Mrauk U in February
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Dec 15, 2012 11:18 PM Last Post By: nextplease
Dec 14, 2012 9:41 PM
Mrauk U in FebruaryHi everyone
We have booked a Yangon-Sittwe-Thandwe-Yangon flight with Air Bagan end of February, with 3 nights at the Prince Hotel in Mrauk U and 3 nights at the Yoma Cherry Lodge in Ngapali Beach. This is our first trip to Myanmar.
I just received a mail from the travel agent saying access is still restricted to the Sittwe region and we might not be able to get in, and advising us to go to Bagan instead. Since the Sittwe-Thandwe part of the trip was booked without her she might have an interest in us changing plans (since she would then book our Bagan trip), so I thought I would check here before making a decision.
I really would much rather see Mrauk U, but I couldn't confirm the info either way online. According to the travel agent, info posted on official sites such as http://www.myanmartourism.org/gl/gl-info.htm or
http://myanmartravelsandtours.com/tourist-information.htm (which say "Package Tours and FITs are allowed to travel through inland route to Sittway, Mrauk Oo, Thandwe, Gwa and Taung Goke by plane motor vehicle and ship vessels") is not up-to-date - and I didn't get a reply to my direct mail to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
I read the trip report posted in November on http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1390118-i15878-k5758405-Sittwe_Mrauk_U-Mrauk_U_Rakhine_State.html , but the travel agent said she spoke to an officer from the Ministry of Tourism a couple of days ago and he said no, so I'm trying to access the latest info.
Problem is, all hotels are booking out fast so I'm not sure it's a good idea to wait until we get there to see what the situation is, we might need to book Bagan pretty soon if we do need to change plans.
Any advice or info on the situation?
Many thanks in advance!
Dec 14, 2012 10:20 PM
1The situation in The region is pretty bleak. Sectarian violence, Compassionate Buddhists hacking Muslims ,burning down villages and massive land grabs.
The Govt. probably would rather you not see the dismal Rohingya refugee camps.
Unless you're a journalist or on a fact checking mission for a help organization, wouldn't you find it in bad taste to visit a war torn region?
Regardless of what the political situation may be, Bagan is the more see worthy place in my opinion.
Dec 15, 2012 5:39 AM
Dec 15, 2012 3:08 PM
Dec 15, 2012 11:18 PM
4It seems the situation is quite changeable, Mrauk U got effectively closed to foreigners while I was there recently, see this thread
Bizarrely, Sittwe remained open, although the refugee camps are well out of town so there's not much risk of tourists seeing them.
Mrauk U could be open again by Feb, but I wouldn't go without a Plan B. If you go, do check if it's open before getting on the plane to Sittwe because it's not worth $220+ just to see Sittwe before being turned back.
Ngapali should be fine. I wonder if the plane wreck will still be at the airport in Feb, the 17th will be its 1st anniversary...
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