5 days / 4 nights
Destinations: Yangon - Sittwe - Mrauk U
Day 1: Yangon - Sittwe
In the morning, you will arrive quickly by plane to Sittwe, an old fishing village that became a maritime center of prime importance, especially for the export of rice. It owes this transformation to the British occupation of Arakan, now known as the Rakhine State, after the first Anglo-Burmese war at the beginning of the 19th century. You will visit the View Point lighthouse, a nice place to relax and breathe in the fresh sea breeze. You can especially appreciate a panoramic view over the Baronga Islands, on the other side of the Kaladan River, and over the lighthouse of the wild island Layshinedaung.
Day 2: Sittwe - Mrauk U (breakfast, lunch)
You will be taken to a pier to sail between five and seven hours, depending on the conditions of the river. You will arrive at Mrauk U in the afternoon and will settle in your hotel. This city in western Myanmar, whose name means "remote north," is a quiet town. But this has not always been the case, because it was the capital of Arakan from 1431. There Portuguese, Dutch and French merchants coexisted with literary (and fugitive) princes of Bengal and the Moghol empire. At the time of its apogee, the arakanés kingdom controlled the state of Rakhine, the western part of the low Burma and the half of the present Bangladesh. Numerous religious sites were built in Mrauk U, as it developed over the years. Many of those who survived are now its main attraction. You will visit the temple-fortress Htaukkhan-Thein (which means "cross-beam ordination hall"), one of the most famous in the ancient city. Like most of its precincts venerated by Buddhists, it was designed with a double objective, religious and defensive; As much as it is a "thein" (ordination hall), it is one of its most military buildings, built on a high ground with a single entrance and small windows. Htaukkhan-Thein was probably used as a refuge for wartime monks, according to Emil Forchhammer, a distinguished archaeologist who worked for the British Raj at the end of the 19th century. Then you will discover another temple, Andaw-Thein, where a relic of the sacred tooth of Buddha is preserved. Then you can see the sunset over the Kaladan river.
Day 3: Mrauk U (breakfast, lunch)
The tour of the day will begin with the famous Shitthaung temple, known for its nearly 80000 sacred Buddha images and for its reliefs. You will see the Laungbanprauk pagoda, called the "plaque" because there is a wall in front, with shingled tiles with bright colors, and in the afternoon you will go to the museum that houses old stone slabs, bearing inscriptions. Interesting collection of Buddha images, in a unique style of Rakhine, then you will head to Shwe Taung Hill, from where you can enjoy a good view of Mrauk U. You will spend pleasant time there until sunset.
Day 4: Mrauk U - Chin villages (breakfast, lunch)
You will reach the quay of Ngagya to embark on a pleasant walk among the Chin peoples, near the river Lemro. On the way, you will notice that the water courses can be very shallow, about half a meter, and therefore are invaded by a bamboo forest. You will see women with their faces tattooed because of their beliefs, but the stretch marks on the skin are no longer practiced. The excursions from Mrauk U to Chin villages start at 7 or 8 in the morning, in principle, and include between two and three hours of navigation in both directions. You will be able to stop for almost the same time in some villages to meet with members of the ethnic group, before returning to Mrauk U.
Day 5: Mrauk U - Sittwe - Yangon (breakfast)
Departure from the hotel and transfer to the dock to return to Sittwe by boat. Then, you will go to the airport to take your flight to Yangon.
- The panorama of the sunset behind the Baronga Islands, in Sittwe.
- Navigation through territories very little explored by foreigners.
- The visit of Mrauk U, the mysterious capital of the formerly vast Arakan empire.
- The view from the heights of the Shwe Taung hill, with the golden glow over the ancient Arakan.
- Chin minority ethnic villages along the Lemro River, and their tattoo culture.
- Accommodations carefully selected, including breakfast.
- Other meals indicated in the program.
- Local Spanish-speaking or English-speaking guide with experience.
- Tours mentioned and transfers in private vehicle with air conditioning.
- Cruises and scheduled trips.
- All internal flights (in economy class).
- Admission expenses to the sites included in the circuit.
- All travel insurance
- All services not mentioned above
- Tipping and personal expenses