Western Myanmar Travel Guide

Sitting on the Bay of Bengal, western Myanmar is home to pristine beaches and historical towns. Pathein, situated in the Ayeyarwady Delta is noted for its production of pottery and umbrellas and is a central point for exploring other places, such as the historic town of Pyay. With its busy ports, ancient cities, pristine beaches and tempting street foods, western Myanmar is a pleasure to explore.

The ancient kingdom of Rakhine state sits prettily on the western coastline. Lovers of architecture will be able to spot both traditional and European influences in the bustling port of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state. The Cultural Museum in Sittwe is an interesting place to visit.

Medieval Mrauk-U, a former capital city, is a town full to the brim with archaeological sites. The Archaeology Museum is a fascinating place to visit, full of ancient artifacts. Other attractions include the Shittaung Pagoda, the Mahamuni Paya and the ancient village of Wethali, a powerful city 1,500 years ago.

The important trading town of Pathein has a large population of Islamic settlers, evidence of which can be seen in the town’s architecture and markets. Take a trip to the landmark pagoda of Shwemawdaw, or head to Myoma Jetty and Shipyards for some sweet treats. This is a popular spot to buy traditional sweet deserts. The Pathein Myoma Market is a great place to shop with the locals.

Close to Yangon, just outside of Hmawza, the ancient Thayekhittaya Kingdom still remains. Archeological sites and ancient pagodas dating from the 5th and 9th centuries abound. Explore the historical site of Pyay (meaning ‘Big Pagoda’) on ox cart, or sip some local rum in a pleasant restaurant as you watch the sun go down over the ancient sites.

When you’ve had enough of history, come back to the modern age at one of Myanmar’s lovely beaches. Ngapali Beach is popular with western travelers. An unspoiled stretch of white sand lures visitors to the clear green Bay of Bengal. Explore fishing villages, visit an elephant sanctuary or just recline beneath palm trees on the beach.

Nearby Ngwe Saung is another popular beach. With few hotels and no water sports, this is a relaxing place to unwind. Other beaches more popular with locals include Maung Ma Gan Beach, Let Khok Kone Beach and Chaung Tha Beach.