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Kyaukpyu is located in Myanmar
Location in Burma
Coordinates: 19°25′35″N 93°32′45″E / 19.42639°N 93.54583°E / 19.42639; 93.54583Coordinates: 19°25′35″N 93°32′45″E / 19.42639°N 93.54583°E / 19.42639; 93.54583
Country Myanmar
Division Rakhine State
DistrictKyaukpyu District
TownshipKyaukpyu Township
 • Total20,866[1]
 • Ethnicities
Arakanese Chin Kamein
 • Religions
Buddhism Christian Islam
Time zoneUTC+6.30 (MST)
Area code(s)+95-43-46-xxx

Kyaukpyu (Burmese: ကျောက်ဖြူမြို့ [tɕaʊʔpʰjù mjo̰]; also spelt Kyaukphyu) is a major town in Rakhine State, in western Myanmar. It is located on the north western corner of Yanbye Island on Combermere Bay, and is 250 miles (400 km) north-west of Yangon. It is the principal town of Kyaukpyu Township and Kyaukpyu District. The town is situated on a superb natural harbor which connects the rice trade between Calcutta and Yangon. The estimated population in 1983 was 19,456 inhabitants.[3] The population of Kyaukpyu Urban area is 20,866 as of 2014, while Kyaukpyu Township's population is 165,352. [1]


The name Kyaukpyu (lit. "white rock") is the Burmese pronunciation. In the local Rangbre pronunciation of the natives of Kyaukpyu and in standard Arakanese, the town's name is pronounced "Kyaukpru". The old Kyaukpyu is situated 7 miles from the present town where two colossal white rocks exist.


The place where the present town is, was originally a small fishing village in the 17th Century.[citation needed] After the first Anglo-Burmese War, the British established Kyaukpyu in 1837 on the spot of the fishing village. In 1852, Kyaukphyu became a district city.[4]

On October 22, 2010, Cyclone Giri made landfall on the west coast of Myanmar just north of the town at category five strength.


Kyaukpyu has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am). Temperatures are very warm throughout the year, although the winter months (December–February) are somewhat milder. There is a winter dry season (December–April) and a summer wet season (May–November). Torrential rain falls from June to August, with over 1,200 millimetres (47 in) falling in July alone.

Climate data for Kyaukpyu (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.7
Average low °C (°F) 17.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.1
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[5]


The town is populated with Arakanese Buddhists. There are also small Indian group, Kameins and Chins at Kyaukphru.

Quarters or Wards[edit]

  • Eastern Quarter
  • Western Quarter
  • Central Quarter
  • Mrit Nar Dan Quarter
  • Zayditaung Quarter
  • Asoera Quarter
  • Ararshi Quarter
  • Thanbanchaung Quarter
  • Paikseik (West) Quarter
  • Paikseik (East) Quarter
  • Taung Rong Quarter
  • Toe Chayy Quarter
  • NgaLaPwee Quarter
  • Kanyin Taw Quarter
  • KaLaBa Taung Quarter
  • Zetiya Quarter


  • Kyaukpyu Viewpoint, or more popularly known as Point is perhaps the most well known attraction in Kyaukpyu. It is at the end of the Strand Road and looks out into the Bay of Bengal and the mouth of the Thanzit (Kyaukpyu) River.
  • Gant-gaw-taw, is one of the most sacred Buddhist shrine, believed to have built in the Vesali period.
  • Kyauk-ta-lone phaya, built by King Min-ba in the Mrauk U period, is the focal point of Kyaukpyu's Buddhist environment, beside Gant-gaw-taw shrine.

• The Japan-Myanmar Relationship Pagoda, in the outskirts of the city, is popular among the city's small Japanese population.


Teacher training college (TTC) was opened in Kyaukpyu in 1953. Now, this college is known as "Kyaukpyu Education College". In 1954, Kyaukpyu Intermediate College for Arakan, the embryo of Sittwe University was opened in Kyaukpyu. Kyaukpyu GTI was opened in 2014.


Maurice Collis, a famous British writer, lived in Kyaukpyu in 1920s. His house, situated outskirts of Kyaukpyu is maintained as a historic building.

Water ways is the main mode of transportation and traveling. There were boat accidents because of poor maintenance and lack of enforcement on regulation. Over 100 were assumed to be dead in Aung Takon 3 ferry accident of March 2015.[6]



In June 2007, Asia World announced that it would be building a deep sea port on Maday Island in Kyaukphyu, Rakhine State.[7] The port will be a transit point for goods destined for Yangon, Kolkata, and Chittagong.[8]

Oil pipeline[edit]

In December 2008, China and Burma signed a deal to construct an oil pipeline at Kyaukphyu.[9] On 30 November 2010, the China Development Bank and Myanmar Foreign Investment Bank signed a $2.4 billion loan deal to construct the 660 miles (1,060 km) pipeline from Kyaukphyu to Kunming in Yunnan province, China.[10] The pipeline is expected to be completed in 2015 and capable of transporting 400,000 barrels of oil per day.[9] These construction projects will allow China to directly obtain oil and gas from the Middle East (via the port terminal at Kyaukphyu), thereby avoiding shipping through the Malacca Straits.[11]

Natural gas pipeline and terminal[edit]

Separately, as reported by the Financial Times in February 2013,[12] nearly 2,000 workers are finalising close to Kyaukphyu, a major natural gas projects, the Shwe gas pipeline and onshore terminal. This terminal and pipeline are being built by South Korea's Daewoo International in a consortium with state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and others. From May 2013, this pipeline is planned to pump about 12bn cubic metres of natural gas annually, most of which will also go to China via nearby Maday island.

