The lost city, Mrauk U was regarded as one of the most powerful and important kingdoms in Myanmar. From the 15th to 18th centuries it served as a lucrative trading hub, long frequented by the Portugese, French and Dutch, but the prosperity gained from this quickly diminished after the conquest of the kingdom by the Burmese Konbaung Dynasty in 1784.
This sleepy and archeologically rich important town Mrauk U was the capital of the Rakhine civilization during its golden age from the year 1430 onwards. In 1535, a powerful Rakhine king named Minbin built Myanmar’s most famous Shittaung temple, and it remains the main attraction of the historic site. You should not miss the ruins of the royal palace and the remains of the city walls. Due to its ghost-like, temple-strewn landscape, it is easy to understand why visitors are quick to make comparisons with Bagan. Learn more about the ruins with a trip to the Archeological Museum, Mrauk U’s most important monument, Shitthaung Temple; containing an amazing collection of Arakanese Buddhist reliefs and images. See the unique stone carvings and spires of the Andawthein Ordination Hall and the circular Ratanabon Pagoda, followed by a large, fortress-like structure filled with ancient stone sculptures.
Mrauk U today is a small town where the centuries old monuments form the backdrop for everyday life of local people. Goat herders tend to their animals, farmers work their fields and women fetch water from the wells between the ancient temples and pagodas. Often the area is foggy, especially during the early morning hours, which creates a mystical atmosphere.
Mrauk U can be reached by boat from Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. Sittwe is situated on an estuarial island where the mouth of the Kaladan River meets the Bay of Bengal. Sittwe is the gateway to the historical heartland of the Rakhaing at Mrauk U; therefore all visitors to the ancient city must pass through here on the way. According to flight and boat schedules, most visitors have to spend at least one night in the city before a boat-trip to Mrauk U.
Sittwe Central Market is one of the city’s attractions because of its unique styled iron clock tower. The fish market can be found directly to its east; it is enjoyable to simply walk through and soak up the atmosphere, and arriving at the seafront you are faced with the pleasant contrast of a quiet jetty with views out to the mouth of the Kaladan River.
From Yangon, there are daily flights to Sittwe and you can continue your journey to Mrauk U by boat.
Mrauk U & Sittwe