The Kayin State is a mountainous region renowned for its limestone caves and beautiful scenery. Hpa An is the capital of Kayin State which is about (270km) six hours south of Yangon, it was built on the eastern bank of the Than Lwin (Salween) river. Most of the people who live there are Kayin ethnic. The city connects to Kawkareik, Hpapun, and Myawaddy to Maesot, Thailand by road.
How to get there
-There is no direct train to Hpa An from Yangon.
-There are many daily Air-conditioned buses from Yangon to Hpa An.
-You can take the bus come from Yangon Aung Mingalar bus station. It is also possible to access Hpa An by road from Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) as well as from Myawaddy (Myanmar – Thai border) and Mawlamyine.
Daily Bus List Hpa an – Yangon
- Shwe Sin Sat Kyar
- Golden Lion (Shwe Chin Thae)
- Shwe Myanmar
- Mi Ba Gone
- Tha Ma Nya
- Shwe Phar Si
Zwekabin Mountain and Lumbini garden
Mt. Zwekabin which is about 723 meters (2372 feet) and tallest limestone mountain in Hpa an, Kayin State, crowned by a stupa said to contain a hair of the Buddha. It is a three-hour drive to the summit where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Hpa An and surrounding area. The mountain boasts fantastic aerial views over the Kayin countryside. At the foot of Zwekabin Mountain contain thousands of over-life-size statues of the Buddha images sitting in Lumbini garden.
Kyauk Ka Latt Pagoda
Kyauk Ka Latt Pagoda is built on layers of natural rock formations. The pagoda was laying on a rock, surrounded by an artificial lake and distant hills. Before the lake, another golden temple with a nice looking Buddha statue can be visited. You will have a couple of beautiful photos with spectacular views of Mt. Zwekabin. Kyauk Ka Latt Pagoda is the popular pilgrimage site close to Hpa An city.
Kaw Goon Cave
The main attraction of this sacred site, eight miles south of Hpa An, it is also the hidden gallery of 13th Century artwork within. The rock surfaces are profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images and more than 2000 votive tablets of Buddha image and Mon inscriptions.
The pagoda was first recorded in 1893 in an Archaeological Survey of India Report. One headless craving of an elegant torso is believed to represent a queen who donated some images to the cave pagoda.
It’s is situated on Sadan hill most southern part of the Zwekabin mountain range. It is near Kaw War Su village on the eastern bank of Than Lwin river and about 32.18km from Hpa an in the south.
The cave is 107 m in length from East to West and 40 m in width from South to North and 30 feet high above the ground. Natural stone rocks, stalactites, and stalagmites look like the head, nose, and body of an elephant. Hence the cave was called Sadan Cave. Visitors can see natural heritages, Myanmar culture, and natural beauty. A small lake is situated at the end of the cave, which can return back to the entrance through the paddy field by boat ride.
Ya Thay Pyan Cave
Ya Thay Pyan Cave also known as the cave of hermit, it has a large pagoda and many votive tablets inside the cave. The walls in the cave are decorated with Buddha sculptures and partially covered in tile. The air inside the cave is much cooler than in the sun. There is a passageway that leads to another side of the mountain and views around the cave offered a little excitement.
Kaw Ka Taung Cave
Kaw Ka Thaung Cave is situated close to Hpa an in Kayin state. Red stone monks with their alms bowls line up the street. Inside you can see Buddha figures of various shapes and sizes and all the way at the back there is a narrow candlelit passage that leads to a small worship chamber. Locals come to Kaw Ka Thaung to have a refreshing swim in an enclosed part of the cool lake. The Cave where locals come to have a sim. You have to climb the steep rocks to get into the underground lake. Now many people swim in the new enclosed part of the outside lake. The new part where people come to swim, near many small restaurants in Hpa An.
Bat Cave is a small that cannot be entered but can visit there to view the amazing sunset. During sunset, hundreds of thousands of bats fly out from the cave to feed and come back every morning. The cave is situated on the top of the rock, accessible by a steep ladder. You can also make a donation to take care of the place and its surroundings.
Bayin Nyi Cave
Bayint Nyi Cave, the cave is closed to Thaton, a beautiful natural cave on the mountain with views of paddy fields, another steep rock with a monastery at the base of the mountains. There is a natural hot water spring where locals come to worship and pray for prosperity and good health. In addition to viewing the many Buddha statues, you will also see many beautiful stalagmites and stalactites which have formed naturally over the centuries.
Kayin New Year Day is a national public holiday in Golden Land Myanmar. It is held on the first day of the moon month of Pyatho. Kayin ethnic are the second largest ethnic minority in Myanmar and live throughout much of lower Myanmar. Other ceremonies to present the Kayin cultural heritage are held all over Myanmar, especially in Hpa An which is the capital of Kayin State. Kayin National dancing like the Kayin Done Dance or the Kayin Bamboo Dance is an ethnic trademark. Kayin national flag is hoisted at dawn and steam sticky rice is served for all people who join the ceremony. During the festival, all the Kayin ethnic people wear their national costumes of woven tunics over longyi and go around the cities to visit relatives and friends.