These oil and gas Sino-Burma pipelines projects are supervised by a Myanmar "Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone" agency and are estimated to use about U$3bn of investments and to have the potential of creating over 200,000 jobs, while additional capital will be required to develop a port for dry containerized and bulk cargoes, as well as a railway which will link Kyaukphyu to Kunming, in Yunnan.

Kunming-Kyaukpyu Railway[edit]

The railway project would be 1,215 km long, and its design and construction are subject to a preliminary agreement between Myanmar's and China's government.

In 2009, a railway link through to Jiegao in China was proposed. In 2011 the proposal was expanded to a link between Kunming and Kyaukphyu. President Thein Sein's signed a memorandum of understanding during his May 2011 visit to Beijing between Myanmar's rail transport ministry and China's state-owned Railway Engineering Corporation to build the railway.[13] It will also connect to Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project via 311 km link to be completed by 2021-22, from Kyaukhtu in north to Ann in south and then south-east to Minbu.

Special Economic Zone and its impact[edit]

Myanmar government officials have stated that these massive projects will be conducted with enhanced consultation with the local population. In this respect, there has already been protests by some locals against the consequences of some of these projects, such as potential impact on fishing or land confiscations which may be conducted by authorities for these terminals and pipelines. A December 2012 report by the "Arakan Oil Watch" organization about plans to build a special economic zone near Kyaukphyu on Ramree Island in Arakan State, claimed it would "endanger the health of thousands of people and destroy Myanmar's second largest mangrove forest". The report, titled “Danger Zone,” states that around 40 villages would be adversely affected by the project, which would use 120 km2 of pristine coastline.

End December 2015, the Myanmar government announced that it had chosen a consortium of mostly Chinese companies to develop a special economic zone and a deep-water port, as a result of a tender initiated in 2014 for an industrial park and a deep-water port to be built and operated as public-private partnerships.

The selected Chinese-led consortium won over a dozen other bidders to win the development rights late last year. The six companies in the consortium include China state-owned groups Citic (finance), China Harbour Engineering, China Merchants Holdings (International), TEDA Investment Holding, Yunnan Construction Engineering Group (YNJG), and the Charoen Pokphand Group, a Thai conglomerate. CITIC and the six other investing firms will hold an 85 percent stake, with the Burmese government taking the rest.

While China Harbour Engineering is a well known engineering firm for designing and building deep sea ports, the China Merchants Group, through some of its affiliates (China Merchants Holdings (International), China Merchants Group, both listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and China Merchants Energy Shipping) is a global operator of ports as well as of oil tanker and dry bulk ships which has been approved to absorb in 2016 another Chinese state-controlled tanker and bulk ships operator, Sinotrans Shipping.

By 2025, the consortium plans to build a roughly 1,000-hectare industrial park and Myanmar's highest-capacity port, with facilities able to handle 7 million 20-foot-equivalent-units (TEU) of containerized cargo per year. Total project costs are estimated to be in the range of several billion dollars. The projects are said to lead to the creation of some 100,000 jobs.

Some analysts claim that the Kyaukpyu deep-water port has a strategic dimension as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative and String of Pearls strategy.[14][15][16]

The Kyaukpyu port and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is one of three major port and coastal development projects in Myanmar, together with the Thilawa zone near Yangon, the country's most populous and economically developed city, and the Dawei zone in the south-east, near the Thai border, all of which have attracted major financial and industrial interests.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Census Report (PDF). 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census. Kyaukpyu: Department of Population Ministry of Immigration and Population. April 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-03-24. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  2. ^ "National Telephone Area Codes". Myanmar Yellow Pages. Archived from the original on 2009-07-19.
  3. ^ "Kyaukpyu". Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
  4. ^ Kyaukpyu township Gazeteers.
  5. ^ "Myanmar Climate Report" (PDF). Norwegian Meteorological Institute. pp. 23–36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ Mratt Kyaw Thu (2015-03-23). "Ferry death toll increases as parliament demands inquiry". Myanmartimes. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. ^ "B'desh eyes deep-sea port near Myanmar". Myanmar Times. 30 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  8. ^ Ye Lwin (16 July 2007). "Exports to get lift from new shipping companies". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  9. ^ a b Kean, Thomas (30 November 2009). "Kyaukphyu-Yunnan oil pipeline to be completed by end of 2015". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  10. ^ Shwe Gaung, Juliet (13 December 2010). "Massive loan from China to fund gas investment". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Kyaukphyu port has strategic value". Myanmar Times. 21 December 2009. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Myanmar plans its own 'mini Singapore' -". Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  13. ^ Myanmar in China's Push into the Indian Ocean Archived 2017-01-20 at the Wayback Machine, Joshy M Paul, March 14, 2016, retrieved 20 January 2017
  14. ^ David Brewster. "Beyond the String of Pearls: Is there really a Security Dilemma in the Indian Ocean?. Retrieved 30 August 2014". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Bertil, Lintner (2019). The Costliest Pearl: China's Struggle for India's Ocean. London. pp. 57–61. ISBN 1-84904-996-3. OCLC 1029481900.
  16. ^ Thiha, Amara (January 4, 2020). "Xi's Upcoming Visit to Myanmar Could Reshape the Indian Ocean Region". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.

External links[edit]