Mrauk U (pronounced as mia wu) is a medieval town and archaeological site in Rakhine State, Central Myanmar. The archaeological remains in Rakhine (formerly known as Arakan), date back between the 15th and 16th centuries.
The main attractions are the temples and ruins around the town. The remains of the main palace roughly form the centre of the town.
The difference between Mrauk U temple and Bagan’s is that Mrauk U’s temples are only a few hundred yrs old compared to the thousand years old in Bagan. And, Mrauk U’s are built during regional conflict period. thus are more like fortresses.
Why Not Go
Time consuming & Expensive: Probably 5 days required for a Mrauk U itinerary. You will have to fly into Sittwe and out and take a boat – which can be quite expensive if you don’t have people to share it with. Using the government boat would mean you’d need to allow at least another day, maybe two to the round trip.
Mrauk U Temples do not rival Bagan. Neither in Quantity nor quality.
The temples are very different from those at Bagan.
Only recently become a reachable tourist destination, It is relatively untouristed and you get a going back in time feeling.
Best Time to Visit
The Rakhine State is situated within the tropical zone and the weather is warm and humid. Since it is a coastal region of Myanmar, rain and clouds are expected.
The best time for tourists to visit Mrauk U is from late November early December when the rains have gone. Crystal clear sky; lush and green landscapes; blooming flowers.
However any time from late November to March is a good time to travel.
Where to Stay
My to do List
The most impressive of these historical edifices is the Shitthaung Temple, a fortress-like temple known for its labyrinth of tunnels while the Andawthein Ordination Hall, Ratanabon Pagoda, Dukkhanthein and Laymyetnha are other sites of cultural and archaeological value.
Rent a bike and cycle around to all the main sites in one afternoon/early evening
Stay Away From
The most popular mode for tourists to travel to Mrauk U is to take a domestic flight from Yangon to Sittwe and board a boat from Sittwe against the Kaladan River. The hotels in Mrauk U also arrange private boat services to and fro Sittwe.
The government boat to Mrauk U left at 7 am, cost 10$ and took about 4 hours. It runs both ways every day – bar Sunday/Monday.
IF the govt boat isn’t operating when you wanna go you can hire a private boat simple enough (touts will be at the airport)
No boats are allowed to leave after 4 pm. So if you arrive at 1, you should be able to get a regular boat and get to Mrauk U about dark.
overnight bus from paye to Taungok then fast boat to Sittwe the flights tend to be from Yangon -Sittwe-Thandwe.
There is a highway from Yangon to Sittwe via Mrauk-u, you be required to get special permission, which will take several weeks, and cost a lot. Your travel conditions may require you to go with a licensed tour guide.
PkTan is fascinated with this beautiful, complicated country. He love advising travellers to Myanmar and have developed this site to share all his knowledge of Myanmar with everyone.
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