Finally, Remote Sittwe in Rakine State of Myanmar (Burma)

We hated to leave Inle Lake and the Shwe Inn Tha Resort Hotel. …View image…There was so much to see and I never got tired of watching the leg-rowers, visiting markets and seeing the local ethnic tribes. Unfortunately, it was time to move on. On the way from Inle Lake to the Heho Airport were a few more interesting sights. Last night was a full moon. That meant a special ceremony at the local Monasteries and there were several women walking alongside the road carrying large silver bowls filled with fruits and food on their heads for Monastery offerings.

The Heho airport is a distance from Inle Lake and since most flights start early in the morning, we had to leave very early. Tip: Always bring something warm to wear on the longtail boats in the morning and evening. It is freezing on the lake before the day warms up. Most of the boats carry umbrellas, one for each passenger, and it’s quite amusing watching boat after boat go by with the tourists using the umbrellas held in front of them as a windbreak. We did the same and it does make a difference. so open those umbrellas!

carrying offerings to monastery in Myanmar

back view of offerings to monastery in Myanmar

At the Heho airport with two flights to catch. The first, the Heho-Yangon plane….a 4-hour layover…until the Air Mandalay flight to Sittwe via Thande. FYI: The inter-Myanmar flights usually have open seating. With a decent layover in Yangon, Toe took us to a restaurant for lunch and found a place to Internet.

At last, we landed in Sittwe, located in the Takaing (Rakhine) State of Western Myanmar. Since Sittwe only gets approximately 2,000 tourists a year, it was a surprise to see how full the plane was. (Almost every flight within Myanmar was completely booked.) Sittwe resembled Yangon in 1988. A small, dusty port town with 150,000 residents. It sits at the mouth of the Kaladan River where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. Sittwe has only two good hotels and two good restaurants. Our hotel in Sittwe was the air-conditioned Noble Hotel. Clean, comfortable and on the main street (albeit with the usual power cuts).

A ride down to the beach to watch the sunset. The white sands stretched all the way to Bangladesh with some very strange looking rocks in the water……View image… and an old lighthouse, no longer in use.

sunset on the Bay of Bengal, Sittwe, Myanmar

old, abandoned lighthouse in Sittwe, Myanmar

Back on the main street of Sittwe to take in the local sights, there were people pushing huge loads down the street…filling up rice sacks …View image… and indicative of how poor this area was…very few people were wearing flip-flops…all barefooted.

pulling a very heavy load in Sittwe, Myanmar

And Sittwe had one of the most unusual method of transporting people. The “taxi” driver rode an ancient bicycle with one passenger facing front and the other backwards…

bicycle “taxi” service in Sittwe, Myanmar

If you are enjoy looking at vintage War World II vehicles, you’ve come to the right place…Myanmar had them in abundance…

another World War II truck in Sittwe, Myanmar

It was a snap walking around Sittwe and Toe found Gisspanadi Seafood Restaurant (near City Hall) a few blocks from the Noble Hotel for dinner. Sittwe is known for seafood with the Bay of Bengal and numerous rivers right there. Gisspanadi had the most comical food descriptions on their menu : “crispy telescope creeper”…(a snail)…deep “fired” frogs…and…hot and crispy frogs. The cuttle fish (calamari) was so yummy prepared in chinese-style that we came back to Gisspanadi Restaurant when we returned from Mrauk U.

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