Nestled among the jungle-clad hills of Rakhine State, the ancient city of Mrauk Oo enchants with archaeological treasures and villages untouched by time. Travel by private boat along the Kaladan River to discover this fascinating and remote corner of Myanmar. Explore maze-like temples dating to the 15th-century and climb the steps of beautiful pagodas overlooking the Burmese countryside. Then journey to the tribal villages near Mrauk Oo to experience ways of life that have changed little over the centuries. Meet monks, silk weavers, and proud tribespeople, and discover their rich traditions.
Itinerary - 4 Days
Day 1 — Yangon, Myanmar/Sittwe/Mrauk Oo
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a midday flight to Sittwe, the bustling capital of Rakhine State on Myanmar’s western coast. Board a private boat and set out along the Kaladan River for our journey to Mrauk Oo. Enjoy lunch on board, and take in views of everyday life along the river as you pass rural villages and stupas gleaming on the hillsides. Upon arrival, disembark at the private jetty of our hotel, situated amid lush gardens and rice fields. Settle into one of the hotel's riverside bungalows, built to reflect the local styles and traditions of Rakhine. (B,L,D)
Day 2 — Mrauk Oo
The powerful capital of Rakhine State from the 15th to the 18th century, Mrauk Oo harbors an array of fascinating temples and hilltop pagodas. Set out this morning to visit the fortress-temple of Htukkanthein and the Andawthein Pagoda, believed to contain a tooth relic of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka. Explore the maze-like corridors of the 16th-century Shite Thaung Temple and see its vast collection of Buddhist images and reliefs. Later, meet members of the Rohingya people at a nearby village, and learn about the history of this Muslim minority that faced particular repression under the former military regime. After lunch at a local restaurant, examine ancient relics at the Mrauk Oo Archaeological Museum. This evening, take in spectacular sunset views from atop the Haritaung Pagoda. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Mrauk Oo
This morning, set out by private boat along the Lemro River to visit the ethnic Chin villages north of Mrauk Oo. Along the way, pass numerous villages steeped in the rhythms of traditional river life. See fishermen tossing nets from skiffs, farmers tilling fields, and water buffalo grazing along the shores. Disembark at a tiny country village, where we'll meet some of the remaining Chin women whose faces are adorned with tribal tattoos—a dying custom in Chin State. Have tea with tribespeople in the villages of Kyee Chaung and Kone Chaung and learn about their unique ways of life. Later, take advantage of our return journey to capture images of the river at sunset. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Mrauk Oo/Sittwe/Yangon/U.S.
After breakfast, return by private boat to Sittwe and board an early afternoon flight to Yangon, where you'll connect to your return flight home. (B,L)