Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day Trip Outside Yangon - Golden Rock

Panoramic view with Golden Rock
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as Golden Rock is located at the Kyaikhto Township in Mon State which is 180 km away from Yangon. Plenty of transportation services are running between Golden Rock and Yangon, such as private car, bus, train etc. Only by train, you need to overnight there. When you arrive at the base camp of the golden rock, take an hour ride open truck up to the mountain top and walk another 15 minutes to see the Golden Rock. Another way is 4 hours hiking up to the mountain and earns the pilgrim merit. That’s what we used in the old days.

A Merit-Earning Pilgrimage
At the bottom of Kyaiktiyo and all along the path to its summit are rest houses built by well-wishers. Vendors sell bamboo and cane crafts, traditional herbal medicines, and food and drinks.
The 10 mile (16 km) hike up the mountain takes about 4 hours and earns the pilgrim merit. Between October and March, during the dry season, thousands of worshipers make this climb, a trek lined with many nat shrines. The journey is strenuous, but the path affords beautiful views of the surrounding springs and forest. Porters can be hired to help carry the pilgrims’ luggage – or the pilgrims themselves – in hammocks attached to bamboo poles. Children can be carried in cane baskets. Along the way, many pilgrims collect water from certain springs in bottles to bring home, believing the water possesses the power to cure illnesses. When the pilgrims reach the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo, they chant and meditate through the night. From the summit, they have to cross a short bridge built over a deep chasm to get to the flat ledge on which the golden boulder stands. Along the journey up the mountain, many of the pilgrims buy squares of gold leaf to apply to the rock’s surface. Over the years, the gold leaf has accumulated to form a thick layer of solid gold!

Defying Gravity
A spectacular sight meets visitors to Mount Kyaiktiyo in Mon State. Resting on the edge of a cliff is a golden boulder with a girth of 50 feet (15.2 m). A small stupa 18 feet (5.5m) high is perched atop the boulder. The entire marvel – Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, or Golden Rock – is 80 feet (24.4 m) high. An important center for pilgrims, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is said to contain one of the Buddha’s hairs. The Burmese believe that the rock was placed on the mountain ledge, 2,500 years ago, with the help of Nats (or) Spirits.
Golden Rock at the dawn
Sunset at the Golden Rock
Night Scene of Golden Rock
A Nat (or) Spirit Shrine

A monk praying at the Golden Rock

Women are not allowed to touch the rock
Local food stalls at the Golden Rock
Golden Rock Bazzer
Open Truck Car Terminal

Selling Indigenous Medicines

Settlement area on the Mountain Top

Truck Ride to the Golden Rock

Comfortable chair porter

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