I am looking for some help with my itinerary, hoping that someone would've dealt with this situation in the past...
I have done the Big-4 : Yangon - Inle Lake - Mandalay and Bagan couple of years ago. Totally loved it.
Planning my 2nd visit to Myanmar in December this year. This time I want to do something different.
I would like to visit Yangon, Sittwe, Ngapali beach, Mrauk U, Mt Victoria and Bagan.
I've read with interest Basil's post (and Biersal's replies) on Mrauk U...
I am planning to do this route.
Yangon - Sittwe
Sittwe - Ngapali beach - Sittwe (whats the fastest and easiest way to do this ?)
Sittwe - Mrauk U - Sittwe (this seems to be quite tricky with the long ferry rides, have to time it well and yet keep an extra day as buffer)
Now comes to toughest part. I am told (by a travel agent in Yangon) that there is no way to go Chin State (Mt Victoria) from Sittwe and that I need to that from Bagan.
And also that there is no flight from Sittwe to Bagan, so I need to fly back to Yangon and then fly from Yangon to Bagan...
I am also told that I need a permit to go into Chin state. Is this true ? I am quite keen on visiting the Chin state villages where the tattooed women live...
How many days should I allocate for this trip ? I am willing to sacrifice the travel to Ngapali to save some days (and money), if I have to fly back to Yangon from Sittwe in order to go to Bagan...
Many thanks, in advance...
#1 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
You might want to PM SBE. I know she has been to Rangoon and other locations in Burma as well. She can likely give you some good advice.
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thanks MADMAC for your suggestion. Will drop a note to SBE.
In the meantime, I've managed to contact the travel agency whom I had used during my previous visit to Myanmar and I've got some info.
1. Its confirmed that there is no easy way to get Mrauk U to Bagan. Therefore, I've to backtrack my way to Sittwe, fly back to Yangon and then take another flight to Bagan.
2. You need a permit to go to Mt Victoria in Chin State. It can take between 1 and 4 weeks to get the permit and one has to use the official guide for this entire trip from Bagan to Mt Victoria and back.
3. Rather than going Sittwe first and then ending up in Bagan, its advisable to do it in the reverse order.
My itinerary is working out like this.
Day 1 Yangon arrival in the morning. Yangon - Bagan (flight)
Days 2-5 Bagan to Mt Victoria and back
Day 6 Bagan – Yangon (flight) / Yangon – Sittwe (flight)
I think its definitely possible to take a flight from Bagan to Yangon and then from Yangon to Sittwe in a day.
If I get the flight connections right, I could probably take the private ferry from Sittwe to Mrauk U on the same day to save time. I think I am being overly ambitious here. So, this probably calls for an overnight stay at Sittwe. Else, an extra day in Mrauk U. Yippee !!!
Day 7 Sittwe - Mrauk U
Day 8 Mrauk U
Day 9 Mrauk U
Day 10 Mrauk U – Sittwe (private boat) ; Sittwe-Yangon (flight) arrive in Yangon. Overnight in Yangon
Day 11 Depart Yangon
Will keep you all posted how this develops. In the meantime, if you have any specific tips or pointers, I would really appreciate if you can share it here.
#3 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
Hi Newkid. Sorry I can't help. I've been to Myanmar a couple of times but haven't been to . Sittwe, Ngapali beach, Mrauk U or Mt Victoria. I'm sure there are other posters who have been to at least some of those places though. I'll be interested in any replies you get because I'm going to Myanmar in a few months time as well and am also musing about new places to visit. Hope you get some answers to your questions!
Dear MM. I'm quite capable of reading posts all on my own and deciding which ones I might be able to help with thanks! FYI, I'd already read Newkid's question and if I could have helped, I would have posted. Either I have internet access or I don't and when I do I regularly check the TF forum.
Thanks SBE for your reply. I am working out my itinerary with the help of my travel agent in Yangon.
If I have any additional queries, I will post in this thread. If not, will post a trip report after my visit.
Have a good day, everyone.
#5 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
Hey SBE, just trying to help the kid out. I knew you'd been there and had some background on the place from first hand experience.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
As a matter of interest which Travel Agent in Yangon do you use?
I have been recommeded Santa Maria who seem pretty good and Columbus Travel...
Maybe see you there in the spring?
