According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. Another legend states that a Buddhist priest impressed the celestial king with his asceticism and the celestial king used his supernatural powers to carry the rock to its current place, specifically choosing the rock as the resemblance to the monks head. It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda.
Presently, women are not allowed into the inner sanctuary of the rocks vicinity, maintained by an employed security guard who watches over the gated entrance. Women are permitted in the outer balcony and the lower courtyard of the rock.
Ancient tradition refers to only five likenesses of the Buddha, made during his lifetime; two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Mahamuni Buddha image in Myanmar. According to the legend, the Buddha visited the Dhanyawadi city of Arakan in 554 BC. King Sanda Thuriya requested that an image was cast of him. After casting the Great Image, the Buddha breathed upon it, and thereafter the image became the exact likeness of the Mahamuni.
On 8 February 2015, the Mon State government began a construction project to build a 1,586 metres (5,203 ft) bridge, the Bilu Island-Thanlwin Bridge, to connect Mawlamyine's Mupun jetty to Bilu Island's Ka-nyaw village, the first to be constructed. The project, which is estimated to cost US$60 million, will be constructed by a Japan-Burma joint venture. Bilu Island is not connected to the national electricity grid. The people in this island depend on some interesting home industries such as black boards for schools, rubber bands, cane products, wooden pipes, pencils, pens and tobacco.
Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda
The largest reclining Buddha in the world, it is 30 meters high and 180 meters in length. It can be seen for miles and is located opposite the Buddhist shrine of Kyauktalon Taung.
As you enter Win Sein Taw Ya there are a line of hundreds of large monk statues holding alms bowls lining the road. Inside the Giant head are hundreds of chambers depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha as well as scenes from Buddhist hell.