If you are a fan about crocodiles, we have a story about this giant reptile in Myanmar. Maybe for some local it sounds like the story of Burmese Romeo and Juliet (Burmese Name: “Shin Mway Loon” and “Min Nandar”).
Their romantic story in Myanmar is written well and we found it online as below. If you found interesting and would like to see crocodiles while touring in Myanmar, please check our package to see wild crocodile as Adventurous Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary.
Shin Mway Loon and Min Nandar
(Credit to Original Uploader)
Long time ago, in the Kingdom of Okkalapa (what is now Yangon), there lived the king of Syriam. The king loved so much to his wife and also he wanted a baby of their own as they had no child. One day, the queen consort had pregnant. But unfortunately, she had died in child-birth. At the royal cemetery, the loyal ministers kept vigil near the queen’s body, which would lie on its golden bier until the time came for its cremation. All was silence. Suddenly there was a sound like the cry of new-born baby came out from the queen’s bier. People discovered there was a little child, still in her mother’s womb, was not dead. The king was very glad to hear that he now had a daughter. But he couldn’t take his daughter to the palace with him because this was the custom of country at that time-anyone who was born in the graveyard shouldn’t live in the city. So the king built a palace for his daughter in the graveyard and named her “Shin Mway Loon”. People of this country believed the princess brought bad luck to the country. The poor princess grew up lonely and isolated in her palace guarded by maid-servants.
On the other side of the Thanlyin river, there lived the King of Dagon. He had only one son named “Min Nandar”, a handsome prince, much loved by people and the king. But the royal astrologers had predicted the prince would be killed by some creatures that lived in water. The king of the Nats felt very sorry for the prince and gave him a magic cane. The prince could summon all creatures living in the forests, in the sea and the rivers by using the magic cane. This cane was very useful for the prince and he became familiar with the king of crocodiles called “Nga Moe Yeik”. “Nga Moe Yeik” was a giant crocodile and the prince could summon him whenever he wanted.
After the prince heard about the beauty of “Shin Mway Loon”, he tried to visit her. He went down to the sea-shore and struck the ground three times. “Nga Moe Yeik” was appeared and offered to carry the prince across the river. The prince and the princess fell in love at the first sight. Then the prince went to the princess everyday across the river. Prince Min Nandar’s father was furious that his son fell in love with a girl of bad fortune. He announced an order to all boatmen not to take the prince to the other side of river. This was no difference for the prince as he visited to his lover not by boat. As usual, he rode on the back of “Nga Moe Yeik” and came back to his palace at dawn before his father could find out. He also brought the magic cane with him together.
And the other crocodiles were jealous of their king, “Nga Moe Yeik” and wish to overthrow his despotic rule. They found out as long as Prince “Min Nandar” was alive, “Nga Moe Yeik” would continue to rule over them, so they decided that the prince must die. So, the crocodiles chose one female crocodile named “Ma Let To” to kill the Prince. This crocodile was in love with “Nga Moe Yeik”, but he already had a wife and ignored her seduction. So “Ma Let To” decided to kill the prince and also “Nga Moe Yeik” to get into trouble.
As all the crocodiles can change into human form, “Ma Let To” transformed herself into human form as her first step to kill the prince. She went to “Shin Mway Loon” and served the princess because “Ma Let To” knew that the noble strength of Prince “Min Nandar” lied in his right arm and if one woman sleep on his right arm, he would face bad luck and get trouble. All the maids of the princess said to the “Shin Mway Loon” that “Ma Let To” smell was very fishy. But the princess was very kind and allowed her to stay. “Ma Let To” urged the princess to ask “Min Nandar” to let her rest her head on his right arm. The prince didn’t allow to sleep at first. But the princess continuously asked the prince to let her sleep on his right arm. At last, the prince allowed her to do so.
At the end of the day, just as usual, the prince and “Nga Moe Yeik” were about to leave. It was the night that the crocodiles planned to attack their king. And the sky was full of dark clouds, thunder rumbled and a storm came up. Unfortunately, the prince forgot the magic cane in his palace. Without magic cane, the prince couldn’t summon the creatures of the river. Both the princess and “Nga Moe Yeik” told the prince not to cross the river but the prince didn’t listen. So, “Nga Moe Yeik” told the prince to lie in his mouth as he was giant crocodile. As they left, “Ma Let To” changed into her real form, stepped into the river and attacked “Nga Moe Yeik”. He was fought so long underwater with “Ma Let To” and also other crocodiles. Finally, “Nga Moe Yeik” fought all off and fell asleep on sandbank as he was exhausted.
When King of Dagon heard that his son had paid a visit to princess without magic cane. He seized the cane and struck it on the ground three times. So “Nga Moe Yeik” woke up and remembered that the prince was still in his mouth. He hastened to bring “Min Nandar” out of his mouth. But the prince was dead already. “Nga Moe Yeik” carried the dead prince to the King. “Nga Moe Yeik” was executed by the king. His wife buried his bones a few miles out of the city and built a pagoda over it.
When the princess heard the news of her lover, she died of a broken heart. Their funeral pyres were set up on the opposite banks of the river. The columns of smoke rose from each funeral pyre met at the sky and then turned into a rainbow. The people believed the two lovers were united in the heaven.
Some people believed “Min Nandar” died because of “Shin Mway Loon”. She slept on his right arm and that brought bad luck to “Min Nandar”. So there is a saying derived from this story, never let one woman to sleep on the man right arm.
Romantic Legend of Karen, Myanmar