ayin State, located in Southeast Myanmar, has been trending among travelers because of its limestone caves, mountain scenery, and breathtaking waterfalls. Travelers can enjoy various activities such as exploring caves, trekking, and water sports there.
Most of the natural limestone caves in Kayin State are filled with Buddha statues and surrounded by stunning views. The most popular five caves which are located near Hpa-An, capital of Kayin State, are Bayin Nyi Cave, Yathae Pyan Cave, Kawgun Cave, Kawkathaung Cave, and Sadan Cave.
Bayin Nyi Cave
It is located north of Hpa-An and the cave and temple area on one of the limestone mountains. Before you reach the cave, there are two pools of hot springs, one for women and the other for men. Local people believe that showering in the hot springs can cure skin diseases.
Yathae Pyan Cave
At Yathae Pyan Cave, you will emerge with an impressive view of the surrounding countryside as the entrance of the cave is located rather high above the plain. There are numerous Buddha statues along the passageway of the cave entrance.
Kawgun cave is one of the most astonishing caves in Kayin State. Thousands of Buddhist carvings, a significant artwork of the 7th century, are plastered all over the walls and roof of the cavern. This cave is famous for its local monkeys and travelers can feed them with bananas and other snacks.
One of the largest limestone caves in Kayin, Sadan cave is famous for its natural stones and pillars that look like the head, nose, and body of an elephant. It is a walkthrough cave hosting dozens of Buddha statues and wall carvings.
Kawkathaung Cave which is situated south of Hpa-An has various shapes and sizes of Buddha and monk statues in the rows of both sides of the entrance. There is a lake with small restaurants near the cave where many people come for relaxation.
Another cave worth mentioning near Hpa-An is Bat Cave which is becoming famous among tourists. The entrance of Bat cave is very small and cannot be entered by people. However, visitors can wait outside of the cave and enjoy the scene of hundreds of thousands of bats flying out of their cave at sunset.
Water Sports Activities
Boat Riding at Sadan Cave
There is a small lake which is situated at the end of the Sadan cave. Visitors can return to the entrance through the paddy field by boat ride.
A unique experience that not many visitors are aware of is Kayaking. Visitors can do Kayaking activities at Sadan cave and Kawkathaung cave during the rainy season. There are Kayak rental shops near those caves.
Waterfalls in Kayin
One of the largest waterfalls in Kayin is Kyone Htaw Waterfall. It is becoming a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. It is surrounded by a forest and is famous for its naturally green-colored water. The best time to visit is during the dry season.
Other potentially popular waterfalls are Hti Aung Su Waterfall and Taw Naw Waterfall which are not very accessible for the visitors.
The best places for Trekking
In Kayin State, visitors can choose the mountains to trek in according to their preferences or physical abilities.
Beginner Friendly Mountains
For the people who are not very much familiar with trekking, I would like to recommend some mountains which are not very far from the town.
The first one is Kyar In Mountain which is located at the center of Hpa-An Township. Visitors can use cars or motorbikes to go half-way up the mountain. After that, it will take only 10 minutes walking to reach the top.
Another easy trek is Pha Pu Mountain, situated on the other side of the Thanlwin River. Visitors have to cross the river by boat to go there. Pha Pu Mountain is famous for its Sunset scenery and visitors only have to spend about 30 minutes to reach the peak of the mountain.
Trending Mountain - Taung Wine
Taung Wine Mountain is popular as an instragrammic place of Kayin State. That mountain is suitable for the kinds of people who have adventurous spirits. It will take about 45 mins to make it to the summit. I would not recommend elderly people and children to visit Taung Wine.
Most Intense But Worth To Try
Zwekabin Mountain, the heart of Kayin State, is a must-try to trek in Kayin. It might be the hardest and longest trek but it is also the most rewarding hike. Trekking time is almost 3 hours for the first-time person. At the top of the mountain, there are two viewpoints where you can enjoy a splendid view. The first viewpoint is near Zwekabin monastery which is the best spot to watch Sunrise. Another one is 5 mins walk from the sunrise viewpoint where you can enjoy the incredible west-facing overlook view of Hpa An city.
Kayin State - Emerging Destination of Myanmar
In these later years, the popularity of Kayin State gradually increased because most ethnic armed forces signed a peace treaty with the Government that could secure the safety of travelers. Another reason is that it is close to Yangon which is the economic city of Myanmar. It takes only 5 hours from Yangon to Hpa-An by bus. Even in the Covid-19 period, people from other cities visited Kayin as a day return trip. However, people stopped visiting again because of political situations and saftey concerns.