Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as Golden Rock, is in Mon State and is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma. Legend has it that the golden rock is perched on a strand of Buddha’s hair. It seems to defy gravity and devoted pilgrims come from all parts of the country to meditate here, often overnight.
The atmosphere at the height of the pilgrimage season (November to March) is charged with devotion. At dawn and dusk the rock is bathed in purple light. To reach the rock you have to take a ride in an open truck from the base station and zig zag up the mountain, which is a thrilling in itself, before walking up the steep track. You're greeted by the amazing sight of the cliff-edge balancing rock once you are there (and have got your breath back).
If you stay overnight it's well worth rising early to see the pagoda at sunrise, with the sun rising behind the surrounding mountains and hills. It's a moment you won’t forget in a hurry.
Time: GMT + 6hrs 30mins
There are no direct flights from the UK to Yangon (Rangoon). The flight time is at least 14 hours.
Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). English is widely spoken in major tourist destinations.
At least 6 months from the end of your trip, and with plenty of room for entry and exit stamps. A visa is required for British travellers and most nationalities.
Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Recommended vaccinations include diptheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, cholera & typhoid. Malaria prophylactics recommended for some parts of Burma.