural destination.
20. Visitors should change their money at the reliable exchange counters, and local banks, not on the black market. Myanmar currency should be exchanged at the official exchange counters and banks.
21. Visitors can donate to communities, schools, health facilities, NGOs or monasteries that take care of children. If tourists wish to help the people of Myanmar, they should consider creative ways to contribute to communities, not to individuals.
22. Instead of creating children’s dependency on tourism, visitors should consider the saying: Don’t give a helpless person a fish, teach them how to catch a fish and they will learn for a lifetime. Giving money or sweets or shampoos or anything to children on the road is not advised.
23. It makes Myanmar people very happy and proud of their traditions if they see foreigners participate in their festival. Myanmar people are delighted when tourists participate in their festivals.
24. The use of drugs is against the law and destroy your life. Using drugs is illegal in Myanmar.
25. The illegal selling of wildlife endangers the species native to Myanmar. Tourists should not buy these products. Help protect Myanmar wildlife by refusing to purchase wildlife products.
26. Myanmar loses its heritage every time antique items are taken out of the country. To maintain Myanmar’s unique heritage, do not buy antiques. Buy arts and crafts instead.
27. Visitors could set a good example by collecting their rubbish and educating Myanmar people about environmental responsibility. Help us keep Myanmar clean.
28. Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar. Practice safe sex.
29. Myanmar is slowly opening up and more destinations will be accessible to foreigners in the future. Do not go where you are advised not to go.
30. Buddha images are sacred objects. Taking photogram together with Buddha image or king statue by posing must not. So don’t pose in front of them for pictures and definitely do not clamber upon them.
31. It is possible to take the photos to the pagodas, temples or the people. But ask the permission first if you want to make the persons nearby.
32. The feet are the lowest part of the body; pointing by feet is considered impolite and rude. Don’t point your feet at somebody.
33. Pagodas, Temples, Buddha images are sacred objects. When sitting in front of them, try to sit proper to show respect. Don’t sit by pointing your feet to them.
34. Whenever take a seat in the religion monuments, should be under the level of Buddha images, Monks and Nun. Don’t take a seat above level of the Buddha images, Monks and Nuns. And please take care not to lay down the feet toward the Buddha or the monks or even the normal persons.
36. Indicating something with the foot is not the polite manner. Don’t point anything by foot.
37. If a woman wants to offer something to a monk, the objects should be placed within reach of the monk, not handed directly to him. Monks are not supposed to touch or be touched by women.
38.When we speak with the monks, the elder peoples or high rank persons, we should maintain the attitude of humble respect. Show your respect to monks and elder people.
39. Myanmar people use very load speakers and sound box for their special occasions and religion festivals. Try to understand it when you visit. Don’t complain of the load speakers and noise from occasions.
40. The present Dos & Don’ts merely offer some useful hints of tourists who wish to visit Myanmar responsibly. Relax and enjoy your holidays.
Reminding during being in Myanmar
– Try to understand Myanmar people are simple, hard life but honest and enjoy life.
– Treat everyone with respect and you will be respected.
– Pls express U ( Mr ) in front of Man’s name and Daw ( Mrs ) in front of Woman’s name.
– Not always necessary to shake hands.
– Don’t touch any adult on the head.
– Don’t step over any part of a person, as it is considered rude.
– Don’t hug or kiss in the pagodas, temples as well as in public.
– Accept or give things with your right hand by touching left fingers to right arm.
– When buying gems, stones or any expensive items, make sure it comes with an export permit.
– Antique and any part of wildlife are stickily prohibited.
– Buy arts and crafts from authorized dealers only and get a certified receipt.
– Advised not to buy any gems and stones from the vendors as these are not reliable.
– Don’t use any narcotic drugs.
– Carry some medicines for diarrhea, malaria
– Bring mosquito repellents.
– Bring sun blocks and sun glasses, sun creams, hat.
– If sick, don’t worry. All doctors are English literate.
– Health insurance is highly advised.
– Not recommend to eat any street food as not good hygiene.
– Eat only in decent restaurants for good hygiene seasons.
– Don’t drink tap water. Drink only bottled water and soft drinks or fresh juice.
