The modern and abandoned city and hundreds of temples and pagodas at Mrauk U (also spelt Mrauk Oo and pronounced ‘Myow Oo’ or ‘Mrow Oo, depending on Burmese or local Rakhine pronunciation) lies across rolling northern Rakhine State hilltops and form an awe-inspiring sight, whilst providing an experience quite unlike anything else in Myanmar. From the 15th to 18th centuries, Mrauk U was the capital of a mighty Arakan kingdom, frequently visited by foreign traders (including Portuguese and Dutch), and this is reflected in the grandeur and scope of the structures dotted around its vicinity. But after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826, the British moved the regional trading centre down the Kaladan river to Sittwe, and Mrauk U went into decline. 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. There are hundreds of temples in Mrauk U, many of which primarily remain day-to-day places of worship for the local Rakhine villagers. Most temples have name plates in English, with date of construction.