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Halfaboy

Myanmar 2010 – my trip to Sittwe and M-Rauk-U

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Halfaboy

In June 2010 I made a trip to Myanmar. Purpose of the trip was to visit M-Rauk-U. I wanted to go there as this is more or less an equivalent of Bagan (which I visited on one of my previous trips). The place is an archaeologically very interesting town in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar. Many stone pagodas were built three and four centuries ago and many have been totally neglected for the last 150 years. Some are (being) renovated but most are still in their original state.

 

As traveling through Myanmar is easy and safe I made the trip on my own, be it that preparation is very important. The regular GSM phones are not working, there are no banks to change money, credit cards are almost not accepted (in some places Visa is accepted, however sometimes with restrictions), internet (if available) is slow and flights might be cancelled for whatever reason (so some spare money is welcome). Also usually after 18.30 hours electricity is cut off (don’t worry too much as there are many private generators everywhere).

 

To go to M-Rauk-U I first flew from Yangon to Sittwe. This place is in the western direction from Yangon (halfway Chittagong). I spent two days to look around and met many very friendly people.

 

Then I rented a boat to sail from Sittwe to M-Rauk-U. From my hotel to the jetty I was surprisingly taken care of by a ‘guide’. Found that a bit strange as it was a trip of only 10 minutes. However after embarking he told me ‘now I report to police first and then you go’. That means I was taken care of not only by my guide. Travelling alone, I did not find this a problem. After leaving the harbour of Sittwe we sailed via a number of meandering rivers and streams to M-Rauk-U. The trip took something like 8 hours (but I don’t think we were sailing full speed ahead) and was a journey on itself. During the whole trip no civilisation in the form of cities, pylons for electricity cables, church towers, GSM antenna’s etc. It was a real rural area. As it was at the start of the rainy season nature was very green.

 

The wooden boat was somewhat basic and was i.e. not equipped with a gearbox, so the only direction was forward. During the trip (I was the only passenger) I was ‘pampered’ with bottles water, cans of tea and bananas.

 

I stayed 4 days in M-Rauk-U. I rented a car with a driver to have a look around the place. I was very impressed by the many original Pagoda’s and Stupa’s. I also went to a nearby city to visit the Mahamuni Paya Pagoda. This was only 50 km but it took, due to ‘poor road conditions’, 2,5 hours to go. Not only the poor road conditions contributed to the duration of the trip but also the state of my car. It was a Jeep (at least in it’s previous life it had been a Jeep). Water consumption was 1:1, oil consumption 5 liter on the 100 km trip and on sometimes critical moments one of the gears was ‘missing’.

 

After my stay in M-Rauk-U I sailed back, by boat, to Sittwe but not after paying 5 US$ tourist tax just before leaving. Apparently I missed the taxman when arriving. Again during the trip I saw many unspoiled and beautiful sceneries which can hardly be described. I stayed again 2 days in Sittwe before flying back to Yangon.

 

I could write pages on this trip which was so far one of the best in my life. I could write about people always answering with ‘yes’ to any question, the very cheap and unbelievable delicious food, the very friendly and unspoiled people, the Royhingas I noticed everywhere, the almost emotional farewell greeting by the complete hotel staff when leaving my M-Rauk-U hotel.

 

I could write about the fact that in this area children are still children, playing with each other on the street with minimal (or no) toys, the oxen pulling ploughs on the fields, sailing boats transporting all sorts of goods on the rivers etc etc.

 

Unfortunately writing is not my strongest point so I hope that my pictures will say what I missed out in my report. Some of these pictures I might have posted before on this board.

 

I have still no idea how to insert text in between pictures, so I will create a few ‘answers to myself’, write some text followed by some pictures

 

First two pictures are taken when leaving Yangon and after arrival at Sittwe airport.

1 DSC_0032 - vertrek van Yangon naar Sittwe.jpg

1 DSC_0036 - aankomst Sittwe Airport.jpg

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Halfaboy

The next series are taken during the boat trip from Sittwe to M-Rauk-U.

2 DSC_0118 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0129 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0134 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0139 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0142 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0150 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0153 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

2 DSC_0161 boattrip to M\'Rauk-U.jpg

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Halfaboy

Some pictures (but not too many) taken during a temple trip in M-Rauk-U.

3c DSC_0383 Koe-thaung Temple.jpg

3c DSC_0384 Koe-thaung Temple.jpg

3d DSC_0186 Andaw-thein Ordination Hall.jpg

3e DSC_0207 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

3k m DSC_0259 Pagoda 2 - Ratna-Mahn-Aung Pagoda.jpg

3k q DSC_0265 Pagoda 2 - Ratna-Mahn-Aung Pagoda.jpg

3o DSC_0318 Pagoda 6 - Phara Paw Pagoda.jpg

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The Mentalist

Interesting report, I have often wondered about myanmar (Burma)as a place to travel, also wondered

if there is any p4p scene there, because although I do just like looking around, no point in

going if you can't get a girl when you want one.

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Halfaboy

Some pictures taken outside the centre of M-Rauk-U.

3p DSC_0215 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0217 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0221 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0232 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0355 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0368 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0374 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

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Halfaboy

 

Pictures from my car with driver, food (lunch) and the kitchen of a restaurant.

