As prominent as the Great Wall to the Chinese or the Angkor to the Khmer, the Golden Rock defines that we are saying about Myanmar. Located on Kyaiktiyo Mountain, the rock has become the top Buddhist pilgrimage site since 11th century. In holidays, devotees from Myanmar and neighboring country flock to the site to admire the wonder and to contribute, and plate gold leaves on the surface of the big rock, on which Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is built. All activities nearby will happen in such a magic and respectful atmosphere, and the pilgrims pray near the rock from the daytime to all night long.
However, Golden Rock is not just a pilgrimage site but also the most sacred masterpieces of Buddhism in Myanmar, with a great view when miraculous light of dawn and dusk reflects on the rock. It has kept its unbelievable balance on a pedestal, with very limited precarious contact for centuries despite the nearly falling appearance, like having inside a magic power. From here, you can go further to the Southeast in less discovered Mon and Kayin states, where you can spend three or four days at charming Hpa-an, climbing up its incredibly beautiful Zwekabin peak to enjoy the view of Lumbani garden with hundreds of Buddha statues or to visit grandiose cave wall with carving masterpiece, or transfer to Mawlamyine, a very graceful but hectic coastline town.
Burmese food is delicious, a cuisine that highlights local delicacies as well as Indian and Chinese influences. In Golden Rock, which is a popular day trip destination from Yangon, its cuisine also carries strong tastes and flavors, with the tendency to have several accompaniments - be they soups, boiled vegetables, herbs or dipping sauces and pastes.
The Golden Rock in Myanmar is one of the most important sanctuaries in the country. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Buddhists make their pilgrimage to this place and and the number of tourists is experiencing a growth, too. The Golden Rock is definitely one of the most beautiful photo opportunities in Myanmar and therefore worth a visit.
Our pick: Four to five-day tour, including visiting the temple at Golden Rock Temple (Kyaiktiyo), Hpa-an, then Mawlamyine.
Going up Kyaiktiyo pagoda and enjoying sunrise and sunset, then trekking downhill thru villages and admire the view of Kyaiktiyo mountain.
Visiting charming Hpa-an and its incredible Kaw Gun Cave with exceptional carvings, and climbing Zwekabin Mountain.
Boat trip from Hpa-an to visit wonderful old colonial town, enjoying the sunset and seabirds at the port, then tasting great seafood at Mawlamyine.
Departure for theme tours, educational tours, charity tours and meditation tours. Visits to ancient monasteries and pagodas with great view at Mawlamyine.