The Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo)

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sea Sar Guesthouse

Flag of Myanmar  , Bago,
Friday, November 20, 2009

It was a very early morning as I wanted to get to the Golden Rock early to be able to visit it today and then leave tomorrow for Moulmein.  I had reserved the taxi who did show up on time but was scamed into giving him more money as I wanted him to drop me off exactly where I would be taking the bus and for that service he wanted more money. Basically I didn't feel like bargaining or arguing so early in the morning. Once I arrived at the bus station I noticed that all taxis were dropping off their passengers exactly in front of the buses they were taking!!!

Bus was nearly full but the seat beside me was empty as well as a few more throughout the bus.  A few more stops and soon the bus was full and I had a very interesting fellow, "Mr Win", a retired professor who presently owns a printing company in Yangon take the seat beside me.  Soon after we had our first stop and to my surprise, Mr. Win had already ordered a typical Myanmar breakfast for both of us. Communication was quite limited as I don't speak the language and Mr. Win has limited english. Made for some rather interesting conversation! Once in Kyaiktiyo, Mr Win helped me negotiate a room at Sea Sar Guesthouse and get a seat in the back of a truck (2000K) that would take me partly up the slope as the last part has to be done on foot.  (Mr. Win was staying behind for a business meeting but would meet me at the top of the mountain if he had time after his meeting.)

The Golden Rock is one of the most  religious sites in Myanmar and many locals come here to pray. I wasn't aware that the actual "Golden Rock" was under renovations and that I could not actually see it!!!!  I wasn't  really disappointed as the trip here and the rest of this religious site is very interesting and well worth a side trip for anyone that might have some extra time.  I am also glad that I decided to spend the night here because I could linger around and just take in the sites and find a nice  shrine in a cave-like rock for another special meditation. Unfortunately I do not have photos as, once again, I would not give the government money that was not truely necessary. So I just paid the $6 (or was it 10$?) entrance fee.  As I was finishing my visit and heading back down I noticed Mr Win climbing the last steps.  I waited for him as he went to pray and we then walked back to the truck stop to get back down the mountain.  (The truck is not allowed to take foreigners right to the top. I am told it is because it is too dangerous!! I am not sure if it is true or not but they do have porters to carry your day pack, offerings, picnic . . .  if it gets too heavy.) It is a very steep climb but fun with lots of restaurants and stalls along the way. 

Mr Win somehow managed to get us a seat in the cab of the truck!!  I believe that was $4.00 each.  Back in the village we each went our own way but decided to meet for diner.  It was my turn to treat Mr. Win. He picked the restaurant and what a wonderful choice. We had a great traditional and tasty Myanmar meal.  Before calling it a day, we decided to reserve our bus seats for the next day - Mr. Win returning to Yangon and myself continuing to Mawlamyine (Moulmein). 
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topologist on

I also stayed at this place during my trip in Oct 2010

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