Sittwe is the capital of Rakhine State, Myanmar. Sittwe, pronounced site-tway in the Rakhine language, is located on an estuarial island created at the confluence of the Kaladan, Mayu, and Lay Mro rivers emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
On the northern coast near the Bangladesh border, Sittwe is a gateway to the rich multicultural heritage of the Rakhine State. Originally built by the British in 1826, the town’s most popular sites include the Payagyi Pagoda, the Rakhine State Cultural Museum, Payamya Monastery and the riverfront market. It’s the best place to buy Arakanese longyis (long skirt-like clothes for both sexes). Explore the fishing villages by boat along the Kalatan River to see the rural ways of life.
The ruins of Mrauk-U are located up the Kaladan River, about 80 km north of Sittwe, the present day capital of Rakhine State. It was an ancient capital founded by Rakhine King Minzawmun in 1433. Unlike the temples of Bagan, Mrauk-U’s ruins are constructed with stone rather than the traditional bricks in a truly unique style.
For centuries, Mrauk U, the royal capital of Rakhine (Arakan), prospered on international trade and readily took in people and ideas from across the Asian continent and beyond, a flourishing civilization with the most cosmopolitan court in modern Myanmar history. At its height in the mid-16th to mid-17th centuries, Mrauk U drew its wealth from the coastal trade with its neighboring countries. Its planning, architecture and sculpture were influenced by developments from beyond its shores. From the early centuries of the present era, Mrauk U was ruled by Rakhine (Arakanese) kings who adopted Rakhine, Pali and Indian titles and traditions to suit their own environment. Indian Brahmins conducted the royal ceremonial, Buddhist monks spread their teachings, traders came and went and artists and architects used Indian models for inspiration.
Chin Village is a medium-sized town located on the cliffs of the Earth Kingdom's southwestern coast. It played host to the unique Avatar Day festival, a festival in retribution for Avatar Kyoshi's alleged murder of their leader, Chin the Great. Explore the “laythu”, tattoo Chin Tribe villages, and Khami tribe villages reached by river boat from Mrauk U. This is a remote destination for the true explorer.
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