Golden Rock, known locally as Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, is located in the Mon State of Myanmar, about a 130-mile drive from Yangon. One of the most sacred sites in Burma, this is where candle-lit vigils, prayers, travelers, tourists and photographers amalgamate to create an interesting outing. Those who visit seem as if they’ve been summoned and perhaps even captivated by some secret siren’s song. I recently journeyed to Golden Rock on an searing hot day to witness its allure for myself.

The four-hour drive from Yangon to the Golden Rock passes through Bago and continues into the Mon State. I took a day-trip from Yangon, which involves a very long day of travel indeed. If you were to take this trip, you would be departing at 5 a.m. from your hotel, and returning at around 5 p.m. Most tourists stay overnight at Golden Rock, making the the trip a bit easier from a physical and logistical point of view. However, the hotels on-site are not of a very high standard. The best hotel at Golden Rock is the Kyaik Hto Hotel.

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