Bago Travel Guide

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Gregg Butensky -

This city is on the way to the golden rock pagoda at Kyaiktiyo. The city of Bago has more surprises then the guidebooks will tell you, so read this section. Bago was founded by Thamala and Wimala, two Mon brothers of noble birth in 573 AD. According to legend, the Buddha rested on a small hillock and two hintha birds came before him in obeisance. He prophesied that 1,660 years after his death, a city would be established on that spot which would be a capital but it was destroyed in 1757 by King Alaungpaya (the founder of Third Burmese Empire). By 1795 Bago had a population of less than 6,000. Bago is 2hr drive from Yangon.

What to do ?

During our trip, several travellers told us about a rickshaw driver called Manny. He's a great guide in Bago. Don't worry to find him, he'll find you as there are very few tourists (he awaits buses and trains). He offered us a citytrip with his rickshaw visiting: The famous reclining Buddha Four figures pagoda with beautiful Buddha's. Longyi workshop He also goes to the fantastic Kha Khatwain Kyaung monastery. It's the second largest monastery. There are around 1000 monks studying Buddha's life. If you visit at lunchtime, you'll see how the food of all these monks is prepared. You can take pictures and have lunch with them, really great.

Manny charges 3 US$ for 2 for a whole day.

Golden Rock

We heard there are not many hotels near the Golden Rock, and they are very expensive, because a lot of tour groups end up here. So we decided to take a car and return the same evening. We rented a driver next to our hotel who charged 2 US$. The trip takes more then 2 hours. Golden Rock is one of the most sacred places in Myanmar. A massive goldleafed boulder balances on the edge of the cliff. The entrance fee is 6 US$ for the MMT. From the foot of the mountain, you can take a pick up, but some pilgrims do it by foot. If you do this, take plenty of water, it'll take a whole day. It's also quite steep. If you go by pick-up, they'll drop you near the top. It'll still take you 1 to 2 hours of climbing. At the top, it's like entering a theme park. There's a very relaxed atmosphere, and the Rock is pretty amazing. Try to avoid visiting the rock on a full moon day, because then the rock is visited by plenty of Burmese, which will cause you waiting many hours because the path is very narrow (Peter Vos 9/99).

Getting there

We went to Bago from Yangoon by train (2 US$ pp). A taxi ride to Yangoon costs 6 US$ (we missed the train eventually).

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