The next Angkor Wat? Securing world heritage status for historic Mrauk U could bring much-needed prosperity to troubled Rakhine state

When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful kingdom and one of the richest cities in Asia.

Up to the 18th century, it was a vital trading port for rice, ivory, elephants, tree sap and deer hide, cotton, slaves, horses, spices and textiles from India, Persia and Arabia.

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