Western Myanmar

Sittwe & Mrauk U

Arriving at Sittwe makes you step back in time, with an airport consisting of just one room with ceiling fans. A port city, Sittwe served as a major trading point with India during the time of the British. Sittwe boasts several interesting pagodas and an exceptional monastery with a wonderful collection of Buddha images, some dating back to the 15th century when Mrauk Oo reached its zenith. Sittwe's main importance for tourists lies in the fact that it is the starting point for a boat journey on the Kaladan River to the ancient capital and important archaeological site of Mrauk U. Most of the sites in Mrauk U date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, such as Shittaung Pagoda, which was built by King Minbin in 1535 and remains the main attraction for visitors. As well as a host of other pagodas, the ruins of the royal palace and the remains of the city walls are worthwhile sightseeing points.

 

Thandwe

Thandwe is a town and major seaport in Rakhine State, the westernmost part of Myanmar. Thandwe is very ancient, and is said to have been at one time the capital of Rakhine State, then called Arakan. The district has an area of 3,784 square miles.Located about 4 miles inland to the northeast of Ngapali Beach, Thandwe fills a hilly valley with its low-key streets. It’s been a key Rakhaing town for many centuries. When the British stationed a garrison here around the turn of the 20th century, they twisted the name into Sandoway.Ngapali (pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples) is Myanmar’s premier beach destination. Located on the Bay of Bengal coast in Rakhine State, its main feature is an idyllic stretch of white sand and palm tree-lined coast, with a number of resorts spread out next to traditional fishing villages.