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Mrauk U, Myanmar’s second-most-famous archaeological site, is very different from Bagan. The temples – previously mistaken for forts due to their thick, bunker-like walls, built for protection from the fierce Rakhine winds – are smaller and newer and, unlike Bagan’s, predominantly made from stone, not brick. Mrauk U's temples, too, are dispersed throughout a still-inhabited and fecund landscape of small villages, rice paddies, rounded hillocks and grazing cows, whereas Bagan's temples stand in somewhat sterile isolation. Beyond its temples, Mrauk U remains a rough-and-ready riverside town surrounded by some beautiful countryside, where you'll find Chin villages and other significant archaeological and religious sites. Best of all, you’re likely to have the temples all to yourself: only about 5000 foreigners make it to Mrauk U annually. That will change if a long-delayed airport opens in the next few years, so get here before the rush.

Best time to visit

The dry season in Myanmar runs from November to May and this is widely believed to be the best time to go to Mrauk U. November and December in particular are a good pick as the weather is dry but not too hot. The rainy season lasts from June to October and it can rain every day although you can expect sudden downpours as opposed to hours of drizzle. That said, it can make for a rather unpleasant experience, although the air is clean and fresh as the rains wash away much of the dust that tends to plague Myanmar.

Check the below table for the general idea of Mrauk U weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 24.1 17.9 9.9
Feb 26.7 20.2 10.5
Mar 28.7 22.9 14.5
Apr 29.8 24.2 17.1
May 27.7 23.2 18.1
Jun 25.5 22.2 18.7
Jul 24.3 21.4 18.4
Aug 24.1 21.2 18.4
Sep 25.3 21.7 18.1
Oct 25.3 21.1 16.4
Nov 25.6 20.4 14.1
Dec 23.8 18.1 10.9

Mrauk U’s current weather and 7-day forecast


Mrauk U is one of the most historically and culturally important places in Myanmar as it would have been the capital of the Arakanese Kingdom which came to power in 1431. This impressive kingdom would have reached into parts of Bangladesh and was the seat of power for the Bengal and Mughal royal families.

At that time lavish pagodas and palaces were erected all over Mrauk U and many of these testaments to the might of the royals still stand to this day.

If you love ancient archaeology, or just want to know more about the history of Myanmar, then this is a great place to come and you can also visit the surrounding villages at the same time which are the home of the ethnic Chin people.

Here are the best things to do in Mrauk U:

1. Learn some history at the Royal Palace and Archaeology Museum

Unfortunately you can’t see the original Royal Palace in Mrauk U as all that is left is the walls which are now slowly falling down.

On the grounds however you can visit the Archaeology Museum which has a collection of antiques that were rescued from all over Mrauk U. As you walk around you will find a number of statues of the Buddha and other items like ancient coins.

Also make sure to look out for the stones which have carved inscriptions and the paintings of Mrauk U which depict it in its former glory.

2. Admire Pitaka Taik

Pitaka Taik is known for being one of the seven famous libraries of Mrauk U, which would have numbered forty-eight in the days of old.

This library building dates from the 16th century when it was built by King Minphalang and used to house the Tripitaka which is a famous Buddhist tome which would have come from Sri Lanka originally.

This is a very small building and is only 13 feet by 9 feet but it is worth a visit to learn more about the different kinds of buildings that make up the lost city of Mrauk U.

3. Visit Kothaung Paya

Kothaung Paya is billed as one of the top places to visit in Mrauk U and is also the biggest temple in the region.
It is said to have been built in 1553 by King Mintaikkha and was supposed to be a rival for Shittaung Paya.

This temple would once have lain in ruins before it was reconstructed in the 1990s and the renovation project is a little rushed in places, but you can still get a good idea of how it would have been in the days of old.

Make sure you stop and check out the large stupas on the outside which are shaped like bells as well as the 90,000 Buddha images that are etched along the passageways.

4. Explore the Chin Villages

If you want to take a day trip from Mrauk U then you can visit the Chin Villages.

Many of these villages lie on the scenic Lemro River and the easiest way to visit them is as part of an organized tour.

The villages are famous for being ‘garden villages’ as they are covered in pretty plants and flowers and many visitors say that they are the highlight of a trip to Mrauk U. Note however that you are not allowed to stay overnight in the villages and will need to make your way back to Mrauk U in the evening.

5. Visit Wethali

Wethali is a quaint little village outside Mrauk U although it used to be the capital of the majestic Arakan Kingdom.

