Sittwe in Myanmar is a must place to see whenever you set foot on Rakhine State. The capital city has its unique strengths for tourism, even though it sounds less attractive than Yangon, Bagan, or Mandalay. In fact, many Myanmar-tourism fanciers do travel to Sittwe.
Sittwe is the capital of Rakhine State, Myanmar. The capital city invites the travelers all over the world to the Rakhine culture as well as the attraction of market, beach, and the old clock tower. Sittwe is situated on an estuarial island formed at the confluence of the three rivers: Kaladan, Mayu, and Lay Mro. Also, Sittwe port city is on the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the Kaladan River. During the colonial times, this port was very significant trade center. For most travelers, they take Sittwe the favorite stopover and then head toward Mrauk U.
- New Light Center
- Kya Yote Kyaung
- U Ray Kyaw Thu Pagoda
- U Ottama Hall
- IT Zone
- Inn Pauk Wa
- Sittwe Airport
- Rakhine State Cultural Museum
The ‘Viewpoint’ Attraction
Sittwe has the popular attraction of “Viewpoint” (or often abbreviated to The Point). This attraction is just a few kilometers to the south of the town, where lies the confluence of the sea and Kaladan River. Here, you find the lovely park with the beer station and the ancient watchtower for the panoramic 360-degree view. People love to hang out here during sunset, making the park crowded with many teenagers. The Point attraction is at the end of the Strand Road, overlooking the Bay of Bengal as well as the mouth of the beautiful Kaladan River.
The special traits of this beach refer to the dark sand and the cool water for swimming. It is easy to spot the beach to the west of the Viewpoint attraction. If you feel like swimming in Sittwe, then come to the beach via the interesting tuk-tuk from the town center.
Shwe Zedi Kyaung (Golden Monastery)
The golden monastery seems to be the most famous and charming religious site in Sittwe. It is founded in 1903 as the gorgeous building which held the political and religious significance. Also, this was the monastery of the revered anti-colonialist monk named U Ottama – the first political monk in Myanmar. Nowadays, Shwe Zedi Kyaung is open to the travelers who just wander, and then the monks will be there to guide you. They will show you around the hundred-year-old major building, the school, and the British Council-funded library.
The list of the most consecrated Buddhism pagodas in Sittwe should not lack Ahkyaib-daw. This pagoda is so ancient and revered that is linked to the myth of Buddhism. People say that this antique structure has a piece of Buddha’s maxillary bone, which resulted in its name: Ahkyaib-daw (meaning ‘maxillary bone’). It is no doubt that this is one of the meccas of Buddhism.
Rakhine State Cultural Museum
The Museum is where you step into the world of Rakhine culture and history. The available exhibits in the four-story building are valuable and informative. It was open to the public in 1996, and up to now, the center of the museum becomes the “big picture” depicting the Rakhine culture, history, and customs in a detailed manner.
Old Clock Tower
The Dutch constructed the ancient steel clock tower in the 18th century. The long-lasting presence of the clock tower makes Sittwe more medieval and appealing to the history lovers. For the first-time visitors, they incredibly love to take pictures of the tall, narrow building with a great clock at the top. The exceptional shots of the interesting clock tower might tell the world that you’re there – in Sittwe Myanmar. This is an icon of Sittwe sometimes.
The site was erected in 1999, with the platform of 140m wide. It is the eye-catching pagoda which can impress the visitors to enter and explore. With the height of 49m, the pagoda stands out of the clusters of buildings in Sittwe. So, remember to add the fascinating Lawkananda Pagoda to your favorite list!
Most travelers take Sittwe the stopover for shopping before they proceed to Mrauk U. If walking around the bustling Central Market of Sittwe, you are assured to find a variety of local products and see the local people selling or buying in a busy manner. Also, come prepared to enjoy the Rakhine food! The playing moments at the Sittwe Market offers the unlimited opportunities to eat the great food of the Rakhine like butterfish with rice, interact with the local people, and even find countless photographic subjects to capture. For some reviewers, Sittwe might be the better place to try Rakhine food than Mrauk U. Anyhow, come to self-evaluate!
How to get around Sittwe
The centre of Sittwe is fairly small so if you are not planning to explore further afield then you can easily walk around town on foot. If you want to get public transport then there are trishaws all over town that will take you on a short journey, or if you fancy your own set of wheels then you can rent a bicycle. Most of the tourist hotels will rent one to you for a few dollars if you just want to cycle around town taking in the sights.
How to Get to Sittwe Myanmar
The Sittwe Airport serves the Sittwe City. Often, the domestic flights to Sittwe are from Yangon, Thandwe, and Kyauk Phyu. From the airport, it takes 2km driving to reach the heart of the town. There are the options of taxis, trishaw, or tuk-tuks for you to experience. Please note that the taxi fare is cheaper than the trishaw fare, especially for the short ride. But if you prefer the trishaw service, look for one waiting outside the airport gate. Also, it’s smart to ask for the hotel pick-up service if possible.
Driving to Sittwe becomes comfortable now thanks to the upgraded roads. The ride is great particularly to anyone that has their private cars. What’s more, it’s safe to enjoy the service of buses/coaches to Sittwe. Notice that the coastal route is quite long and arduous to some drivers. In average, it might take two days to drive to Sittwe from Yangon.