Akauk Taung cliff carvings

Quite an excursion

Photo of Akauk Taung cliff carvings, , Pyay

What we say: 3.5 stars

Back to brass tacks this is just a series of carvings in a cliff face, but it is actually far more from that, taking in a long ride through very attractive rural scenery, a small village and a boat trip.

To reach the site you will first need to hire a motorbike for the ride to Akauk Taung, some two hours away. While you could in theory ride this yourself, there is almost no signposting and the final turn off the main road is not signposted in English at all. We opted for a guide, which didn't massively increase the cost of the trip -- though it turned out he didn't know where the site was either -- at least he had the language skills to ask for directions.

Once you reach the village of Tonbo, you'll need to hire a boat for the 30 minute downriver trip to the carvings. They stretch for a long way, across a series of cliffs, becoming increasingly elaborate along the way -- the reclining Buddhas are particularly impressive.

Towards the end of the cliff, there is a place where your boat can tie up and you can then follow a cliff-face trail that leads up eventually to a cliff-top pagoda from where you can enjoy views up and down the river. Watch your footing along the trail as there is no guardrail and after rain it can be very slippery, with a sheer drop down to the water.

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Two hours south of Pyay by motorbike
Last updated: 4th November, 2013

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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Akauk Taung cliff carvings
Two hours south of Pyay by motorbike
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