You won’t find any temples here anymore as they have all crumbled gracefully but people come here to check out the temple mounds and it is said that there are a number of temples buried underneath these.

Another great reason to visit is to admire the Great Image of Hsu Taung Pre which is actually a huge statue carved from a single piece of stone.

One of the nicest ways to get to the village is to rent a bike and cycle there which takes around 2 hours.

6. Visit Mahabodhi Shwegu

Mahabodhi Shwegu is a small temple that many visitors miss on a trip to Mrauk U. There is good reason to visit however as you can take in the bas reliefs which tell the story of the Buddhist legends of heaven, hell and earth.

There is also a large Buddha image here which is 6 feet tall and if you look closely you will also find some interesting stone carvings which feature a number of erotic scenes which are a rather unexpected sight.

7. Explore Mahamuni Paya

Mahamuni Paya is located some 40 kilometers away from Mrauk U and is made up of a pagoda which also has a small museum attached.

This will tell you the history of the shrine although most of the antiques that would have been housed here have been moved on to Mandalay.

If you are visiting Wethali Village then you can also swing by Mahamuni Paya at the same time as they are located on the same road.

8. Check out Dukkanthien Paya

Dukkanthien Paya dates from the 16th century when it was constructed under King Minphalaung.

To access the temple you need to head up some stone steps which will take you inside and the interior is covered in the usual stone carvings of the Buddha as well as scenes of daily life in Myanmar.

There are also a number of wide passageways here which make a nice place to stroll around in search of the large central stone Buddha image which basks in the afternoon sun.

9. Walk around the L’Amitie Art Gallery

Anyone interested in the local artwork should head to this quaint gallery which has some of the best artwork in town and depicts Mrauk U and the surrounding countryside.

As you peruse the galleries you will be able to see Mrauk U as it would have looked in days gone by and there are also paintings dedicated to the famous Chin Villages.

The gallery also sells pieces of art to visitors so you can also buy a souvenir of your time in Mrauk U if you see something that catches your eye.

10. Explore Shittaung Paya

Shittaung Shrine is known for its Buddha images and was built during the time of King Minbin in the 16th century.

This is also one of the best preserved and the prettiest temples in the region which is covered in twenty six large stupas as well as two storeys of courtyards.

There are said to be some 80,000 different figures and images on display here which is why many make the trip to see the temple.

Certainly this is one of the grandest temples in Mrauk U so if you are short of time then this is one building that you definitely don’t want to miss.

11. Admire Sanda Muhni Phara Gri Taung Taik

This monastery has a rather long name, but it is actually a reference to Sanda Muhni which is a statue of the Buddha which was made of metal and then bizarrely covered in concrete.

The Buddha image stands at a height of some 4 feet and people say that concrete was poured over the structure to guard it from being stolen in the British colonial period.

It was only rediscovered in the 1980s when one of the eyes fell off the Buddha and the metal statue was glimpsed through the concrete.

12. Check out the Ratanabon Paya

Ratanabon Paya is a large stupa which is surrounded by some 24 smaller stupas and this would have been built during the time of Queen Shin Htway in the 17th century.

This would have been one of the grandest temples in the area, but unfortunately this made it the target of thieves in later years and it was also bombed during the Second World War.

Nowadays however it has been restored and some elements of the temple have been added such as a large central spire.

13. Explore Pharaouk Paya

Pharaouk Paya is a temple set on a scenic hill which makes it a good spot to visit if you want to check out some of the views over Mrauk U. One of the signature highlights of the temple is the twenty nine Buddha statues and you can explore the temple and try to count every single one of them as you walk around.

The statues are said to be a reference to the twenty nine scenic townships that made up Mrauk U in the days of old.

14. Take a ferry ride

As Mrauk U is located on the water, one of the best things to do here is take a scenic ferry ride along its main waterway.

One of the main trips that many people take here is from Mrauk U to Sittwe which takes around five hours, although this route is sometimes closed depending on what is going on in the region at the time.

Rakhine State has seen some issues in recent years caused by tensions between the local communities, so you need to monitor the situation the ground if you want to travel to Sittwe.

Around Myanmar generally boat routes are likely to close at short notice so if you do want to book a trip then make sure to only do so when you are on the ground in Mrauk U to avoid disappointment.

15. Visit Andaw Paya

Andaw Paya is an unusual temple that has eight sides and sixteen different stupas or zedis.

There are a number of ornate passageways here that lead you past niches which contain Buddha images, and the reason to come here is to check out the unusual layout and construction of the temple which also has a sanctuary topped with several delightful spires.

