The gravity defying Golden Rock has always been an important religious shrine amongst the Burmese Buddhist community, but with more and more tourists visiting the country each year the oddly balanced monument has recently become a tourist attraction for foreigners…
We took a trip to see it with our own eyes and have put together everything you need to know:
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (also known as Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Burma. It is a small pagoda (7.3 metres (24 ft)) built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.
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.
How to get there and costs
Upon arrival at Kyaiktiyo bus depot, you’ll have to get a tuk-tuk to your hotel. If you’re staying anywhere near Base Camp (which we recommend) then don’t pay more than 8,000 Kyat.
The next morning you can walk from your hotel to the truck stop in the middle of town. Trucks shuttle up and down to the rock from 6.00am to 5.30pm everyday. They fit around 50 people in per journey and it will cost you 2000 Kyat per person. The journey up takes roughly half an hour
Drop off is at the entrance to the golden rock town where you still have a good 20-minute walk to the entrance of the rock itself.
Foreigner entrance price is 10,000 Kyat.
Tips and tricks
Be prepared for a bumpy ride to and from the rock. If you can grab a seat at the end of a row – you’ll feel the breeze from the fast-paced drive and hopefully end up a little less squished.
Head out early to avoid the heat. We left at 8 am and were on the way down before the hottest point of the day. We wouldn’t want to be heading up anytime after late morning!
The Golden Rock is literally the only thing to do in Kyaiktiyo, so you won’t need more than a nights accommodation.
Where to stay
Golden Sunrise Hotel – We spent a night here and it was perfect. Just outside the main Base Camp town, it was beautifully decorated amongst palm trees and with A/C, a large ensuite and hot water you can’t go wrong.
If you like to enjoy both sunset and sunrise, other options are to stay at the top of mountains, there are famous hotels such as Golden Rock hotel, Mountain Top hotel, Kyaik Hto Hotel. Yoe Yoe Lay hotel is a bit more basic and should check based on your budget.
READ MORE: Golden Rock-Bago-Yangon Trip
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