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Myanmar: Anyone traveled to Mrauk U ?

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Hi Asia group friends. Been missing you! I've been traveling other places, but I'm now back to may favorite part of the world--Asia.

I'm heading to Myanmar in February with a ten other photographers on a photography-tour. It's a two week journey hitting all the major spots and some off the beaten track. (Going with "Luminous Journeys": here is the itinerary http://snips.ly/myanmar)

It is the "off the beaten track" places I would like some advice on. We are spending three days in Rachine State, including Sittwe, Mrauk U and the Chin Villages. The US State Dept has no warnings on Myanmar at all. However, the UK and Australia have strong warnings "avoid all but essential travel to Rakhine State" and "reconsider your travel". Although I consider getting a great photo of the Tattoo ladies in the Chin villages bordering on "essential", :) I was hoping I could get some feedback from anyone in the Asia forum who has travelled recently to these areas.

Hope you are all taking simply wonderful journeys!

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