Kayin State

Kayin State

Kayin State is situated between north latitude 16 ̊46′ and 19 ̊21’ and between east longitude 96 ̊25′ and 98 ̊54’. It has an area of 11090 square miles and it borders Shan and Kayah State in the north , districts of Tangoo, Thahton and Mawlamyaing on the west, Ye township in the south and Thailand in the east. Kayin State has a population of 1403000 and not only most of the Kayin people live but also Sa Kaw, Po, Bwe, Padaung, Sane, Kayin Ni people. They profess Buddhism, Nat, Christian. Kayin New Year festival, the most popular one, has a hold on the first waving day of phytho month every year.

Hpa An is the capital of Kayin state in southern Myanmar and although it is possible for tourists to travel there, relatively few do. It is a reasonably quiet town, with no high rise buildings and not much traffic. It has a rural feel as ox carts and trucks laden with vegetables mixed with an assortment of other vehicles of all ages and states of dilapidation. There was always a row of ancient looking Mazda taxis parked outside the mosque. The homeland of the Karen people, Hpa-An is an energetic, friendly town on the banks of the Thanlwin River. The main attractions though are scattered around the beautiful surrounding countryside, making this is an ideal area for relaxed touring.

Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda is situated in Theinseik Village. Thaton Township. Kayin State. Buddha went on sojourn to Thuwunna Bhumi Thaton for the third time in Maha Sakarit 128. Buddha and all the Sangha were waited with bated breath by the king and queen of Thaton at the place and marked with the building of the pagoda enshrining the seven treasures. It is about 20 cubits high and called Taung-lay-gon Shwe-yin-myaw in Myanmar and Bwa in Pa-O. With the passage of time the pagoda suffered the ravages of time and it was repaired by U Shwe Ok (a) Bo Shwe Ok’s wife Daw Pan (a) Aphwa Ma Pann up to the present height of 45 cubits.

The tallest of the limestone mountains that ring Hpa-an is Mt Zwegabin, about 7 miles south of town, which as well as being a respectable 2372ft, is also home to spirits and saintly souls. The two-hour hike to the summit is demanding – up many steps and with aggressive monkeys as constant adversaries – but once at the top the rewards are plentiful. Zwegabin Hill is 722m high. The summit takes in staggering views, a small monastery and stupa containing, yes, you guessed it, another hair from the Buddha. If you arrive at the top before noon you can take advantage of a complimentary lunch (rice, orange and tea) and the 11am monkey feeding – different primates, different menus. The descent down the east side of the mountain takes around 1½ hours. The construction of cable cars to the summit of Mt. Zwegabin is now starting.

The column or rock, standing sheer out of a lake makes this monastery, pagoda and Nat shrine is one of the most photographed spots in all Kayin State. This is a popular pilgrimage site close to Hpa-An town.

Kawgun cave is located near Kawgun village, which is two miles distance from Hpa An township, Kayin State. It is a natural limestone cave and measures 200 fts height and 300 fts length. The rock surfaces is profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images and votive tablets. It is a rare cave in the lower Myanmar. According to the style of the Buddha images it can be datable to 15th century A.D. Hanthawaddy period.

This football-stadium-sized cave is simply breathtaking, its entrance dominated by dozens of buddhas statues, a couple of pagodas and some newer clay wall carvings. In absolute darkness, you can scramble for 15 minutes through black chambers as high as a cathedral, truck-sized stalactites and, in places, walls of crystal. Adding to the general atmosphere, thousands of bats cling to the cave roof. The squealing from them is deafening in places; watch out for bat excrement. Emerging at the cave’s far side, the wonders only increase and the burst of sunlight reveals an idyllic secret lake full of ducks and flowering lilies hidden in a bowl of craggy peaks. There is another cave on the far side of the lake that is actually half flooded, but local fishers occasionally paddle through the cave for 10 minutes to yet another lake. You may be able to persuade one to take you along. Saddan Cave can be traversed only partially during the rainy season. Come here during the dry season (around November to April) for the full experience. The cave is 17 miles from Hpa-an along the road to Eindu.

The cave is located further out of town on the road to Thaton. A car park, lying a short distance off the main Hpa-an to Thaton highway, has a couple of snack stands and a narrow footpath leads past the bathing pools to the temple complex. Marshlands spread out on either side which, especially during the winter months, are good for birdlife. The various shrines, stupas and statues are spread out over several low levels at the foot of the cliff, linked by stairs and interspersed with trees that are home to a resident long-tailed macaque population. Hot springs and bathing pools make men and women be good health.

Kaw Ka Taung Cave is at Kaw Kyaik, east of the Zwegabin hill. There’s a long row of stone monks outside the compound, and lots of Buddhas inside. The cave is only 53m long but has a tiled floor and is full of statues. When we were surveying an Asian tour group arrived and the caretaker turned on a tape of Christmas songs to supplement the Buddhist chanting.

Padamya or Ruby Cave is in the same hill as Kaw Ka Taung Cave. From Kaw Ka Taung drive a few hundred metres past the stone monks to the steps leading up to Padamya Cave. It is now in the process of being developed. Steps lead up to the entrance, then a passage leads to a very dusty large chamber with a huge Buddha. The passage passes a natural well and ends. There is lots of chert on the walls. Cave runs in a straight line for 117m.

A two hour drive or motorbike ride east of Taungoo lies Thandaung Gyi, a stunning town that sits atop the Bwihikho mountain range just inside northern Kayin State. The town is overlooked by a mountain named locally as Naw Bu Baw Mountain, which is an important religious site for the Karen Christians in the area. According to Karen legend, the mountain is still plagued by the spirits of Naw Bu Maw and her husband Saw Thaw oh Khwa. The main part of Thandaung Gyi is dominated by a ghostly building that functioned as a tea factory during British colonial era and still functions as a factory providing tea rations for the Myanmar army; the friendly factory manager and his wife will happily give a tour of the facility to curious visitors.

Myawaddy is a border town between Myanmar and Thailand. It is connected to Mae Sot on the other side of the border. The border immigration between the two countries arranges the day-pass near the border. The Myawaddy market is full of all kinds of clothes, household goods, and vegetables were for sale. There is also the main pagoda in Myawaddy.

Panorama view of famous Kyone Htaw waterfall is in Hlaing Bwe near Myaing Gyi Ngu, Kayin State. A great place to swim and admire the nature. The most beautiful waterfall in Kayin State and you will be amazed by the great nature surrounding the waterfall and the smell of the fresh air. This waterfall is one of the amazing places in Kayin State. The water is clean and green. Strongest water filling time is during the rainy season and you should avoid that time.

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