There are a number of options to getting to Mt. Kyaiktiyo - Myanmar Golden Rock
By public bus
A number of bus lines operate from the Highway Bus Station (also know as the Aung Mindalar Bus Station) in Yangon to the town of Kyaiktiyo and Kinpun which is a town 10km (6 mi) from Kyaiktiyo right at the base of Mt Kyaiktiyo. You can usually organise the bus from the reception where you're staying.
If you want to see the Golden Rock then do not get off at Kyaiktiyo (except in wet season, when you will be transferred to a pickup for the leg to Kinpun), disembark early at Kinpun, if in doubt tell the conductor you want to get of at Kinpun, their English is limited but they should be able to tell you when to get off.
The first bus leaves at 06:30 and then go at hourly intervals until 14:30 (maybe later in high season). The fare is MMK8,000 and the trip takes 4½-5 hours.
You can also take the train from Yangon. Trains leave throughout the day with the earliest departing at 07:15 (and at 18.25 and 21.00). Upper Class seats (basically padded seats with footrests rather than the wooden benches in "ordinary class") cost about MMK2,450. The fare for ordinary class is MMK1,200 (As of April 1, 2014 foreigners pay the same price as locals for trains and can pay in kyats.)
You can buy the tickets directly at the train station or at the office just across the street from the Sakura Building Downtown, but remember to bring your passport (or at least know your passport number).
The train leaves on time from Yangon and supposedly takes four hours but expect delays. It is a very old train and travels quite slowly with rocking and bumping along the way. Nevertheless, it offers a great chance to see the countryside and interact with locals.
Drinks, snacks, cigarettes, and betel nuts are all on offer from sellers who wander up and down the aisles. On the way back trains supposedly come through Kyaiktiyo every hour until around 18:00 and then not until around midnight. Expect delays for these trains returning to Yangon as they are coming all the way from Dawei Port and lose time on the way. The Pick-Up up to Kinpun takes about 20min and costs MMK1,200.
There are direct buses from Mawlamyine to train station.
From Bago you can take a bus/pickup to Kyaiktiyo that costs about MMK3,000, takes 3.5 hours and stops close to the train station.
Last but not least, you can get to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda by taking a Golden Rock Group Return Day Trip From Yangon.
This group tour costs around US$65 per person, and includes hotel pickup and drop-off, transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle, and an English-speaking driver.
The tour departs at 5am and returns to Yangon at around 5pm the same day. Contact us for more detail.
To get from Kinpun to the Golden Rock you have to take a truck and/or walk. The truck stop is just up from the town centre, to the left of the Sea Sar Hotel/Restaurant.
The trucks are dump trucks rebuilt with seats to fit passengers.They are usually packed to the brim with 7 rows of 6 people, so you will end up sitting on each other, and won't leave utill they are full.
Try to choose a truck with seat-backs rather than just benches as they will be much more comfortable for the steep ride up. The trucks have a metal cage at the back for storing larger objects such as backpacks or extra passengers.
The last trucks depart the mountaintop just before sunset at 6pm (the drivers claim it is against the law for them to drive at night -- and on the dark, meandering road it is not hard to understand why) so make sure you don't miss the last trucks departing. If you miss the last trucks, you will either have to to walk down (about 3 hours) or stay in one of the hotels at the mountain top.
The trucks are all pretty similar, though two types of seats are available. There are 5 seats in the more comfortable air-conditioned cab. These are 3000MMK each, and can be pre-purchased at a small desk in the truck station.
For a more authentic experience take a ride packed in the back with the locals. These seats are 2000MMK each. Simply board the waiting trucks without a ticket, part-way up the mountain the truck will stop and money will be collected from each passenger.
A number of times along the route the convoy of trucks will appear to stop for no reason, this is to allow trucks coming from the other direction to pass sections of the road to narrow for two-way traffic. While your waiting street-vendors will offer food and drinks for sale.
The trucks stop a 15 minute walk from the top. From there it is an easy walk to the top though Sherpas are available, who will charge you a fee (MMK6,000) to carry your stuff (they can also carry you up for about MMK 15,000.
It's also possible to walk the entire way up which is a 5 hour very steep climb. It is possible to get carried up the mountain on a Palanquin, an oriental transport cart powered by the legwork of two persons bearing the cart's and the occupant's weight on their shoulders, for around USD8. How happy the Burmese are with this mode of transport remains questionable. Not advised for overweight tourists.