Kyaik ka mi is a resort town in the Mon State of south-east Myanmar.
During the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (an ancient kingdom in Thailand), the town was probably a vassal state of Ayutthaya and it was known in Thai as Chiang Kranor Chiang Tra. It was renamed Amherst after William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst, then governor-general of India who successfully seized the town during the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826).
The town is situated on a peninsula about 48 km (30 mi) south of the town of Mawlamyine. It is a popular destination for local pilgrims and some tourists. The town has a pagoda (KyaikkamiYele Pagoda or Kyaik-kami Ye Le Paya) just constructed on the sea using the natural foundation of its ocean reefs, which is connected with the corridor to the beach and always attracts the people for the festival of donations over the sea tides.
It got a record rainfall of 75 mm (2.95″) on 14 Jan 2012. It was the highest amount of rainfall within 24 hours of January in the last 30 years.
Site Name: Kyaik Ka Mi Pagoda
Area: Mon State
This pagoda is different from most due to its position on the sea. Parts of the pagoda can only be accessed during low tide, by scrambling across barnacled rocks. The view from the outlying pagodas is worth the hassle though.
A local favourite here is to get a bag of brightly coloured fish food and feed the catfish at the bottom of the rocks.
A little more touristy than most places in Mon State, this pagoda doesn’t miss a trick. There is a camera fee, a toilet fee and some serious inflation going on (700 for a soft drink instead of the standard 500). Though with these things all being under 1000 kyat (1USD at the time of writing), it’s hardly a deal breaker.
You can get here by hiring a car/driver. It takes around 1 hour from Mawlamyine.
You can hire a car for a day that seats about 12 people in the tray, for around 60,000 kyat. In a day from Mawlamyine you could visit Kyaik Ka Mi Ye Le Pagoda as well as the death railway, WWII cemetery, giant reclining Buddha and Set-Se Beach. As a group it makes for a cheap day out.
There is a room in this pagoda that is men only.
The rocks to the outlying pagodas have a slippery mud coating so walk carefully.
This is a religious site and guests are expected to behave accordingly. This means covered shoulders, knees and cleavage, no shoes and overall behaving in a respectful manner. Note that you should never show the soles of your feet to a Buddha statue, should never touch someone on the head and should absolutely never touch a monk’s robes.