We head back to Yangon where our cars are waiting for us to start a new journey. We need to install the Visirun control units before leaving. We still have a lot of km to cover and a little less time to do so. Our first stop is at the war cemetery in Taukkyan. More than 6.300 soldiers have died in Burma during WW II. In addition to the graves, we found more monuments dedicated to over than 27.000 soldiers who also died during WW II, but couldn’t get a proper burial and over 800 graves of unidentified soldiers. We get to Golden Rock at sundown. The real name is actually Pagoda Kyaitiyo, but is better known as Golden Rock and it’s the third most important Buddhist place of worship in Myanmar after Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni temple. It’s situated in Mon State, and it’s a little monument a bit more than 7 meters high built on the top of a strand of Buddha’s hair. All of this monuments are built on top of the Kyaiktiyo mount, and there’s a kind of a legend that says that it wouldn’t take more than one visit to a place like that, to convert to Buddhism.
In a place like this we had the chance to meet and chat with a hermit, which has more freedom than a Buddhist monk; to assist at the creation of homemade medicine to cure muscle pain (that involves a monkey skull ?); we realized how secluded this place was from the way the locals were eager to carry our bags so they could ask for money. We also dicovered that there was only one path you could walk down and it’s surrounded by waterfalls and forests. Such an amazing place!!!
On our way to Hpa-an we made a stop in Thaton, former capital of Mon State. Then, between Thaton and Hpa-an, we visited Bayintnyi caves a famous monastery for its rock cave filled with many statues and Buddhas. Just a bit outside the city of Hpa-an, there’s the Kyauktalat monastery, better know for its shape and position. It’s on a little island, that you can reach only through a bridge. This are places we could only imagine could exist. We’ve been so luky to get the chance to explore them. ?