16. Try the Rakhine cuisine

Mrauk U is part of Rakhine State and as such is known for its delicious Rakhine curries.

Many of the dishes that you will find here are also made from crisp local vegetables, so if you are a vegetarian then you will find that you have a lot of choice.

Some dishes to make sure not to miss include local delicacies like tamarind flowers.

17. Visit Sakyamanaung Paya

Just behind Shwegudaung Hill is the Sakyamanaung Paya which is said to date from the 17th century.

There is a central stupa here which is built to resemble and octagon and you will also find large bells which are covered in what look like umbrellas.

Another reason to come here is to check out the figures of giants who are said to guard the west gate into the temple.

18. Check out Peisi Daung Paya

Peisi Daung Paya lies on the top of a scenic hill and, amazingly, it is said to predate Mrauk U itself.

This is not a restored temple so you will need to walk through some vegetation to access it, but it is also more than worth it as you can check out four large Buddha images which are carved from sandstone but which have mesmerizing eyes made from marble.

Aside from the temple itself, this is also a great place to come if you want to enjoy the views from the hilltop over Mrauk U.

19. Visit Laungbanpyauk Paya

Laungbanpyauk Paya in Mrauk U is interesting as it has an octagonal shape and a stupa which tilts slightly to one side.

This temple is thought to date from 1525 when it would have been built under the watch of King Minkhaungraza.

One of the main elements that make this temple unusual is the fact that it features an outside wall which is covered in glazed tiles look more like Islamic art than the traditional Buddhist images.

20. Take a ride in a horse and cart

If you want to visit a number of temples in Mrauk U in one day then you will need to arrange some form of transportation.

One of the most traditional ways to get around in this area is to take a horse and cart, and this is very similar to the horse and cart rides that are available in Bagan.

There are a number of drivers who you can hire for the day and some will take you to the prettiest temples in the area if you ask them to give you a guided tour, or you can set your own itinerary.

21. Take in some history at Laymyetnha Paya

If you want to say that you have visited the oldest temple that was built during the Mrauk U era then you need to head to Laymyetnha Paya.

This temple is said to closely resemble Dukkanthein Paya but actually it predates it by 140 years.

It is not the grandest temple in the area but it is worth a visit if you want to see the most antique temple in this region.

22. Check out Laksaykan Gate

Laksaykan Gate is a large, pretty gate that is south of the former palace in Mrauk U. The reason to check out the gate is that it takes you down a path to the limpid Laksaykan Lake which stretches for some 100 acres and is one of the prettiest natural attractions in all of Mrauk U. If possible try to visit the gate and lake at sunset when the colors over the water are simply stunning.

Mrauk U does have a number of comfortable staying options, a few even bordering on luxury.

Here are our suggestions:

Budget options

Happy Garden

Add: Min Bae Gyi St (just west of Kan Hla Lake)

Budget: From 15,000 kyat

5 decent bungalows including breakfast. 

Lay Myoe River Guest House

Add: Min Bae Gyi St (Next to For You restaurant)

Budget: Single from 6,000 kyat

Highly recommended on Tripadvisor. Good value for money. Friendly staff. 

Kyaw Soe Guest House 

Add: Min Bae Gyi St south on the left side right before the bridge)

Budget: 8-14,000 kyat double with bathroom

You have to take your shoes of at the entrance, hence it should be clean inside. Very nice staff and including breakfast. Cold showers only. 

Pleasant Island Guest House

Add: on a tiny island near Royal City

Shower, WC. Bungalows, simple and close to the market. 

Mid-range options

Prince Hotel

Add: No. (536) Yangon-Sittwe Road, Mraund Bwe Rd, Alzee Quarter (on the eastern way out of the city)

Budget: US$28-39. 

Bungalow-style rooms a bit away from the city (an easy bike ride). 

Royal City Guest House & Bungalows

Add: Mini Ba Gyi Rd (around the corner from the Sittwe jetty).

Budget: US$10/35/40 (sgl/dbl/bungalow).  

Simple rooms, some with attached bath. Two bungalows (concrete rooms) across the street. Friendly and helpful but, as it is on the main path to the jetty, it can be very noisy. No generator. 

Mrauk U Palace Resort & Restaurant 

Add: Next to Alodawpyi Monastery

Budget: 30,000/35,000 kyat (sgl/dbl). 

AC, breakfast, WiFi, warm water. Probably cheaper if you ask or book via email. 

