Every year thousands of Burmese travel to what is said to be one of the most sacred monuments in Myanmar. The monument itself is on top of a hill around 1300 meters up. The views are spectacular and the ride itself equals the best rollarcoaster rides.
In order to reach the top the jam you in the back of large trucks and blast you up the steep incline. Sardines in a can have more room!
In the past the road did not make it all the way to the entrance. So it was not uncommon for the elderly or less mobile to grab a ride with these guys.
The entrance to Golden Rock.
The top of the hill is actually a small city with hotels and restaurants.
But since many of the people are very poor they will sleep out side for the night. They will bring mats, blankets and food and camp with their families.
Buddhism seems to still be set back in time though with men still being top of the food chain. It is said that this stone is so powerful that men are only allowed to enter and touch the stone. Because only men can become a buddha.
The practice is to enter the site and place gold leafs on the stone while praying for your wishes to come through (Notice the rock is only surrounded by men). And of course Andrew and I had to bug Suzi that we were the greater gender.
I told her it was pay back for all the women only gyms that men cannot enter.
Placing gold leaf on the stone.
Where i am standing is also another place women cannot enter. Na Na Na Na Na!
The women still come here to pray but will do so from another view point. They light candles and incense in the hundreds.
The following day as we were leaving we saw the monks taking their morning meal. Monks only eat what is provided to them by the people and only enough for nourishment.
i always wondered what would make a young child choose this life. But the truth is that if a family cannot afford to send their son to school. They will send him to the monks where they will teach him to read, write and do calculations. But during that time he must follow the ways of the monks. Most children will then leave the monastery in their teens when they can go back home and help work.