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The interchangeable terms Rakhine (sometimes spelled Rakhaing) and Arakan refer to the people, the state and dialect of Myanmar's westernmost state: home to the remarkable temples of ancient capital Mrauk U in the north, and the palm-tree-fringed beach resort of Ngapali in the south.

Isolated from the Burmese heartland by mountains, home to a long coastline and the seat of at least four former kingdoms, Rakhine feels very different from the rest of Myanmar and the Rakhine remain staunchly proud of their unique identity.

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 Rakhine. 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 Rakhine weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 28.7 22.4 14.7
Feb 30.5 24.3 15.7
Mar 32.1 27.2 19.7
Apr 33.4 29.7 23.8
May 32.9 29.9 25
Jun 30.7 28.3 25
Jul 29.6 27.4 23.9
Aug 29.7 27.6 23.6
Sep 30.5 28.1 23.1
Oct 31.8 28.5 22.7
Nov 31.6 26.8 19.3
Dec 29.3 23.6 16.1

Rakhine’s current weather and 7-day forecast


Amazing beaches and islands

Rakhine State has a long coastline along the Bay of Bengal and hence is home to some of the best beaches of Myanmar. The most notable among them is Ngapali Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. With turquoise blue water and white soft sand, this beach is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Lined with palm trees all along the coastline, Ngapali beach is still untouched and uncrowned, making it tourists’ favorite. Kanthaya Beach is a peaceful and quiet beach in Myanmar, located about 100 km off Ngapali Beach. Tourists can enjoy the beauty of unspoilt nature here. Tourists visiting Rakhine State can also visit Cheduba Island, an island mostly inhabited by the Arakanese and Burmese people. It is one of the early discovered places in Myanmar. Another island to visit is Myingun Island, located 5 kilometers to the south of Sittwe. It is separated from the continental shore by a 2 km wide strait.

Beautiful pagodas

The beautiful hilly landscape of the Rakhine State is home to a number of pagodas and temples. The most notable among them is Mrauk U, an archaeological site in Western Burma. Mrauk U is a small town with innumerable century old monuments. The archaeological zone covers an area of 7 and houses pagodas and temples built between 15th to 18th century and the ruins of a royal palace. Koethaung Pagoda is the largest temple in Mrauk U which was built by King Dikkha between 1554 and 1556. One of the most prominent monuments here is the Shaitthaung Temple, also known as Temple of 80,000 Buddha images or the Temple of Victory. Another notable temple of Mrauk U is Le-myet-hna Temple, located at the northwest corner of Shite-thaung Temple. It has four entrances with eight seated Buddha statues.

Rich cultural heritage

Rakhine offers a comprehensive glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Myanmar. Sittwe is the capital of Rakhine state. It is a beautiful city located at the estuarial land created at the confluence of Kaladan, Mayu and Lay Mro rivers. Sittwe has a viewpoint from where one can catch an incredible view of the Bay of Bengal and the mouth of the Kaladan River. Sittwe has a number of pagodas and temples of importance. The Shwezedi Monastery is hundred-year old monastery with an amazing architecture. Sittwe Pharagri is another monastery of importance, which is sometimes considered as the focal point of Sittwe’s Buddhist environment. The Lawkananda Pagoda is the largest Buddhist temple in Sittwe. Rakhine is home to the Rakhine or Arakanese people, one of the major ethnic groups of Myanmar. They constitute around 5% of Myanmar’s population. They are primarily Theravada Buddhists and follow a culture similar to the general Burmese culture.

Rakhine food is spicier than other cuisines in Myanmar. With Rakhine State's long coastline, fish curries and soups are very popular. Ngapali has by far the best range of restaurants, and is the only place where you'll find Western food. Eating options in Sittwe and Mrauk U are limited.




Inle Lake
Inle Lake

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Mergui Archipelago

Ngapali Beach
Ngapali Beach

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