First things first… today went really well, it went well because I woke up in a comfortable bed, it went well because breakfast and coffee was there and because today I organised a personal driver to go and check out Kyaiktiyo Pagoda ( golden rock )
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Myanmar . It is a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees (currently woman are not allowed to touch the rock)
According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha‘s hair. The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. Another legend states that a Buddhist priest impressed the celestial king with his asceticism and the celestial king used his supernatural powers to carry the rock to its current place, specifically choosing the rock as the resemblance to the monks head.
The location is about 3 to 4 hours drive from Yangon so another 8 hours on the road today to add to the total.
We had one stop on the way to grab some water and let the car cool down.
Once we arrived there at the base of the mountain you then have a 45 min drive up in the back of a truck, an experience in itself. There was reviews from people complaining about it, that it was like a 45 minute roller coaster and they would never do it again. I found it was fine, roller coaster yes, but I had no issue with it. You are crammed on there with little room to move but hey, it’s all part of the experience.
After our 45 minute “truck” ride up there you then have about an hours walk in front of you, a large part of that must be done with your shoes off. You are high up in the mountains, clouds passing through you or below you, it’s breathtaking. I’m looking forward to working on the photos. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time to do too many whilst on this trip, I’ll work on them and sort through them when I’m back home.
After about 2 hours up there decided to head back down, no different than going up
Only this time………….
It rained soooooooooooo damn hard, there are no sides to the truck and water came storming in, in the photo you see a woman just behind me in green. Just before we started she got moved next to me and lucky because she had an umbrella to place in front of us, that stopped the front coming rain but not to the side, I got drenched!!! By the time we got down the bottom I was so wet I could wring the water from my shorts and shirt, I decided I needed a shirt quick (I already had a sarong in my bag that replaced my shorts). The only problem is Myanmar people are about half the size of me so a large for them is a small to me, I ended up buying a top that I still think was a woman’s top but the lady insisted in broken English it was for men (I think she just wanted to make a sale 😂)
My key tips for seeing this site is to take a rain coat (even if it doesn’t look like rain), take an umbrella, a change of clothes and try to stay up the hill at one of the accomodations so you can get a sunrise or sunset (something I didn’t get to do).
Well that was day 6 and it was fun, some great photos, great memories and a new fancy top.
Tomorrow I check out of here and I’m going to check out the city circle rail. After that it’s back to a bus for an overnight 12 hour ride to Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) for two nights stay. I’m going to seek out a massage 💆♂️ whilst there as my body is feeling it at the moment.
Four more weeks left!