3p DSC_0263 Various impressions during temple tour.jpg

3p DSC_0280 Various impressions during temple tour - lunch.jpg

3p DSC_0287 Various impressions during temple tour - restaurant keuken.jpg

3p DSC_0288 Various impressions during temple tour - restaurant keuken.jpg

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Halfaboy

To Mahamuni Paya and impressions of the Pagoada itself.

4 DSC_0408 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethali.jpg

4 DSC_0411 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethalii - highway M\'Rauk-U Sittwe Yangon (2000++ km).jpg

4 DSC_0416 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethalii - highway M\'Rauk-U Sittwe Yangon (2000++ km).jpg

4 DSC_0418 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethali.jpg

4 DSC_0419 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethali  - Mahamuni Paya Pagoda.jpg

4 DSC_0424 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethali - Mahamuni Paya Pagoda.jpg

4 DSC_0444 M\'Rauk-U - to Mahamuni Paya and Wethali - lunchbreak (2 lunches @ 3 US$).jpg

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Halfaboy

The next series of pictures are some impressions from Sittwe and will conclude my report.

 

I hope you enjoyed.

7 DSC_0049 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0053 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0058  - Sittwe impressions - lady monks.jpg

7 DSC_0070 - Sittwe impressions - market.jpg

7 DSC_0071 - Sittwe impressions - view from market.jpg

7 DSC_0076 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0078 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0081 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0100 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0103 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0104 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

7 DSC_0105 - Sittwe impressions - main street.jpg

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Halfaboy

Interesting report, I have often wondered about myanmar (Burma)as a place to travel, also wondered

if there is any p4p scene there, because although I do just like looking around, no point in

going if you can't get a girl when you want one.

 

In the main cities as Yangon or Mandalay finding a lady is not a problem. The main hotels as i.e. Park Royal, the Asia hotel and Traders have their own discos with plenty of supply. However not all the hotels are girl friendly.

 

In the area I described in my report (close to the border with Bangladesh) I was sometimes offered ladies by men sitting on the side of the street. I have ignored their offers just to protect myself from all sorts of problems.

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Nailgun

excellent report and pics mate.

 

I`m spending 3 days in Yangon on my next trip, will be there late september. I do like to visit other places whilst on my travels. If anyone on here is in town 27 to 29th get in Touch.

 

cheers Dougie.

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kpdxxx

In the main cities as Yangon or Mandalay finding a lady is not a problem. The main hotels as i.e. Park Royal, the Asia hotel and Traders have their own discos with plenty of supply. However not all the hotels are girl friendly.

 

In the area I described in my report (close to the border with Bangladesh) I was sometimes offered ladies by men sitting on the side of the street. I have ignored their offers just to protect myself from all sorts of problems.

 

Halfaboy, thanks for this. This is real of the track reporting and I simply love this type of stuff. Thanks again for posting, the Intel will come in usefull if I take a trip next year... and thanks for the mongering intel as well... though have to agree with you, taking a lady in those circumstances is risky... but no risk no fun :-0

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ginseng

Awesome report. I gotta get to Myanmar my next trip. It's amazing to think what life is like for some of the people living there, its like a time machine.

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chusky

:Cool_Pics:

 

Outstanding pictures, and very useful information. It's always a pleasure to read about Myanmar.

 

:001_Thank_You5:

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hobotan

Halfaboy, thanks for this excellent tread. I love to see that some people are travelling out of the regular tourist paths. I myself love the feeling of travelling back in time as certainly this trip seems to be. Another place added to my list. :rolleyes:

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hobotan

post-125-0-11207600-1310311346.jpg

 

Adorable :Hug1:

 

Any info about her? Name, age?

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Halfaboy

post-125-0-11207600-1310311346.jpg

 

Adorable :Hug1:

 

Any info about her? Name, age?

 

I met her at the Le Myet Hna temple close the M-Rauk-U where she was doing restoration work with a colleague. Their job was to fill their ‘buckets’ with debris (using bare hands as there were no tools) and dump this refuse a few meters away from the temple.

 

Besides her charming appearance she had a very warm smile. Conversation was difficult as she did only speak limited English. Nevertheless, after some chit-chat and some pictures I made her and her colleague very happy with some $’s. Well spent, as it gave me a good feeling..

 

See pictures from their working site (which does not fit any regulation in the western world).

3e DSC_0203 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

3e DSC_0208 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

3e DSC_0204 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

3e DSC_0205 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

3e DSC_0207 Le-myet-hna Temple.jpg

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Dr John

Fantastic Photos, Halfaboy :001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5:

 

I may get to Yangon and Mandalay, but there is no chance I will get to Sittwe , etc

 

With your photos, a have some flavor of the place and it is delicious.....BTW the Arse on the Girl squatting is incredible :GoldenSmile1:

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Droplet

thank you, I really enjoyed the photos. Nice to see something so cultural.

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Highlander

A very good read, thanks for sharing

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Thaihot

Amazing pics & super work.

 

Top class in every way.

:001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5: :001_Thank_You5:

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Mr Good Morning

Agree with the rest here, wonderful pictures! Very interesting.

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keanu1324

Thx those authentic pics...

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Bobarx

Interesting report and some great pics. I would have thought that travel would have been very awkward in the country but it seems straight forward from your report

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Dazza1111

Really appreciate your contribution to the topic of Burma with this TR and other comments on other threads. I hope to get there in Feb, 2013 and your comments, and photos have been invaluable in helping my planning for this trip. Much appreciated.

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