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An update from Evaneos

Kyaikhtiyo (Myanmar)

Practical information on Kyaikhtiyo

  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
4 and a half hours by bus from Yangon
When to go
Between December and February
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Kyaikhtiyo

Marine Faure Seasoned Traveller
48 written opinions

The Golden Rock, or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, is a Buddhist pilgrimage site. 

My suggestion:
Aim to reach the top early in the morning - the best time to see it, before most tourists arrive.
My review

At 1,200m altitude, the Golden Rock, which has a 6 meter diameter, is a popular Burmese pilgrimage destination. According to legend, the rock was placed on the edge of the mountain by spirits and is balanced on one of Buddha's hairs. Pilgrims paste the rock with golden leaves.

You can either stay over at the summit or in Kinpun, 10km away. I came by pick-up from Kinpun and then climbed the rest of the way in about 45 minutes. Bear in mind it's a steep climb!

You also need to know that women don't have the right to approach nor touch the rock... Even so, Kyaiktiyo is a must see during your trip to Burma!

The Golden Rock
Romain Beuvart Seasoned Traveller
89 written opinions

The Golden Rock is an important place of pilgrimage for the Burmese. The history of the Rock, which houses a relic, one of Buddha's hairs, explains why the Rock seems to be balanced on the edge of the cliff.

My suggestion:
Sleep at the bottom of the mountain rather than on the summit, as well as finding the hotels cheaper, I thought the trip up by truck was an attraction all by itself!
My review

Going up by truck at 5.30 in the morning you are plunged into the atmosphere that surrounds the activity on the Golden Rock. But if you like hiking you don't have to drive up, you can walk it.

I could feel the early morning freshness on my face whilst the Burmese cried out between each turn and the truck driver took great delight in accelerating rapidly whenever he could. The trip up the Golden Rock only lasts 20 min. When you arrive at the summit the view is amazing, the sun is not yet up, and the fog in the surrounding valleys and all the Burmese hurrying towards the Rock only add to the atmosphere.

The Golden Rock is like a drop of gold balancing on the cliff, it is just superb! The incense and the monks add the finishing touch to the naturally fabulous setting in the surrounding mountains. You can buy souvenirs and snacks in the shops. There are also hotels and restaurants, in fact a real small town has grown up around the Rock, making it a bit less "wild", and I felt a bit like the Golden Rock had become "just" a monument in a little mountain village. But don't let's exaggerate, it's still a great experience and it's difficult to envisage a trip to Myanmar without seeing the Rock.

The Golden Rock