- Place or Religious Monument
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!
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.