Jul 22, 2012
May 11, 2013
Caught bus to Kinpun from where you can either trek uphill to see the Golden Rock on Kyaikhtiyo 'Mountain' or alternatively be lazy and get a truck/taxi up (nearly everybody does this both ways even the Burmese visitors/pilgrims). Checked into the Sea Sar Guesthouse complex and paid $7 for a grungy wooden type room, the cheapest place i could find. "Looks like a crime scene" is the Lonely Planet write up! Then spoke with other guests there who said the mountain should be renamed the Golden Rip Off as the rock/pagoda itself were covered in tarpaulin so you couldn't even see it but still got charged $7 entrance fee! With this in mind i hiked up the track leading from town to the entrance point (3 hours) which was quite a slog to be honest, but decided to save myself $7 and not go in. Had some lunch then walked back down, another couple of hours. The most disturbing thing however was seeing fat, middle aged western tourists being carried from the truck drop off point to the barrier entrance point on 'sedan' type chairs by 4 Burmese porters. It was like going back 100 years to colonial times with the attitude "I'm superior, the natives can carry me around". Shocking.