An overview of Mrauk U
Located in the far west of Myanmar lies the ancient city of Mrauk U, which is set amongst one of the country’s most beautiful and timeless landscapes. For a number of centuries, Mrauk U was the capital city of one of the region’s most powerful kingdoms, and the legacy of the town’s status can still be witnessed clearly today. As both an important trading centre (including Portuguese and Dutch influences) and a highly esteemed religious site for many years, Mrauk U is now home to a number of significant cultural heritage sites that include the famous Shite-thaung Temple and its numerous statues, stupas, and ’80,000 images of victory’, after which it is named. Other notable examples include the awe-inspiring Htukkanthein Temple and the majestic Koe-Thaung Temple which are both of significant value to the region. The remains of the old royal palace is a popular site for tourists too and is worth seeing, even though much has been lost over time. However, there are many more temples that should be carefully researched before visiting and one of the greatest challenges faced by tourists is knowing which to prioritise if time is limited.
Mrauk U is also a well-received destination due to its rustic and traditional eateries that offer several regional specialities and provide visitors with a great opportunity to both experience and ‘taste Myanmar’. Indeed, the town is still considered to be largely unchanged and untouched by western influences despite its prior role as an important trading town in history. Although growing in popularity despite it remoteness, Mrauk U is still a wonderfully authentic destination and undoubtedly one of the finest towns Myanmar has to offer.