Today, a visit to Mrauk-U offers fantastic opportunities to explore a little-known corner of Burma and discover the fascinating history of pre-colonial times here. Landmarks and activities include the Mahamuni Pagoda, a sacred Buddhist site; a village inhabited by the Laytu minority, known for their beautiful, blue-black tattoos; and Shittaung, a sandstone complex that serves as a sprawling, impressive repository of Buddhist art and relics.
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Another Mrauk U highlight, Andawthein Pagoda is believed to house a tooth of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka (where the better known “Temple of the Tooth” in Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage site).
Visit the ruins of the city palace, and the Archaeology Museum within, for a firsthand glimpse at artifacts gathered from the many temples around Mrauk U. Receive a private tour of the museum’s collection and meet a senior member of the museum’s staff.
Cheik and Sinke Villages
Visit settlements of the Cheik and Sinke people, famed for their hand-weaving. The residents are usually happy to give visitors a hands-on demonstration and lesson in their centuries-old craft techniques.
Take a full-day trip by basic motorboat to a village of the Laytu minority people, distinguished by the spider-net tattoos on their faces. Meet local residents and learn about their lives and tribal history in this remote region of Burma.
Maha Kuthala Monastery (Sittwe)
The town of Sittwe is mainly passed through as the gateway to Mrauk U. With that said, there are a few sights that are worthwhile if time permits. One is the Maha Kuthala monastery, home to centuries-old works of religious art and punctuated by a series of stupas.
According to legend, Mahamuni is home to one of only five likenesses of Buddha that were cast in his lifetime. The large bronze statue is said to have been commissioned upon the Buddha’s visit to this area in the 6th century BC; today, it is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists throughout Southeast Asia.
The “temple of the 80,000 Buddhas,” Shittaung is an impressive fortress-like complex. Erected during the mid-16th century, the temple extends through a maze of tunnels constructed with sandstone six feet thick: the result is a haunting, labyrinthine complex, believed to house over 84,000 relics of the Buddha.
Sittwe Fish Market
On your way to or from Mrauk U, visit the Sittwe fish market, where a cornucopia of seafood is sold wholesale for distribution throughout Myanmar.
Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.
Mrauk U Itineraries
Experience the heart of both Buddhism and Myanmar’s enriching heritage on this 12-day expedition across the country, whether you are witnessing a breathtaking sunset at the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, marveling over the carvings decorating the walls of the Kawgun Cave, or discovering enlightened Buddhist meditation practices at the Pha Auk Forest Monastery.
- 13 days / 12 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $9,900
Spend 9 luxurious days taking in Myanmar’s ancient culture in ancient Mruak U, and lazing on its stunning coastline on beautiful Ngapali beach. You’ll meander through age-old temples and palaces, make friends with Chin tribespeople, and enjoy free time looking out upon the Bay of Bengal, while staying in luxury hotels.
- 9 days / 8 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $5,300
This hotel has previously been described as one of Burma’s best kept secrets. The Mrauk Oo Princess superbly balances luxury and unpretentiousness. Situated on the banks of Mrauk Oo River, the hotel is surrounded by magnificent views of the blue mountain ranges, green rice fields and large pools punctuated with pink lotuses. The structural inspiration for the property was taken from the traditions and culture of the local Rakhine people. The hotel is laid out in the style of a traditional Rakhine village; each house boasts an eye-catching thatched, monastery-style, 7-tier roof. From the well-appointed spacious rooms, guest can look out from their own veranda to romantic views of the rice paddies, ponds and river. Rooms are furnished with traditional Burmese furnishings made from rich teak and other woods. The large bathrooms have his and her’s sinks and a separate bath and shower. The restaurant serves traditional Rakhine, European and vegetarian cuisine, and private candle light dinners are also available on request. The hotel has a delightful bar with an extensive wine list and signature cocktails. Those wishing to relax and indulge may head to the spa, which offers a range of treatments, using local aromatic and healing herbs. The hotel also offers guest the chance to try something different with their wood or stone carving lessons with local artisans.
Myanmar Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
Well, it’s that time of year once again. We’re back with some of Asia’s most exciting destinations for the coming 12 months, places that are guaranteed to awaken your adventurous spirit and leave you mesmerized by the planet’s beauty, diversity and fascination. We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting, undiscovered and jaw-dropping locations from …
- Jay Tindall
The Chin tribe of Myanmar, which live near the Bangladesh border not far from Mrauk U, are a people who wear facial tattoos. I journeyed to this corner of Asia to seek out the answers of why exactly do they undergo the process of getting such tattoos, which might seem extreme in Western culture.
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