Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MYANMAR-MRAUK U: ARRIVAL SITTWE, BOAT JOURNEY, SHWE THAZIN HOTEL-MARCH 4, 2014


March 4, 2014

     Our final breakfast here.  I decide to take some danish and a slice of banana bread for the boat journey to MRAUK U.  As we finish breakfast we notice the billiards and dart room.  We missed that.  We have time because our flight is later so we play a game of pool/billiards.  I am terrible and my husband beats me with hardly any effort.  We throw a few darts and I stink at that too.   Then it's time to haul our bags to reception for check out.  I take some last minute pictures of the hotel.  Richard can't find his KEENS.  We look all over but no luck.  Then I remembered that the day we arrived.  We sat on the beach waiting for our room to be ready.  Where we sat was not in front of our room.  He heads back to where I told him we were and sure enough, there they were where he left them under a tree.  It's amazing they were still there.  Lucky for him as he'll need them for our day with the elephants in Thailand.  Patrick is there to wish us well on our continuing journey and hopes we come back to the resort soon.  I tell him we loved it here and that I will be posting a review on TA. (I will post reviews of every place we stayed and where we had dinner on TA.  So far I've only done Siem Reap and Battambang in Cambodia but I will get them all done to help other travelers as prior ones had helped me in many of my trip choices)  We settle our bill-2 nights of dinners, laundry, snorkel trip, kayak, spa massage-$161.





     We load up in the hotel van and we are off to the airport.  Staff from the hotel brings our luggage in to the check in counter and helps with immigration.  Our flight this time is with AIR MANDALAY 6T- 605 departing at 12:25 pm.   No seat assignment and we're bummed that we are not able to sit together. The plane is packed.  The flight attendants hand out drinks and hard candy.  We arrive in SITTWE on time at 1:15 pm.  This plane is continuing on to Yangon so not many of us get off.  Our guide U Than Lwin is there with a sign with our names.  He takes our passports over to immigration where in a big ledger our passport info, where we're staying, how long, etc. is marked down.  We have a driver waiting for us so after claimed our bags, put them in the car, we head to the jetty where we will board our boat to MRAUK U.






     SITTWE is the capital of the Rakhine Stae.  It's located at the joining of the Kaladan, Mayu, and Lay Mo rivers emptying into the Bay of Bengal.  The name SITTWE means where the war meets.  This is the place where the Burmese King Bodawpaya invaded the Mrauk U kingdom in 1784.  The Burmese  force defeated the outnumbered Rakhine defenders.  SITTWE  originally was a small fishing village.  Plans are under way to develop the port.  SITTWE also has the reputation of being the birthplace of political monks.  This may be one of the reasons why this area has so often been off limits to tourists.

     On the way I ask to stop at a store to get a few things because I'm not sure if there will be stores in MU that carry what I need.  Ok.  All kidding aside-I buy cookies, nuts, candy bars, and a bottle of Grand Royal Special Reserve whiskey for my brother-in-law.  Real necessities.  We get to the jetty and I see this huge boat.  Oh, it's not ours.  We have to walk through this boat to get to ours.  My husband says our boat is around 50' long by 15' wide.  Not too bad.  There's a western style toilet with TP.  That's good.  There's an open upper area where you can sit if you want.  The main deck which has open side areas also has a good size table and several chairs with cushions and blankets.  On the table is a bowl of fruit and some bottles of water.    Also items to make coffee and/or tea.    By the time we settle in our chairs the boat is leaving SITTWE, heading to MRAUK U.   Lots of boats here and the town of SITTWE is quite busy.  Part of me wishes I had time to fully explore this town but then i think about how I want to get to MRAUK U.



Sittwe



Store where we stopped








   












     On our journey we see lots of life on the river.  Fishing, villages, people, houses, small boats, etc.  It's quite enjoyable and relaxing.  I take lots of pictures, write in my journal, try to finish reading my book.  I share the cookies I bought with everyone and they were good.  The danishes, the banana bread disappear.  I have some tea, DH opts for coffee.  Soon it is pitch dark and I'm getting concerned about how the heck can the guy motoring the boat know where we're going?  We see some lights ahead and we've arrived.  It's 9:30 pm.  So this took about 6-7 hrs.










Trying to finish my book



















Add caption

Steering the boat


Our guide U Than

Boat crew

Arrival to Mrauk U
     A driver with a Jeep is here for us.  We get to our hotel but I'm so beat I don't notice, nor can I see well in the dark, our surroundings.  We check in, are taken to Room #201 but told that tomorrow we will be moved to Room #206.  I don't ask why as I just wnt to retire for the night.  Our guide, U Than will pick us up tomorrow at 8:00 am to begin our sightseeing.  Our room is very large.  The beds and pillows comfy.  Bathroom area has a tub.  I'm happy with this room but we'll see how the other room is.
   
Beautiful door to our room






Bathroom


1 comment:

  1. Dear Chis
    Thanks for you sharing. I'm also planing to Myanmar next time. And Mrauk U is one place I want to come. So, could you please inform me some informaion about transport to Mrauk U.
    1. How can I hire private boat to go to Mrauk U after come Sittwe by air. I want to go to Mrauk U in one day like you.
    2. Could I save cost by take public boat to Mrauk U. Have public boat at afternoon ?
    Thanks you very much.

    ReplyDelete