– Be aware Myanmar use a lot cooking oil. Should eat warm food as heated.
– Most of shops close at 9:00 pm and the normal dinner time is between 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The last order is at 9:00 pm.
– Don’t leave important and valuable item in your rooms. Use safe deposit box or keep at the reception. But don’t forget to take back when you depart.
– The flights, local public transportation are not punctual.
– Try to accept that facilities may not be the best even though star rated hotels.
– On trains, keep windows shut and watch out.
– The measurements of weights, distance, high usually mentioned old system of British as Viss, Mile, Feet. Not kilograms, kilometers, meters. Accept that facilities may not be the best.
– Carry toilet paper in your bag and hand gel. Local toilets are not just simple, not European style.
– Myanmar people do not war shoes and socks in their homes. Take shoes and socks off at the steps when visiting.
– Don’t try to visit public hospitals, schools without admission.
– Don’t take any photos to soldiers, polices, prisoners.
– Watch carefully when you walk on the pavements as there are many holes and what you step on.
– Stop and check traffic clear or not before crossing the road, even on the Zebra cross lines.
– If driving, city speed limit is 30 mph. Drive on the right way. Riding motorbike is prohibited.
– Avoid shouting anybody at the public.
– Don’t put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate.
– Sit lower then monks, nuns or novices and elders.
– Don’t offer any food to Monks, Nuns and Novice in the afternoon.
– Women should not touch a monk.
Australia : 22 Arkana Street, Yarralumla, Act 2600, Canberra
Tel: (61-2) 62733811, (61-2)62733751
Fax: (61-2) 62733181
Email: [email protected]
Bangladesh : No.3, Block-NE(L), Road-84, Gulshan-2, Dhaka-1212
Tel: (8802) 9888903, 9896331, 9896298, 9896373, 9889215
Fax: (8802) 8823740
Email: [email protected]
Belgium : Boulevard General Wahis 9, 1030 Brussels
Tel: (32-2) 7019380, 7019381
Fax: (32-2) 7055048
Email: [email protected]
Brazil : Shis Ql 07, Conjunto 04, Casa 05, Lago Sul, Cep 71615340, Brasilia-Df
Tel: (005561) 32483747, 32482374
Fax: (005561) 33842747
Email: [email protected]
Brunei Darussalam : No.14 Lot 2185/46292 Simpang 212 Jalan Kampong Rimba Gadong
3385, Post Code Be-3119 P.O.Box 1309 Post Office Gadong 3113
Tel: (673) 2451960, 2451961
Fax: (673) 2451963
Email: [email protected]
Cambodia : 181, Preah Norodom Boulevard, Boeung Keng Kang 1,Khan Chamcarmon, Phnom Penh.
Tel: (855-23) 223761, 223762
Fax: (855-23) 223763
Email: [email protected]
Canada : 85 Range Road, Suite 902-903, The Sandringham, Ottawa,Ontario Kin 8j6, Canada
Tel: (1613) 2329990
Fax: (1613) 2326999
Email: [email protected]
China : No 6, Dong’zhi Men Wai Street, Chao Yang District, Beijing, 100600
Tel: (8610) 65320351 (2 lines)
Fax: (8610) 65320408
Email: [email protected]
Egypt : No.24, Mohamed Mazhar Street, Zamalek, Cairo 11211
Tel: (00202) 27362644, 27363123
Fax: (00202) 27357712
Email: [email protected]
France : No.60, Rue De Courcelles, 75008 – Paris
Tel: (330) 156881590, 156881591
Fax: (330) 145621330
Email: [email protected]
Germany : Thielallee 19, 14195 Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
Tel: (0049-30) 2061570
Fax: (0049-30) 20615720
Email: [email protected]
India : 3/50 F, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
Tel: (009111) 24678822, 24678823
Fax: (009111) 24678824
Email: [email protected]
Indonesia : 109, Jl. Haji Agus Salim, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
Tel: (62-21) 3158908, 3159095
Fax: (62-21) 3160079
Email: [email protected]
Israel : 12th Floor, Textile Center, Building 2, Kaufaman Street,Tel-Aviv 68012 Israel
Tel: (972-3) 5170760, 5163364
Fax: (972-3) 5163512
Email: [email protected]
Italy : Via Della Camilluccia, 551 Cap 00135 Roma, Italy
Tel: (0039-06) 36303753, 36304056
Fax: (0039-06) 36298566
Email: [email protected]
Japan : 8-26, 4-chome, Kita Shinagawa, Shinagawa-Ku,Tokyo 140-0001Japan
Tel: (81-3) 34419044, 34419292, 34419293, 34419294, 34419029
Fax: (81-3) 34477394
Email: [email protected]
Korea : 723-1, 724-1, Hannam-Dong,Yongsan-Ku, Seoul, 140-210,Republic of Korea
Tel: (82-2) 7903814, 7903815, 7903816
Fax: (82-2) 7903817
Email: [email protected]
Kuwait : Villa No. 28, St 44, Block 5, Al-Zahra Area, Kuwait City, State of Kuwait
Tel: (965) 25240736
Fax: (965) 25240749
Email: [email protected]
Laos : Lao-Thai Road, Watnak Village, Sisattanak District, P.O Box 11,Vientiane, Lao, P.D.R.
