Golden Rock & Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
The Awe-Inspiring Golden Rock and Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
Certainly, trekking a long and ardous journey just to see a golden rock doesn't sound as impressive. But when you factor in that The Golden Rock is 25 feet high, topped with an 18-foot-tall pagoda and it looks like it could topple over at any moment--then it becomes even more exciting. If you're ready for a spiritual adventure that can reveal more about yourself than anyone else, Trip Guru suggests you try going to the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda to see the Golden Rock.
This great golden rock comes into view from a steep path up a hill, where only men can approach and place their palm upon it from the shrine complex that looms behind it on the cliff. Meanwhile, the Kyaiktiyo shrine complex has several unique viewing platforms, different pagodas and intricately designed Buddha shrines and even some nat spirit shrines. Devout worshippers go up to an area behind the golden rock and pray, nearly everyone applying a layer of gold leaf to the gigantic rock as a gesture of goodwill and as a fitting offering.
The amazing thing about this golden rock is that no one has figured out how, exactly it has defied the laws of physics, holding its position for as long as it has despite violent earthquakes. Buddhists believe that it is because there is a single hair relic inside the Pagoda, and this pagoda stands as a symbol of Myanmar's deep spiritual beliefs. While being small, it's definitely a celebrated pagoda and is one of the wonders of South East Asia.
To get to Golden Rock, its best if you hire a driver to take you there, as you won't feel rushed to snap a few quick photos before piling back inside a bus with several other tourists. The trip can be made in 3 hours and 32 minutes in good traffic. From Yangon, take Bayint Naung Rd, Thu Nandar Rd and No. 3 Rd to Yangon - Mandalay Hwy. Then, follow Ah Myan Lan and Mawlamyaing Hwy/NH8/AH1 to Kyaikto. Finally, take the Golden Rock Mountain Road until you reach your destination.