Golden Rock cable car opens

The cable car at Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. Photo: MOI
The cable car at Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. Photo: MOI

Myanmar’s first-ever cable car finally opened this week, giving visitors to Mon State’s Kyaiktiyo Pagoda a new way to get up the mountain.

A total of 44 cable cars will each shuttle up to eight people from a total of 955 meters from the town of Yathetaung to the entrance of the pagoda, commonly known as Golden Rock. The trip will take between eight and 15 minutes.

Previously, visitors could hike up the mountain or ride open-air shuttle trucks whose drivers are known for their recklessness.

The US$21 million Myanmar-South Korean joint venture project was initially scheduled for completion in October, but weather and a shortage of materials caused delays.

The cable car’s opening ceremony on Sunday was attended by Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan and Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Ohn Win.

In addition to being one of Myanmar’s most important pilgrimage sites, the area around Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is also home to a major market for illegal wildlife products. Earlier this week, local conglomerates KBZ Group and Shwe Taung Group joined a campaign led by the animal conservation group Voices for Momos, which has posted signs in the cable cars discouraging the purchasing of illegal wildlife products.

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