Mrauk-U is the reason for my excitement on this new trip to Myanmar. I remember that I have found this place the first time I was searching places to visit in Myanmar, but somehow I skip it and just reminded of its existence the last days of my trip in Myanmar. I was heading to Thailand the next days, so I blamed myself for some time for not visiting such place and needed to come back for it. So, on this bike trip, I did. Can’t think of an even better place to explore on top of my Ympek bicycle than Mrauk-U. I’m going from Bagan to Mrauk-U by bus.
Some information on the internet says that you can’t go directly from Bagan to Mrauk-u. You are supposed to go to Magwe first. Well, that’s not true. The trip from Bagan to Mrauk-U is expensive, 40000 MKK (around 23€) but I believe that is because it’s direct. I departed Bagan at 6 pm and arrived Mrauk-U around 1 PM the next day. I thought no one else would be heading in the same direction as this place is not touristic at all, but I actually was on the bus with 6 more tourists. Curiously they were the only ones I saw in Mrauk-U. We go on this truck kind of thing that is typical in Myanmar, with an open back for more than 1 hour. It’s not a comfy ride, but I believe this is the reason why the trip was so expensive and the reason why the trip is direct.
We go on this truck until Kyauk Pa Daung and waited there for the bus that was coming from Mandalay for around 1 hour.
I have read that the journey is hard, but had no idea about it. It is hard. The journey takes about 18 hours, but the problem isn’t how long it lasts. 8 of those 18 hours are among curves and I mean it. You are literally going from left to right during 8 hours among the mountains, so you are also going up and down. It is truly a tough journey for the bus, so I’m super happy that it handled the whole way. Besides being in the mountains, the street is very bad. Only one car fits at a time, so every time we come across another vehicle we need to go on the dirt path full of bumps and stones. I’m sure that if the street conditions were better this journey wouldn’t be so painful. The trip is during the night, and I usually don’t like night rides as I can’t sleep properly. Well, this one was no exception. I didn’t sleep a lot, but doing it during the night is better than during the day as at least I can sleep something like my body demands. Here’s how bad the street looks:
If I knew, I would have taken a pill to sleep. Once the day is on, we stop for breakfast in a place in the middle of nowhere. During the journey, you will stop several times for passport control as you are entering the Rakhine state, a state that a few time ago was forbidden to tourists due to conflicts in the area. I guess this is the closest touristic area to the conflicts with the Rohingya.
The view is pleasant. We actually cross a very beautiful spot that I would love to explore that looks some kind of a swamp as the street is really close to shore and you are going on this area. It looks beautiful! Once I reach the Hostel I’m super tired and hungry, so this day I will just eat and sleep. After all, I will stay 4 night in Mrauk-U which is enough to explore it. And what a wonderful days those were.
Mrauk-U made me love Myanmar even more.