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Sittwe Mrauk U

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The Netherlands
posts: 7
reviews: 28
Sittwe Mrauk U

We got a message from our travel agency our trip Yangon-Sittwe-Mrauk U-Sittwe-Yangon can't be performed.

(forbidden area by the ministry?)

Does anyone know more on this?

Does anyone have a suggestion what to do instead

leaving from Yangon sunday 4-nov '12 until back in Yangon

thursday 8 nov.'12.

We're definitely not interested in the Golden Rock thing.

Thanks in advance

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
posts: 14,822
reviews: 85
31. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

Thanks for the information, Phil. It only confirms what I have suspected all along.

Bottom line seems to be the Ministry of Tourism (aka the government) doesn't want us there, but there ARE flights and hotel rooms available. Tour groups are being told that they "can't go" to the area, but for independent travelers it is easy enough to book a flight ticket. I'll be there in a few weeks, looking forward to it! :-)

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
posts: 14,822
reviews: 85
32. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U


They will accept dollars.

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
posts: 14,822
reviews: 85
33. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U


When are you gong? I want to send you a private message but your messaging function has been turned off!

San Francisco...
posts: 9
reviews: 8
34. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

Maneki-neko - I'm hoping to go December 31 - January 4. Just turned my messaging function back on.

I may need to find another agent to book flights, depending on how my current one (Exotissimo) reacts when I insist that they don't change my reservation!

posts: 1
35. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

In Burma currently and in last 24 hours appears might be some doubt on whether travel possible - one tourist turned away at jetty yesterday. Seems to be confusion among those in Sittwe and Mrauk Oo at moment too.

Aiming to fly to Sittwe tomorrow so any up to minute news welcome ! Worried too if flights being cancelled as must make flight back on Friday to get plane back to UK.

Is it really only Air Mandalay who are flying to Sittwe?

Chiang Mai, Thailand
posts: 120
reviews: 90
36. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

Air Mandalay, Air Bagan fly daily far as I know, and Myanma Airways fly frequently but not sure if daily.

Who turned the tourist away at the jetty and who was with the tourist? Where was the tourist from and what profession did he or she give at the airport?

Would be good if details were posted as this is a bit vague and not that useful without actual details provided sorry. The "jetty" in Sittwe is just an area where the boats are along a canal, it is fragmented and messy with cargo areas and seems strange someone would be turned away there, rather than at the airport which is where everyone gets vetted (it would be kind of hard to chase tourists down the jetty area unless they were after this particular tourist for giving the wrong profession or suspicious behaviour for example such as roaming around the area alone).

Was this person perhaps nosing around among the boats trying to make some deal or whatever? Rakhine State is an area with some fairly high level of anxiety in the air amongst authorities, and foreigners in particular should not attract suspicion - best to use local contacts such as Zaw Lin Oo who will organize everything for you rather than go off the beaten path trying to save a few dollars (not sure if this was the case but the circumstances sound strange knowing the jetty area and the way things work in Sittwe).

Have not seen flights cancelled when I was there but pretty much all flights I was on within Myanmar were delayed by around 2 hours regardless of whether they were early morning or midday flights. But would not rely on a direct connection between a flight from Sittwe to an outbound ex Yangon - bit of a gamble that I reckon, although it might work out.

If you have more details about that tourist being turned away and why, as well as who are confused at Sittwe and Mrauk U and for what reason that would be helpful for many people reading this forum :-)

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
posts: 14,822
reviews: 85
37. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

From a guy who is presently in Mrauk U

"Yesterday I wrote from Mrauk U that the town was definitely open and that no permits were required.

In the evening, my hotel owner showed me a fax he had just received (dated 7 December) from the Ministry. It was addressed to 6 hotels in Mrauk U and directed them not to accept any foreigners without permits.

So folks I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to retract my previous advice. It now seems that you do need a permit for Mrauk U. You could of course try to get one, but the word here is that they are no longer being issued.

The hotels here are understandably not happy about this, and are writing collectively to the President. Sounds desperate - but right now they are, I haven't seen another westerner since I arrived.

There doesn't seem to be a particularly obvious reason for this most recent clampdown - I'm told there was never any trouble in Mrauk U itself, there was some fighting in outlying villages, but that is not the case now. "


I myself had booked tickets & was planning to go in a few weeks but I have cancelled and have made plans to go elsewhere. I wouldn't bother flying to Sittwe, it'd be a waste of money (if they even let foreigners on the plane!).

posts: 12
reviews: 3
38. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

This is really disappointing. I hope I can still get there!

Trying to book flights via email would seem to confirm this. I just heard back from my agent and she said she cannot book me to Sittwe due to permits and a lack of time to get one (I'm travelling there Dec28th).

Hopefully once I'm in Burma I can sort something out..

Roma, Italia
posts: 20
reviews: 4
39. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

My travel agent has just informe me that they couldn't get the pemission from the <Tourisme Ministry as the area is not safe. Now,-I start with my program B, Malmein and the South

posts: 1
reviews: 2
40. Re: Sittwe Mrauk U

Any updates on the situation, we were hoping to go to Sittwe and Mrauk U in March?