Mrauk U Hotel

Add: Yangon-Sittwe Rd, Nyaungpinzay Qtr (Opposite Narawath Hotel)

Budget: US$50-100. 

Air-con, shower, WC, TV, fridge; very large rooms; large garden; well equipped. Former government-hotel. The hotel is now run by private company, Azura Hotels Group. 

Vesali Resort Hotel

Add: Near the Shwetaung hill, on the eastern way out of the city

Budget: US$35-45. 

Rooms are bungalow-type. Includes breakfast; good food. 

Shwe Thazin Hotel

Add: Near the intersection of main road and u Ottama street

Budget: ~US$25 and upwards for locals.

AC, hot and cold shower, TV, fridge, large rooms, well decorated. They provide pretty good breakfast. Rooms can be apartment or bungalow. 

Splurge options

Mrauk U Princess Resort

Add: Mrauk U, Aung Tat Yat (At the southwestern end of the city)

Budget: US$190-240

This is the top place on Tripadvisor, but is not the cheapest but the opposite.

Just walk around in the area of the guesthouses and near the market, and you will see many options. Also, many of the more price intensive hotels have their restaurants open to non-guests, with the to expect cleanness standards.

Mo Cherry Restaurant 

Add: Follow the Yangon Sittwe Rd by the Narawat Hotel and Mrauk U Hotel east to the crossing, then turn right. After a few metres you see the restaurant on the left side

Offers good Chinese and semi-authentic Rakhine food. The food is good and less risky than the places in the market but, if you have the time explore other restaurants, often unnamed, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Shwe Moe Restaurant

Add: near the Mrauk U post office on the main road. 

Local rice and curry are available starting from 1000 kyat and upwards. 

For You

Add: Min Bae Gyi St (On the way to Happy Garden on the left side)

Highly recommended, offers a wide range of dishes. 

Pyae Wa Restaurant

Add: Min Bae Gyi St (West of the market)

Authentic Rakhine food. The cashew chicken and butterfish is good.

Getting to Mrauk U

By Air

From Yangon there are daily flights to Sittway the capital of Rakhine State.

From Sittway to Mrauk-U you can take a boat on the Kaladan River and then go into some of its tributary streams. Mrauk-U, on Thinghanadi creek is only 45 miles from Sittway and the sea coast. It is a very pleasant river journey. 

Contact us for the latest flight schedule and price. Or you can check via some online platform such as or

Here you can find some tips to book the cheapest flight

By Express Bus

You can travel by Express Buses from Hlaing Thar Yar or Aung Mingalar Bus Stands. There are many buses going to and from Rakhine State. The followings are some useful routes.

(1) Yangon - Sittwe

From Yangon, one can take Yoma Zarni, Yoma Swaninn, Toe Yadanar, King Star Express buses to Sittwe. By travelling through the Ann Valley, one can get down at Mrauk U on the way to Sittwe.

(2) Yangon - Taung Goat

From Yangon, one can take Ann Yoma, Yoma Thitsar, Thukhitar, Ye Aunglan, Toe Yadanar, Dwarawaddy, Man Thitsar, Kyan Taing Aung, Aung Thitsar, Anauk Yoma, Yoma Zarni from the express gate. Going through the Yangon - Taung Goat road, one can drop by Mrauk U on the way.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

By Ship

(1) Yangon - Sittwe

From Yangon one can take the five star cruises named as MV Harkhar, MV Myitkyinar and MV Taunggyi to Sittwe. Then from Sittwe, one can rent a car or take a bus to Mrauk U.

(2) Taung Goat - Sittwe

If one travels to Taung Goat and then back to Mrauk U, you will have to take a cruise to Taung Goat from Sittwe. You can find ferries from Inn Pauk Wa Company, Maykha Maylikha express cruises and other local and private ferry boats to Sittwe. From Sittwe, one can rent a car or take a bus to Mrauk U.

(3) Sittwe - Mrauk U

There are daily cruises from Sittwe to Mrauk U. Transported by Malikha Express, and other private boats.

Note: Please note that the schedules and the ferries may change and be replaced with others due to weather changes.

By Car

You can hire a car from Yangon to Mrauk-U through your travel agent's preparations.

Get around

In Mrauk U you can either walk, rent a bicycle (available from most hotels), hire a trishaw or hire a horse cart. Beware that Hotels & Guesthouses charge very high commission for chin village tours, trips, bus tickets and rickshaw hire. You can get cheaper prices at the agent in town, or at low budget hostels, but always ask the hotel price first, so you have something to compare with.




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Ngapali Beach

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