Western Myanmar

Rakhine State

One of Myanmar’s significant archaeological sites, Mrauk U mesmerizes with over 700 temple ruins that rise gently from lush tropical hills.

The charm of the ruins is how alive they seem, tucked between misty streams, rolling countryside and pastoral villages. Farmers and goat shepherds accept the ruins as a part of the land, incorporating the crumbling temples among their vegetable gardens with ease. In the 15th century, Mrauk U was the capital of the ancient Arakanese Kingdom and greatly wealthy as a major trading port with Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Situated along the Bay of Bengal near Bangladesh, the Kingdoms the Arakanese have been on the crossroads of trading routes and different cultures from East and West since 200 AD. Subsequently, influences from the European countries, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia have greatly contributed to its flourishing civilizations. Two earthquakes, a conquest by the Burmese King Bodawpaya and benign disregard by British colonization however have left Mrauk U a quietly beautiful town.

Chin State

Bordering India and Bangladesh, Chin State is a mountainous and sparsely populated region of Myanmar. The state is made up of many tribes who speak different languages. Hakha, the state’s capital, only has a population of around 25,000 inhabitants.

Nat Ma Taung (Mt Victoria) at just over 3000m metres, is one of the most poplular destinations in Chin State. It’s a fairly easy hike to the summit for anyone with reasonable fitness. The mountain is situated in the middle of a national park which is a really good spot for bird watchers.