Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, is located on top of Kyaikhtiyo Hill at about 3,600 Feet (1,100 meters) above sea level in Mon State. The distance from Yangon via Bago is approximately 130 miles (210 km). The Pagoda was built over a hair relic, more than 2,500 years ago, in the life time of Buddha. Legend has it that the hair relic was given to a hermit by Buddha himself. The hermit treasured the sacred hair in his hair knot until he found a boulder resembling his own head on which he could build a Pagoda to enshrine it.
Pilgrims used to trek 12 km up Mt Kyaikhtiyo from a base camp at Kinmon which consists largely of guesthouses, places to eat and souvenir shops.
But in 1999 a paved mountain road linking the base camp and Ya-the-taung camp (now bus station) on the hill was built, thus leaving only 1.2 km hike to the Golden Rock. Most of the tourists coming to Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda use network of many kilometers of foot trails to go other parts of the mountains where there are other smaller lately built temples and pagodas, and many good vintage locations for photographing.