The old capital of Rakhine founded in 15 century, and remained its capital for 355 years. The golden city of Mrauk U became known in Europe as a city of oriental slendor after friar Sebastian Manrique visited the area. Father Manrique’s vivid account of the coronation of King “ Thiri Thudhamma ” in 1635 and about the Rakhine Court and intrigues of the Portuguese adventurers fire the imagination of later authors.
Mrauk U can reach from Sittway through a very pleasant river journey about 4 hours. If travel in the winter, one can see flocks of wild geese, ducks and other migrating waterfowls.
Even the pagodas are strategically located on hilltops and look like fothresses and indeed they are once use as such in times of enemy intrusion. There moats, artificial lakes and canals and the whole area could be flooded to deter or repulse attackers.
About ten years ago it was difficult to travel to this area but now it is quite developed to visit Mrauk-U. From Yangon there are daily flights to Sittway the capital of Rakhine State. Then from Sittway to Mrauk-U you can take a boat on the Kaladan River about 4 Hrs.
The Chin live in the Northwest border areas or further south in the Rakhine State. Mt.Victoria of 3400 meter high is the perfect place for nature lovers. Soft trekking, butterfly and bird watching are available. Some of the women there tattoo their faces completely in tasteful designs. The ritual is entirely voluntary and as the practise is dying out, not many young women are seen with tattooed faces. But the old traditional of this tattooing face still can be seen in some villages. Their hand woven cotton and silk in traditional designs and colors are collectors’ items.
174 km from Bagan by jeep and roads are still very bad so this excursion is not recommended for rainy season ( May to Oct ). As for accommodations, only very simple guesthouses are available so this excursion is suitable only for the adventurous clients.
Kyaing Tong is known for its scenic beauty and many colorful ethnic tribes. Situated in the eastern Shan State and its about an hour flight from Heho and by land 452 km from Inle Lake and 176km north of the border town of Tachileik opposite Mae sai, ( Thailand ). And it is 56 miles away from Mong Lar, a Chinese border town. There are many villages of various ethnic tribes resided around Kyaing Tong. The tribes known as Gon, Lwe, Li, Wa, Lah Hu, Thai Nay, Shan, Li Shaw, Li Su, Palaung, Akha, and we can differentiate the tribes by colourful dresses which is different to one another. Can observe their tribal dances and their way of living on these mountainous regions around Kyaing Tong.
One can fly direct from Heho to Kyaing Tong in 1 hour. And Kyaing Tong is 3 hrs drive from Tachileik which in on to the border with Thailand. The road condition from Inle Lake to Kyaing Tong still not improve and off-limits.
A trip to Kyaing Tong can be recommended in the dry season since the rainy season is very heavy in this area. The tour can start from Yangon or Heho or Mandalay and we recommend a stay of 2 to 3 nights. A trip includes trekking to the tribal villages, and therefore one has to be in good physical condition. Although a trip to Kyaing Tong must be regarded as an adventure tour, the area is of great interest for visitors interested in experiencing a completely different side of Myanmar.
It is the northern most railway terminal, 919 miles from Yangon and 487 miles from Mandalay. Visitors can tour the Myit Sone, the confluence of Maikha and Maykha Streams. Ayeyarwady, the most useful river in Myanmar has its source from this confluence and flows 1325 miles to the mouth of the river. The water over here is crystal clear. The panoramic view of the scenario at Myit Sone with the unspoiled beauty of nature is beyond the expression of words and will definitely be a fine attraction to tourists. Different tribes of national races live in harmony with their own cultures, customs, dialects, dances and lifestyles. For mountaineering enthusiasts, expeditions to Mount Khaka Bo Razi and Mount Gam Lan Razi would be an adventure.
Myitkyina can be reached by air from Yangon by Myanmar Airways only and which take 2 ½ hours via Mandalay and the flights are operated irregular. It can be reached by train from Mandalay and it will take 26 hours.
Puta-O is another town in Kachin State surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It is cool the whole year round and there are many varieties of citrus fruits grown in the orchards. Flowing streams and rivulets, straw-roofed houses and fences of pebbles and creek stones provide a pleasant, pastoral contrast to the scenes and sights of modern cities. The suspension bridges are the typical river crossing in this region. People of the Rawan, Lisu, Khamti-Shan, Jingphaw and Kachin are represented in the region. It is the nearest town to the base camp for Climbing Mt. Khakhaborazi (5889 metres), which is the highest mountain in Myanmar and in Southeast Asia. Putao is the starting point for Myanmar's most adventurous trekking adventures.
From Myitkyina by air about 30 minutes and only Myanmar Airways is available.
Mawlamyine, a charming town, is the capital of Mon State, situated at the mouth of the Thanlwin River. Located 28 miles from the sea, it is the third largest city in Myanmar. Visitors to Mawlamyine are simply enchanted at the scenic beauty and it’s temperate climate. The atmosphere of post-colonial decay is still palpable here. A beautiful river trip from Pa-An can be done but not recommended because of the irregularity of boat schedule.
299 Km, 10 hours drive and 18 hours by train from Yangon.
About 60 kilometres south of Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat is the counter part of river kui death railways maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
There are also many other places to visit in Myanmar, eg. Mawlamyaing (Moulmein), Lashio, Myitkyina, Monywa, etc.