Tel: (856-21) 314910, 314911, 353491
Fax: (856-21) 314913
Email: [email protected]
Malaysia : 8(C), Jalanampang Hillir, 55000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 42514455, 42515595, 42516355
Fax: (603) 42513855
Email: [email protected]
Nepal : Nakkhu Height, Ward No. 4/Ga, Sainbu Bhaisepati, Lautpur,Kathmandu, P.O. Box. 2437, Nepal
Tel: (009771) 5592774
Fax: (009771) 5592776
Email: [email protected]
Pakistan : House 273, Street 6, F-10/3, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (0092-51) 2114148, 5877497
Fax: (0092-51) 2114149
Email: [email protected]
Philippines : 8th Floor, Gervasia Corporate Center, 152 Amorsolo Street,Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: (0063-2) 8931944, 8123644
Fax: (0063-2) 8928866
Email: [email protected]
Russian Federation : 41-B, Nikitskaya (Gertsena), Moscow, Russian Federation
Tel: (007-495) 6915684, 6915614
Fax: (007-495) 9561878
Email: [email protected]
Saudi Arabia : No.5, Al-Kati St, King Fahd Area, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel: (966-1) 2293525, 2293523, 2293496
Fax: (966-1) 2293306
Email: [email protected]
Serbia : Kneza Milosa 72, Belgrade 11000, The Republic of Serbia.
Tel: (381-11) 3619114, 3617 165
Fax: (381-11) 3614968
Email: [email protected]
Singapore : 15, St. Martin’s Drive, Singapore 257996.
Tel: (0065) 67350209 (6) Lines
Fax: (0065) 67356236
Email: [email protected]
South Africa : 201 Leyds Street, Arcadia, Pretoria P.O. Box 12121,Queenswood 0121 South Africa
Tel: (27-12) 3412556, 3412557
Fax: (27-12) 3412553
Email: [email protected]
Sri Lanka : 4A, Rosmead Avenue, Rosmead Palace, Colombo 7
Tel: (94-11) 2681007, 2696440
Fax: (94-11) 2682052
Email: [email protected]
Thailand : 132, Sathorn Nua Road, Bangkok 10500 Thailand
Tel: (662) 2332237, 2340320, 2340278, 2377744, 2337250
Fax: (662) 2366898
Email: [email protected]
United Kingdom : 19 A, Charles Street, London W1J 5DX United Kingdom
Tel: (044-207) 4994340, 4937397
Fax: (044-207) 4097043
Email: [email protected]
USA : 2300 S Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008 United States Of America
Tel: (202) 3323344, 3324350, 3324352
Fax: (202) 3324351
Vietnam : 298 A, Kim Ma Street, Hanoi
Tel: (84-4) 38453369, 38232056
Fax: (84-4) 38452404
Email: [email protected]
Lebanon : Charles De Gaulle Avenue, Debahy Center 7th Floor, Sin El Fil, Beirut P.O Box : 11-0346
Tel: (96-11) 485375, 485377
Fax: (96-11) 502974
Email: [email protected]