Mon State (Burmese: မွန်ပြည်နယ်, pronounced: [mʊ̀ɴ pjìnɛ̀]; Mon: တွဵုရးဍုၚ်မန်၊ ရးမညဒေသ) is an administrative division of Myanmar (Burma). It is sandwiched between Kayin State on the east, the Andaman Sea on the west, Bago Region on the north and Tanintharyi Region on the south, and has a short border with Thailand's Kanchanaburi Province at its south-eastern tip. The land area is 12,155 km². The Dawna Range, running along the eastern side of the state in a NNW - SSE direction forms a natural border with Kayin State. Mon State includes some small islands, such as Kalegauk, Wa Kyun and Kyungyi Island, along its 566 km of coastline. The state's capital is Mawlamyaing.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Burmese: ကျိုက်ထီးရိုး ဘုရား, pronounced: [tɕaiʔtʰíjó pʰəjá]; Mon: ကျာ်သိယဵု, [tɕaiʔ sɔeʔ jɜ̀]), also known as Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Myanmar. It is a small pagoda (7.3 metres (24 ft)) built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda. A glimpse of the "gravity defying" Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism.
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (also known as Burma) is the northwestern-most country on the mainland of southeast Asia. It is strategically located near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes.