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Photographer's Note

Mrauk U is located between the Kaladan and Lay Myo rivers in Rakhine state in the Western part of Burma, near the Bay of Bengal. The journey to Mrauk U is an adventure and attraction in itself. The only way to get there is a combination of flight and river boat.

The first leg of the trip is a domestic flight to Sittwe, a town on the Bay of Bengal. Several Burmese airlines offer flights.

The second leg is a pleasant boat trip from Sittwe to Mrauk on the Kaladan river and tributary streams, a distance of about 65 kilometers. The large public ferry takes about 7 to 8 hours. Along the way it stops regularly to take more people on board. The fare is 10,000 Kyat or about US$ 12 one way. A little faster is a small private boat. Prices range between US$ 80 and 150 for a round trip.
Sometimes, the Rakhine area has been the scene of unrest and the area has been temporarily closed to foreign visitors. Before travelling to the area, make sure there are no travel restrictions.

So why all this effort to get there, you can ask.

Mrauk U is a small town where the centuries old monuments form the backdrop for every day life of local people. Goat herders tend to their animals, farmers work their fields and women fetch water from the wells between the ancient temples and pagodas. Often the area is foggy, especially during the early morning hours, which creates a mystical atmosphere.

Centered around the town of Mrauk U is the Mrauk U archeological zone, an area of 7 km2 where hundreds of temples and pagodas were built between the 15th and 18th century. The capital of the Kingdom was protected by 35 kilometer long walls and moats; at the center of the city was the Royal Palace. While practically nothing remains of the palace, some remnants of the walls and city gates can still be seen today.

Impressive bunker like temples like the Htukkanthein and the Shite-Thaung built from stone and brick and surrounded by thick solid walls were constructed. As these temples were often built on top of hills, allowing people good views of the surrounding area and possible approaching enemies, they probably served as places of refuge during times of war.

Here the view of one of many temples. (If you will be interested, the other ones will follow). You can see a well. The photos of the woman taking water from the well in WS.
I have checked in Tripadvisor - there are 5 (five) hotels or guesthouses. Compare it with Hoi An, fo instance.



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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11822 W: 126 N: 30058] (140982)
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