Mrauk U

The old capital of Rakhine founded in 15 century, and remained its capital for 355 years. The golden city of Mrauk U became known in Europe as a city of oriental slendor after friar Sebastian Manrique visited the area. Father Manrique’s vivid account of the coronation of King “ Thiri Thudhamma ” in 1635 and about the Rakhine Court and intrigues of the Portuguese adventurers fire the imagination of later authors.

Mrauk U can reach from Sittway through a very pleasant river journey about 4 hours. If travel in the winter, one can see flocks of wild geese, ducks and other migrating waterfowls.

Even the pagodas are strategically located on hilltops and look like fothresses and indeed they are once use as such in times of enemy intrusion. There moats, artificial lakes and canals and the whole area could be flooded to deter or repulse attackers.


The city started as a trading port around 200 years ago and further developed after the British occupation of 1826. International trade along the coast bloomed during the British era. Two huge cargo steamers a day plied back and forth between Calcutta and Sittwe. There is a distinctive Rakhine twist on standard Myanmar culture that includes the enjoyment of much spicy food and brighter-coloured clothing.
An airport town which serves as entry to Mrauk U. Sittwe, itself has no interesting sites.

How to Get There

About ten years ago it was difficult to travel to this area but now it is quite developed to visit Mrauk-U. From Yangon there are daily flights to Sittway the capital of Rakhine State. Then from Sittway to Mrauk-U you can take a boat on the Kaladan River about 4 Hrs.