#7 Basil has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16
Thanks MM and SBE. Both of you have been very helpful. Appreciate it.
I had used Exotissimo in the past. Had written to Santa Maria too, but haven't got any response yet...
I can't make it in Spring next year. Will be in Myanmar in the first/second weeks of December this year.
#8 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
OK, looks like doing the Mt Victoria trip is gonna cost me a fortune. And to deal with the paperwork etc. is also gonna cost me time and money. So, decision made that I will drop it from my plan this time around. What a shame
Now I am contemplating between two options.
Yangon-Bagan-Yangon-Sittwe-Mrauk U-Sittwe-Yangon over 9 days
Yangon-Bagan-Ngapali-Sittwe-Mrauk U-Sittwe-Yangon over 11 days
There are two ways to get to Sittwe from Bagan. Either I backtrack to Yangon OR go to Ngapali. Going to Ngapali is adding 2 days to my itinerary, and that means 2 additional days of leave from work...
Tough choice, this one.
Right now, I am leaning towards the first option.
If any of you have been to Ngapali and think that I shouldn't miss it, please do let me know...
#9 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
I thought I posted this yesterday. Guess not. I certainly don't see my post anywhere. Hmmmm ...
There are other ways of getting around. Cargo ships go to Sittwe from Yangon. This is something I'll be looking into for my next trip in Burma, hopefully with my bike.
Might be worth looking into, especially if you're considering backtracking to Yangon.
Thanks Tilapia. That's an interesting option. However, I only have 9 days for this trip and I want to visit both Mrauk U and Bagan. So, flying back to Yangon is the way to do it. Wish I had another week to take it slow and easy...
#11 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
If you want to look just only tattoo women you can make day return trip from Mrauk U . First you will take car to Jetty and then take boat to Chin Villages. It will take you about 3 hours to get there. There are 4 or 5 Villages.
If you want to visit also Mt Victoria you have to fly Bagan. You should start it.
I think you should visit Bagan and Mt Victoria and then fly back to Yangon take flight to Sittwe then proceed to Mrauk U.
You should visit Ngapali beach at the end of your trip.
#12 htun1997 has been a member since 15/11/2011. Posts: 10
I just got back from Magical Myanmar...
Managed to travel to Mrauk U and Bagan by following this itinerary over a 9 day period.
Yangon - Sittwe - Mrauk U - Sittwe - Yangon - Bagan - Yangon
Mrauk U is very nice and laidback. Didn't stay at Sittwe.
I shared a private boat from Sittwe to Mrauk U and back with another traveller. The boat could've easily fit 6-8 people. We paid 150,000 Kyat for the two way trip. Going upstream took us 6-1/2 hours and on the way back, it took us just under 5 hours.
I also visited the Chin villages and paid 50,000 Kyat for a round trip - a tuk tuk from Mrauk U to the jetty (different one than the one where you arrive in Mrauk U) and a 2.5 hour boat ride each way and visited three Chin villages. It seemed a bit touristy already, but the views enroute were very nice...
I will post a trip report shortly.
If you need any help with these places, please ask.
#13 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
Look forward to your trip report! In the meantime, a couple of quick questions ...... Any guesthouse recommendations for Mrauk U and also how much did you pay for your flights Yangon/Sittwe return? Did you book them in Yangon?
Heading to Burma in a weeks time and hoping to include a trip up to Mrauk U
I stayed at the Vesali Reort Hotel and paid USD40 for a twin room. I found that it was way too overpriced...
I met a few travellers who were staying at the Prince Garden Hotel next door. On my last night, I went there for dinner (very yummy food that you got to order in advance) and a drink and happened to check out their rooms. The basic room in Mrauk U was quite a bargain at USD8 (if I remember correctly)...
Yeah, I booked the flights to/from Sittwe in Yangon. I paid USD 116 each way. I flew Air KBZ from Yangon at 7AM, which reaches Sittwe around 9AM. If you pre-arrange a private boat to Mrauk U, they will whisk you from the airport and get you to the jetty ASAP and you can be on the boat by 930AM. That will give you a chance to be in Mrauk U by 4PM and a mad scamper to your guesthouse/hotel to dump your bags and catch the sunset
Hope this helps.
#15 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13
Steviej, Apologies, I didn't look for that info...
#18 Newkid has been a member since 20/9/2011. Posts: 13