The Golden Rock of the Golden Land
After leaving Yangon by the newly constructed multilane concrete hghway the former capital with the new capital Nay Pyi Daw located towards the centre of Myanmar it struck me – we are one of only a handful of cars on this road. It soon struck me as to why. Toll booths – paying the few kyats at each the toll gates located as close as 20km apart was simply beyond the means of many Burmese. They simply found less maintained paths.
Turning right at the big fork in the road heading towards the mountain the landscape changed from the rice producing flat lands to the fertile hilly region of Mon State where Mt Kyaiktiyo (to my ear it is pronounced Mt Jie Tee O) is located.
Some 6 hours after leaving Yangon we arrived at the bus station at the base of the mountain. I say bus – really a tip truck with wooden planks for seats. Hey – if it was easy to get to, it wouldn’t be a pilgrimage site.
The season that we are in Myanmar is the period between the end of the monsoon season and the start of ‘festival season’. (Early October).
Most of the religious sites appear to be forgotten, unrepaired and abandoned. This is a good thing – no other people around, locals or tourist.
During ‘festival season’ all the sacred sites are polished, painted, swept and thus crowed with not only foreign tourists but also Burmese pilgrims coming to pay homage.
Why See It
Mt Kyaiktiyo, with its famed Golden Rock is one of Myanmar’s 3 most holy sites. :
• Swedagon in Yangon
• Mt Kyaiktiyo’s Golden Rock; and
• The Maha Muni Buddha image in Mandalay.
Where to stay
We stayed at the well named “Hill Top Hotel” which really couldn't be any closer to the Rock if it tried. It is also the most expensive place to stay costing between $100-150AUD per night. For the cost conscious you can always stay at the bottom of the hill in the local village and day trip up the mountain.