About Kayin State
Kayin or Karen State in southeastern Myanmar is a mountainous and luscious green rice bowl located just below the Dawna Ranges. Bordering Thailand, the Kayin people are a rugged mix of ethnicities from hill tribes within these mountain ranges. They look distinctly different from the Bamar and predominantly practice Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and animist faiths. Ragged, limestone crags jut out, many of which have naturally formed caves within. From the green paddy fields these rock faces create an eerie yet stunning landscape across Hpa An.
Lone ma ni Garden
The Lone ma ni garden is a Buddhist temple compound located at the base of the sacred Zwekabin Mountain. Buddhist pilgrims start from here to ascend the 723-metre high mountain, but plans for a cable car to the top are underway.
The natural limestone cave is a must see experience. It creates a natural tunnel-like alter for a Buddhist shrine, and you can walk through one end to the other in about 20 minutes. On the other side, a delightful canoe-trip awaits, taking you through flooded paddy fields back to the entrance on the other side of the cave.
Yethe Pyan Cave
Hidden from a distance by the densely forested mountainside, a track that leads to Yethe Pyan Cave becomes visible once you traverse a bridge over a small yet deep lake. Once across, you will see some well-cared-for steps leading up to the cave. Macaques, who wander freely around here, will watch you closely as you walk by.
Bayin Nyi Cave
A hidden delight of exploration, the Bayin Nyi Cave is home to a hot pool that feeds into other streams at the foot of the hills. The cave itself is a short trek up from the entrance and smells slightly sulfuric. Nearby hot pools which have been mixed with natural stream water provide a more temperate soak.