Mrauk Oo is the old capital of the powerful Rakhine kingdom with a 3.000-year-old history. In the 16th century Mrauk Oo was a large and important free port. Today it is an archaeological complex with several extremely interesting buildings and temples. The most impressive one is the massive Shittaung Temple that enshrines 80.000 images of Buddha. Its interior walls are engraved with over 1.000 Buddhist images.
sights in Mrauk Oo:
Shittaung: most complex and well preserved, unfortunately partly newly renovated, temple. It was constructed in 1535 by King Minbin, the most powerful of the Rakhine kings. In reference to the number of holy images inside the temple the name means "Shrine of the 80000 Images".
Andaw Thein: King Minrazagyi rebuilt this Paya, formerly constructed in 1521 by King Minhlaraza, in 1596 to enshrine a tooth relict brought from Sri Lanka by King Minbin.
Ratanabon Pagoda: was build by King Minkhamaung in 1612. Interesting are the sandstone Chintes (half-lion/half dragon guardians) at each of the four corners.
Laungbonprauk Pagoda: King Minsalotasawmon ordered to build this monument in 1525. It features nice tiles in different colors, symbolizing flowers, on the wall surrounding this Paya. It has formerly reached a height of 37m, nowadays it measures 23m.
Anoma Image: this beautiful ornamented and large Buddha image was donated in 1501 by Princess Anoza. It faces east towards the rising sun, but funny wise there is a large hill eastwards directly in front of.
Lawkamaung: built by King Sandathu Dama Raza in 1685, very famous for the guinea-pig-guards, surrounding the base. He chose the guinea-pig since he himself was born on a Friday, and this animal is the Buddhism symbol for all Friday-born.
Sittwe is the capital of the Rakhine State and there are quiet some interesting sights to visit in Sittwe, for example some monasteries, which feature old artifacts and coins from Mrauk Oo, the Payagyi Temple with its Rakhine-style sitting Buddha image cast in 1900 and the Aha Tan Kyaung Pagoda. This particular pagoda is fairly new (5 years) and houses a lot of Buddha images cast in the typical kind of different countries like Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indian, Bangladesh, China, Japan and Indonesia.
During sunset you can enjoy a nice scenery from "The Point" at the confluence of the Kaladan River and the Bay of Bengal. Very interesting as well is the market in Sittwe and the Indian/Bangladesh fishing village, located north-east of the city centre.