There isn’t too much information out there about Mrauk U it is a bit off of the beaten path and complex to get there. It can be hard to find the exact answer to a specific and straight forward question you may have about Mrauk U, so here are some frequently asked questions that I had before I went and that I have heard people ask. Even a question that seems obvious once you get there can feel like a struggle to find the answer for before you leave. So I hope these will make it easier to plan your trip.
Scroll down for answers to these questions and more…
• How to pronounce Mrauk U?
• How to get to Mrauk U?
• How long to spend in Mrauk U?
• Where is Mrauk U?
• Should I go to Mrauk U or Inle Lake?
• Mrauk U vs Bagan?
• Is there a flight from Mrauk U to Yangon?
• What to see in Mrauk U?
• Is Mrauk U open to tourists?
• Mrauk U to Magwe?
• Mrauk U to Mandalay / Mandalay to Mrauk U?
• How to get from Mrauk U to Sittwe?
• Mrauk U to Yangon / Yangon to Mrauk U?
• Mrauk U to Ngapali Beach?
• How to find Mrauk U tours and guide
• How is Mrauk U Palace Hotel/Resort?
• Must see Pagodas and Temples in Mrauk U
• What is the Mrauk U Kingdom?
• How is Mrauk U weather?
• Mrauk U best hotels?
How to pronounce Mrauk U?
Mrauk U is pronounced Meow-eww
How to get Mrauk U?
There are buses servicing Mrauk U from the big cities, Yangon and Mandalay. This is the ‘easiest’ and safest route although not overly comfortable. You can also get to Mrauk U from Sittwe with a boat however going to this area is not recommended.
You can also take a bus to/from Bagan to Mrauk U.
How long to spend in Mrauk U?
Whichever way you come it will have been a long journey to get there, so best to allow yourself at least a few days in Mrauk U, 4 days is enough to see most of the major attractions and get a feel for the place.
Where is Mrauk U?
Mrauk is in the Rakhine State in western Myanmar.
Should I go to Mrauk U or Inle Lake?
They are very different and are almost opposite from each other and should not be compared. Inle Lake is far easier to get to, way more touristy and most of the life is happening on the water. Mrauk U on the other hand feels very remote and in the middle of nowhere, the main attractions are the local life of the village, temples, views and history. It depends on what you would prefer to see and experience with your time in Myanmar.
Mrauk U or Bagan?
The Mrauk U vs Bagan debate still reigns strong with Mrauk U often being compared to Bagan and even earning the nickname ’little bagan’ however in my opinion, they are in fact quite different. Yes they were both central places of the Myanmar Kingdom and are full of old pagodas and Temples, but there are differences. You don’t get the sprawling Pagoda fields in Mrauk U like you do in Bagan (Bagan is very flat, whereas Mrauk U has many hills), whereas you don’t get the rawness and remote feeling in Bagan that you do in Mrauk U.
Is there a flight from Mrauk U to Yangon?
The nearest airport is in Sittwe, which is a boat-ride away, there is no airport in Mrauk U so if you want a flight to Yangon you will first need to get to Sittwe.
What to see in Mrauk U?
Plenty of pretty scenery, temples, local life and epic sunrises. You can check out this post about top places to see in Mrauk U for more info.
Is Mrauk U open to tourists?
Yes it is open to tourists with guesthouses and guides waiting for your custom. However don’t expect the likes of Bagan or Inle Lake, you won’t find western food or many English speaking people here.
Mrauk U to Magwe
Magwe is a small town located on the Irrawaddy river in between Bagan and Yangon. Back in time when there was no direct bus between Mandalay or Bagan and Mrauk U you would have to have a stopover in Magwe to change buses. But now you just pass through, maybe have a toilet stop or a security check there.
If you still want to go there, there is a bus.
Mrauk U to Mandalay / Mandalay to Mrauk U
I wrote all about that bus ride here. It was not so bad, take food and don’t be late for the bus.
How to get from Mrauk U to Sittwe
You can take a boat to Sittwe, it takes a couple of hours. However be aware there is still some violence in Sittwe and it is not that safe.
The beach is a great idea and exactly where we wanted to go from Mrauk U for some calm. However, we choose not to go to Ngapali beach because although on the map it looks very close by, it is not so simple to get there.
You must first take a boat or bus to Sittwe and from there you have the choice of a slowboat or speedboat to a city called Toungup. From there it’s a 4/5 hour bus ride to Thandwe, which is the gateway to Ngaplai (the airport is also there) and from there it’s a 15 minute local bus to the beach. Not easy.
An alternative beach option is Ngwe Saung, which is a 24hour (ish) bus ride to Yangon followed by another 6 hour bus.
Mrauk u tours
There is some infrastructure of tour guides around Mrauk U, however being off the beaten path you will have to go in search for them. Ask at your guesthouse and also at other guesthouses. I highly recommend this guy, he was fantastic.
Mrauk U Palace Hotel/Resort
Couldn’t find it at first as it’s just outside the centre, but found Shwe Thazin hotel and it was lovely and even had a generator for 24 hour electricity, wish we had the budget to stay there but we were on the cheap cheap and didn’t want to spend the extra $20 a night.
mrauk u hotels
Most of the budget places are cookie cutter damp guesthouses, pay a little bit more for somewhere nicer, you can read here about where we stayed.
Mrauk U Pagodas and Temples
Mrauk U is adorned with temples and pagodas, there’s loads of them, everywhere! Here is the list I made of recommended ones to see:
Shwetaung Paya (epic sunrise!)
U-Mrawa and Haridaung
What is the Mrauk U Kingdom?
Mrauk U was once the capital of The Myanmar Kingdom, that’s why there are so many temples and Pagodas. It is stopped in lots of history, the best way to discover all the stories is to hire a bicycle and a guide to take you around for the day.
mrauk u weather
The weather is Western Myanmar and hence the weather in Mrauk U is similar to the rest of the country with a wet and dry season.