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Road Trip to Golden Rock and Mawlamyine

Discover the magical sights of Myanmar on our 5-day Road Trip to Golden Rock and Mawlamyine itinerary. You’ll start off in bustling Yangon, before continuing your journey through Bago, Kyaikhtiyo, Hpa An, Mawlamyine, and back to Yangon. Along the way, you’ll catch an array of the country’s natural beauty and ancient sites, from fields of fresh fruit, sunsets over revered pagodas, mountains, caves, and more.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Marvel at the magnificent sunset over revered Golden Rock, or Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda
  • Visit Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the country’s most adored pilgrimage sites
  • Observe the unique meditation style of Pa Auk Forest Monastery
  • See where Rudyard Kipling got inspired for his famous poem, Mandalay
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1
Yangon - Bago - Kyaikhtiyo

From  Myanmar’s one-time capital of Yangon you will begin your 50-mile overland journey to Bago. Bago is home to many of Myanmar’s famous pagodas. Visit the Allied War Graves cemetery along the way, a memorial to the British Commonwealth soldiers who died in a battle that took place in the country during WWII. Take in the 180-foot-long reclining Buddha at Shwethalyaung Pagoda - the second-largest Buddha in the world! Continue on to Kyaiktiyo, also known as the “Golden Rock”, a gold-leafed boulder balancing on the edge of a cliff that seems to defy gravity. To get there, you’ll get a lift with a private local truck from Kin Pun base camp half-way up the mountain. From there, you’ll continue walking up the challenging-yet-rewarding paths to the summit. If the challenge is too much, you can kick back in a sedan chair, carried by a group of four porters. Watch as the golden sun sets overtop of Kyaikhtiyo - a magical sight.

Day 2
Kyaikhtiyo - Thaton - Hpa An

After breakfast today, you’ll head to Hpa An, a small city with an eclectic culture and intriguing landscape. You’ll stop at Bayint Nyi and Kawgoon caves, along the way, and marvel at the ancient wall carvings that date back to the 7th-century. Once arrived in Hpa An, get acquainted with the city with a small sightseeing tour, checking out Kyaikalatt, a small rock hill shaped like a wine glass, and Lombumni Garden at the base of Mt. Zawekabin, which houses 1,000 Buddha images. Tonight, you’ll see a second magical sunset, this time over Shweyinmyaw Pagoda.

Day 3
Hpa-An - Katoe Kotnet - Mawlamyine

Today, you’ll check out of your hotel and drive to Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State in Southeastern Myanmar, and the first capital of British Burma.  Along the way, you’ll stop at Katoe Kotnet, a one-time flourishing timber and steamship-fueled township. Once you arrive in Mawlamyine, you’ll check in to your hotel and get settled in. This afternoon, you’ll take in the town, visiting Mahamuni Pagoda - a major pilgrimage site, and Seindon Mibaya Kyaung, marvelling at its hundred-year-old wood carvings. Finally, check out Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, also known as the Kipling Pagoda, due to rumors the site was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, Mandalay. Nearby, another spectacular sunset awaits from a viewpoint. Head back to your hotel and relax for the night.

Day 4

You’re back on the road today, this time, to a small town called Mudon. Here, discover nature and spirituality at its best, with fertile plains sprouting fresh fruits and rubber trees, as well as the Pa Auk Forest Monastery, nestled, as the name implies, in a forest near the village. The monastery is known for its unique meditation methods. This afternoon, you’ll return to Mawlamyine, and visit the Mon State National Museum, and get a large dose of the local culture. Spend your evening at leisure, either at your hotel, or perusing the local town after dusk.

Day 5
Mawlamyine - Yangon

For your final full day of your Myanmar journey, start off with a visit to the local Zegyi market, Mawlamyine’s oldest and most important market. Thereafter, you’ll depart Mawlamyine, and head for Yangon. You’ll stop at Zinkyaik Waterfall and Shwesaryan Pagoda to stretch your legs and take in some more natural beauty and culture. Tonight, you’ll spend one more night at a hotel in Yangon.


Suggested Accommodations

The Strand Hotel

The Strand Hotel

Located on the banks of the Thanlwin River, The Strand is one of Mawlamyine's larger hotels. Within walking distance to the town’s central market, the basic hotel has a total of 64 rooms and suites with air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, hot and cold showers and WiFi. The large rooms are classically decorated and have pleasant views of the river and town. There is an onsite restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
Belmond Governor's Residence, The Strand

Belmond Governor's Residence

Located in a lotus garden not far from the Shwedagon Pagoda is The Governor's Residence. Once a governor's mansion, it has since been converted in to a 49-room hotel, a 30-minute drive from Yangon airport (RGN). Located in the hotel are two restaurants; the Mandalay Restaurant serves Asian and European cuisine and the Mindon Lounge is a comfortable spot to sit indoors overlooking the garden, or outdoors, and enjoy a refreshment. While there is a swimming pool and massage treatments are offered, there is no spa. The Governor’s Residence has a fitness center and WiFi is available anywhere on hotel grounds, in addition to having a business center for Internet and email access.


The Strand

This elegant 32-room colonial palace, built at the height of the British rule in Burma, is reminiscent of the romantic era of Graham Greene and W. Somerset Maugham. It remains an oasis of tranquility in an ever-changing and bustling Rangoon. The Strand was previously part of the Aman group, and is still of Aman caliber in its splendid suites, delicious food and superb service. It is now a part of the GHM Group, which is an Aman affiliate. The hotel offers two dining options, The Strand Café, which features Burmese cuisine, and The Strand Grill, which is said to be one of Yangon’s finest dining venues. A business center is available for Internet and email access with professional secretarial services. The hotel has The Strand Boutique for shopping and The Strand Spa Suite for spa treatments. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Yangon International Airport (RGN).

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder Jay Tindall has been visiting Myanmar since 1993. He prefers to escape to remote areas such as Loikaw & the Chin State, as well as sailing in the Mergui Islands.
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