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Mrauk Oo

Mrauk Oo (once known as Myo Haung) was the capital of a mighty Arakan kingdom from the 15th to 18th centuries, when it enjoyed great wealth and was an important commercial port. A visitor described it as one of the richest cities in Asia. Being a great trading centre, it was coveted by many surrounding kingdoms including the Bengalis, the Moguls and the Burmese. The end came about after two disastrous earthquakes in 1761 and 1762, and the takeover of Rakhine by the Burmese King Bodawpaya in 1784. In the wake of the first Anglo-Burman war in 1826, and the subsequent founding of Sittwe by the British as an administrative centre, Mrauk Oo fell into oblivion. Little remains of this wealth but Mrauk Oo has great charm with its many local markets, solid wooden houses, canals, hills and friendly people. Discover the deserted ruins of Mrauk Oo’s grand palaces, temples and pagodas of this important trading port and former capital. Situated by the lovely Kaladan River in a charming rural setting dotted throughout farmlands the ruins will take you back to the 16th century. It can be accessed from Sittwe on a scenic river journey on the Kalatan River. Today part of its allure lies in its isolation from the rest of the country; the lack of development; and that (for the moment) you are more likely to bump into a cow or a goat than into another tourist.