More rain than shine: Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock), Myanmar

When it rains it pours

Me and my lovely rain poncho holding up the Golden Rock

Thankfully the night bus dropped us right outside Sea Sar guesthouse which was basic but pleasent and within our price range at just over $10 each a night. From first glance the town of Kyaiktiyo was much different to Kyaukme, not only were we back down south but the town itself is a lot more catered to tourists with souvenir shops and a large selection of Chinese restaurants.

One of the most important pilgrimages in Myanmar

After a quick breakfast of greasy curry and rice myself, Jaimie and Emily caught a pick-up truck to the top of Mt Kyaiktiyo where the famous golden rock supposedly balances by a string of hair from the cliff edge. The disappointment felt after my choice of breakfast continued. I was told I would have to wait a long time for the pick-up to fill up with people before we could depart. I wanted to get the truck heading half way to the top so I could hike the rest of the way as planned. This was unfortunate but it made sense to jump onto a full pick-up truck, as opposed to waiting for more people to join, which would have taken a while, it being one of the most popular pilgrimages in Myanmar it was unlikely that the people making the journey would want to arrive hot and sweaty.

On the roof of the truck in the rain

My day got worse when the heavens opened as soon as we pulled out of the bus station, which is probably the worse thing to happen when you are squashed against a metal pole in the back of an open top pick-up truck with 50 Asians driving at full speed, over cobbled roads up a steep mountain and with absolutely no visibility in front. I was drenched and what made matters worse is that when I finally reached the top wrapped in a giant carrier bag cursing every step of the way, I couldn’t even see the sodding rock because of the fog. 

The thick fog cleared for a brief second
I did manage to get a cheeky picture of the rock when the weather improved – for all of thirty seconds *taa daa*. We decided to go for tea and cake to warm up before heading back down which was extortionately overpriced and the cake terrible but it was bound to be, I was having one of those days. It’s not often tea and cake could be deemed a big mistake, but in this instance it meant we missed the majority of people heading down resulting in us having to wait over an hour in the cold, wind and rain for the last truck of the day to leave. By the time we left I was so cold and angry I had given up cursing and shut my eyes in total silence. A man gave me a cup of hot tea. His kindness brought a brief smile to my face.

The rock in all it’s glory

After a warming bowl of chicken soup for dinner I went in search for cake to heighten my mood and improve the day but in the town of Kyaiktiyo there was absolutely no cake to be found and the only sweet substance is dried fruit jam – yelch! How could this be when the rest of Myanmar has cake galore even if it is the most chemically tasting sponge in a packet? I just had to accept that it was one of those days, which looking back at the minor annoyances that occurred just shows how lucky I am. Like the whole of our time in Myanmar, we were in bed before ten and on this occasion decided to end the night by watching a good old rom com on Jaimie’s ipad. Tomorrow was a new day and like always, I was terribly excited. 

Living life, loving travel, 
H x

1 Comment

  1. […] had expressed an interest in getting the local train from Kyaiktiyo to Mawlamyine, as not only was it an eighth of the price but it would be an experience – and […]

Leave a Reply