Kyaiktoiyo or Golden Rock - the pilgrimage
May 25, 2006
|This is the place that Hana was writing about in her ever so lovely addition to the web-site. The hike to the top took of about 5 hours, and yes it rained for at least 3h 45m of it,Andrew got a cold and at least we finally got to use all of our rain gear.
This is the holiest sight in Myanmar and ever year thousands of pilgrims make their way up the trail to see this spectacular sight. Legend states that it is the precise placement of a Buddha hair that allows for the precarious balance of the rock atop it's base. Not until you get there and see just how small the area in which the two rocks touch do you see the awe of it all. You can take a walkway underneath the rock and look at it from below, that is an exercise in patience and trust, because if it was to fall you'd not really be able to get out of the way fast enough.
By the time we had reached the top we were bare feet, rules in Myanmar around paya's, wet to the bone and getting cold. We almost walked right past the rock.
Hana: is that it over there?
Cam: i hope not, it looks disappointing.
You can see that we took some photos of the fog in front of the rock for good measure, but it was really not very inspiring, so we went to warm up. Cups of coffee, tea and a bowl of soup later we decide the it's time to go back... by transport this time though. To our surprise though the clouds had pasted for a while and it was slowly getting sunny at the top. The view that emerged was such a join to witness. We peered down into the valley around us and could finally see how beautiful the surroundings actually were. The sun and rising mist from below us, the way we could now see the rock in its beauty and smiles couldn't be taken from our faces.
We had been treated truly to an event so unexpected that it felt so right to have made the hike in the rain and to be cold to the bone and only when we had said "ok,that's was cool but" the sky opens and it was amazing.
The rock is covered with gold leaf, as most of Myanmar is actually, and when ever it needs replacing the donation money is used. There was also a foreigner fee to see it, but we knew about that.
Each of us are very glad to have done walked the trail of the pilgrims and it certainly was a worth while experience.