Down south in Myanmar is a rock.
|Kyaiktiyo Pagoda - perched on the top of a mountain. (Beautiful sunsets, too!)|
A large one.
At the edge of a precipice.
Held in place by one hair of the Buddha.
(Yes, there's a golden pagoda on top-)
Pilgrims press squares of gold leaf onto the rock, light candles, and pray.
(But only men. Women are not allowed to touch the golden rock.)
It's an 8 mile walk up.
But now they take pilgrims up in large metal trucks.
They took us, too.
The mountain is VERY steep.
At night, it's a festive atmosphere.
Disco lights, candle offerings.
Families camping out. Excited kids running around.
Gold and glass and statues and candles everywhere.
Quite the party.
Guys selling horns and noisemakers.
Groups up from the country sleeping out at the top of the mountain.
The inns are full.
There are not many foreigners.
People do a wonderful double take when they see us.
Everyone has a cell phone, so they try to take a photo of us - without our noticing it.
Plenty of melons, limes, pomelos, huge avocados, fish, rice, noodles, fresh veggies, fruits, chilies, nuts and spices. Myanmar has some of the finest fruits and vegetables I've ever seen.
A Burmese full moon Thanksgiving.
All thanks to the Golden Rock.
And the hair of the Buddha that holds it in place.