Sittwe is the capital of Rakhine State. Rakhine means who preserves the nation and moral. Rakhine has a rich and long history since BC 3325. The history recorded that it had 4 dynasty of Rakhine Kings. It locates at the confluence of Kissapanadi River (Kaladan River ) and the Bay of Bangel.
On 17th Century, King Alaung Pyaya organized the third Burmese country by uniting of ethnics except Rakhine. The Next king of Burmese named Bodaw Phaya conquered Rakhine in AD 1785. After the first Anglo-Burmese War, British occupied Rakhine State.
Sittwe was founded in 1826 by the English General Morrission, who moved his troops from Mrauk-U to the Kaladan River mouth to escape the inland humidity during the first Anglo-Burmese War.
The city locates above 15 feet of sea level, can be reached by air, by land and by water.
Upon arrival to Sittwe Airport, transfer to hotel. After lunch, explore in town center, Sittwe watch tower (AD 1887).
We will visit to see
- U Ye Kyaw Thu Monastery,
- Mahakuthala Buddha Museum where we can observe the most extensive collection of Rakhine-style Buddha images. The museum houses a grand, century-old British colonial mansion, collections of arts, bronze, notes and antique old coins from the Mrauk U and other ancient periods.
Next agenda to View Point & Sittwe Beach: The view point is a good spot in this sea-side town of Sittwe offers the panoramic view of sunset over the Bay of Bengal.
Overnight in Sittwe.
Before transfer to jetty, it is a nice stop at Sittwe fish market. The morning activities of the vendors, fisher men’s trading loading to the jetty just next to market, different kinds of vegetable of regional products which can be seen rather different from other parts of Myanmar, one of the most exciting spots if you enjoy observing in different facets.
We take a wooden private chartered boat for about five-hours up the Kaladan river to Mrauk U. We will disembark at Jetty and check in at hotel. Relaxing afternoon. Overnight in Mrauk U.
This ancient capital reached its peak during the 15th century under the Rakhing dynasty. It was a busy trading port and known as one of the richest cities in Asia, comparable to Amsterdam or London. Today it is a historical site with 700 temples built in unique styles as they resemble battle forts at first sight. The 48 Kings of Rakhine ruled in Mrauk U. Elephants, rice, teakwood, wax, cotton, silver and gold, ceramic ware were main products of trading in Mrauk U when Portuguese, Arabia, India, Srilanka, Spain and Dutch merchants came for trading.
- Visit to Mrauk U lively market, Mrauk U’s most significant monument – Shitthaung Temple (Temple of 80,000 Buddhas), which contains a remarkable collection of Arakanese Buddha images and relief in its maze-like and fortress-like layout.
The stupa was built in AD 1535, commemorated to the unsuccessful Portuguese attack to the city. The duration of building the stupa took a year by one Thousand of masonry workmen. It enshrines 108 golden statute, 108 silver statute. The interior has many caves, rare statues, paintings. 11,043 stone cups were in the niche of 6 tieres of wall to set oil – lighting.
Next visit to Koe Thaung Temple (9000 stupas) which buit in AD 1553 by King Tikkha who is the son of the King who constructed Shittaung Temple.
- The unique stone carvings in the multi-spire Andawthein Ordination Hall (built in AD 1521), vaulted passages with impressive stone sculptures in the huge fortress-like temple of Dukkhanthein (built in AD 1571), Pesi Paya at sunset.
Overnight in Mrauk U.
After breakfast, you will be transferred by car for a 30 min to the jetty to take a small boat ride along Laymro River.
We will take a 2 hours boat and an easy climb up (a 5 minutes) to one of the 4 villages named Singirl, Kong Chaung, Cho New and Karate Chaung where are the home of Chin Tattooed face women. We will meet with Chin elderly ladies, observe the art of tattoo on their faces.
This day will take us by 8 AM and back to the resort by 4 PM which is an interesting excursion to see insightful of Chin Tattooed face ladie’s daily life.
Overnight in Mrauk U.
A 2 hours drive for one way.
- Today agenda, we recommend to observe the Mahamuni shrine which is one of the most renowned of all Buddhist sites not only in Rakhine State but also in the whole Burma. According to the research, Dhanyawaddy must have been the capital of Rakhine only up to 330 or 370 AD. Traditionally, the city name is meant to grain-blessed.
The Mahamuni Shrine is situated 6 miles east of Kyauk Taw Village where is a 2 hours drive from Mrauk U . Traditionally believed that, the shrine was built to house the image of the Buddha cast during his sojourn on the Salagiri hill near Kyauktaw in 554 BC. It was believed that Mahamuni Image, the actual picture of Gotama Buddha, was cast by a heavenly sculptor.
The Salagiri Hill
Salagiri Hill is one of the most famous archaeological site in Rakhine. It is situated on the east bank of the Kaladan River 5 miles to the west of Mahamusni Shrine. It is about 250 feet high. This rocky range of Hills is known as the Salagiri (The Pali, Sala = rock, giri = hill, rocky hill) in the Rakhine history.
The local chronicles assert that during the reign of Sandasuriya, King of Dhanyawaddy, the Buddha visited Rakhine with His five Hundred disciples and rested on the summit of this hill.
At this site the Buddha held a prophetic discourse on previous existences during which He dwelled in Rakhine. At present there is a standing Buddha image on the top of the hill pointing to his disciples towards the various places in which his former lives had been passed.
After the Buddha had departed from Dhanyawaddy, King Sandasuriya built a small pagod on the top of the hill. In 1624 A.D King Siridhamamraza repaired this pagoda.
En route, we can drop into Vesali old town, visit nearby villages.
Back to Mrauk U, we may enjoy dinning out and visit local home.
Leisure evening at the resort.
Overnight in Mrauk U.
Today, you will be back to Sittwe by boat along the Kaladan River. Transfer to Sittwe Airport for your flight to Yangon.
If you love beach, a 40 min flight will take you to the Ngapali Beach. It is a un-spoiled beach located along the south Rakhaing coast, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in South-East Asia. The best time to visit Ngapali Beach is from October though April and opens to tourists the whole year round.