Sittwe – don’t go for a while if you don’t have to

I just came back from Sittwe today. Here is my story:
I was to go with a local friend from Mrauk U to Sittwe by bus as he wanted to show me one of the villages on the way. We bought tickets but in the evening, a day before we were to go, he came to my guesthouse saying that the owner of bus company doesn’t want to accept foreigners on board as he doesn’t want to tease people.

I went then, yesterday, by boat. I met there two German guys who decided to stay in a different guesthouse than I chose. After some time, the Germans came as there was no free rooms in other places saying that people were shouting at them when they were in tuktuk. They said that one of best hotels is surrounded by police and thee are army cars there as well. I went downstairs to buy some water, but the owners asked me not to leave the guesthouse and bought it for me. We sat on the balcony with one of German guys and stared talking. He said that 3 German girls stopped by at our gh and they were chatting in the reception area. And suddenly police came and asked the girls to come back to their gh. When he was telling me that, the owner came and asked us not to sit on the balcony not to tease local people. So we sat inside. My local friend came back, joined us and told us that the day before a 13 year old girl was shot dead and 30 buildings of NGO were pulled down. We were told that they don’t attack tourist just local people who help them, that is why they pulled down the buildings. My guy told us that the owners ask as to leave at 6 am, just after curfew finishes.

I didn’t have a flight ticket back to YGN and when I called airlines (couldn’t reach KBZ as nobody picked up) I learnt that all flights till Monday are busy and there is no single seat. I decided to wait and buy a ticket if there is somebody who doesn’t show up. A few people at the airport asked me what organisation I represent. Telling them that I am a tourist finished conversations. I was lucky to get out of there by the first flight with Myanma Airways – one person resigned just half an hour before the flight.

Happy to be back in YGN.

Read on how media report on the situation in Sittwe

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