The former capital of Rakhine, founded in 15th century, Maruk U remained as a capital for 355 years. The Golden City of Maruk U became known in Europe as a city of oriental splendor after Friar Sebastian Mannrique visited the area. Father Mannirique vivid account of the Rakhine Court, coronation of King Thiri Thudhamma in 1635 and intrigues of the Portuguese adventurers fired the imaginations of later authors. Maruk U can be reached from Sittwe by way of a very pleasant river journey about 5 and ½ hours .The pagodas in the area are strategically located on hilltops and resemble fortress as indeed they were once used in times of enemy intrusion. There are moats, artificial lakes and canals, and the whole area could be flooded to deter or repulse attackers. Going to Maruk U will take you back in time to the 14th century, and it is a place where one can observe the mixed culture of Indian and Bamar.