Visit Mrauk U
Mrauk U, popularly known as the Golden City, was the capital of Rakhine State from the 15th to 18th centuries, when the British relocated it to Sittwe.
Just as at Pagan to the east, the ancient rulers weren't shy when it came to erecting temples, and anyone who makes the journey inland from Sittwe along the Kaladan River will find more than 150 temples, pagodas and ruined palaces, many adorned with stone statues and Indian wall paintings.
Adding to the allure is the sleepy, laidback character of modern-day Mrauk U; a simple market town, where shepherds watch their flocks in the shade of crumbling temples, visitors are greeted by smiling farmers' faces.
If you've time to explore, visit the nearby villages, some of which are inhabited by the Chin people. This ethnic group live in western Burma and the eastern states of India, and are recognisable by their tattooed faces.
When travelling in south-west Burma, make this archaeological and cultural goldmine an essential stop on your journey.
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