Mrauk Oo

Rakhine State

In my opinion few sites can compare to witnessing a sunset and or a sun rise in Mrauk Oo. Unlike Bagan, there are numerous villages of small thatched houses all over the archeological site, lending it a lived in and timeless feel. Shepherds lead their flocks to water. Women toil in the paddy fields. Young girls gossip and giggle at the well. Men water their vegetables and small children run around waving and shouting ‘bye-bye’. Pagodas and shrines sit atop and below perfectly rounded hillocks covered in vegetation. Smoke from cooking fires twists in the gentle night breeze before dispersing into the evening sky enveloping the scene in a misty haze reminiscent of ancient times. You can not but fail to adore this untouched jewel that is the quintessential rural Myanmar.

One can also take a day trip up the Lemro river into the Chin hills to visit several ethnic Chin villages. Not only is this a stunning boat ride up a remote river, but you will also be able to see ladies with spiders-web tattooed over their faces, a tradition that the young Chins are no longer doing!