Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State. It is a small pagoda built on THE SHAKY MASSIVE BOULDER(22 ft in height & 84 ft in girth) covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees. A glimpse of the “gravity defying” Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism. It is located near Kyaikto in Mon State and about 211 km /3.5 hr drive by car from Yangon and also can be reached by bus or by train. There are trains with AC from Yangon on every Saturdays. From the base camp at Kinpun, the hiking trek to the pagoda is about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) and many devotees do this trek as part of the pilgrimage rites. Also, you can directly climb up to the top of the mountain by open-truck (about 1 hour drive). At the peak of the pilgrimage season, during November to March, an atmosphere of devotion is witnessed at Kyaikhtiyo pagoda. Lighting of candles, meditation and offerings to the Buddha continues throughout the night.
Mawlamyine formerly known as Moulmein is the capital of Mon State in Southeastern Myanmar. It is the fourth largest city in Myanmar with a population of about 400,000 people. Even though the population is quite large the city itself looks and feels like only a small town. It was once a major port and the administrative capital of British Lower Burma. It is located about 28 miles from the sea, 300 km south east of Yangon and 70 km south of Thaton, at the mouth of Thanlwin (Salween) river. It can be reached by bus from other cities. The significant landmark of the town are KYAIKTHANLAN PAGODA built in 875 AD, the THANLWIN BRIDGE, the longest road buildings with colonial style architecture; World War II era wooden buses and its close proximity to the infamous Siam-Burma “death railway”, making it a fascinating place to visit!
The other interesting places are KHAUNG SAY KYUN, SHAMPOO ISLAND, ST PATRICK’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE SOORTI SUNNI JAMAI MOSQUE and THE ABANDONED, RED BRICK ST MATTHEW’S CHURCH, WIN SEIN TAW RA, a 560ft-long Reclining Buddha; UZINA PAGODA, MAHAR MUNI PAGODA, BAMBOO THREAT PAGODA, SEIN TONE MEL MONASTERY, KYAIKMAYAW PAYA, a temple of serene and PA-AUK TAW YA MEDITATION CENTER,one of the largest meditation centers in Myanmar.