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The capital of Karen (Kayin) State, Hpa An is a picturesque town and is encircled by dramatic karst mountain scenery which juts from the surrounding plains, and many of these mountains contain large and religiously significant caves, that sits on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin (Salween) river, about 270 kilometres east of Yangon. You can get there by bus or private car from Yangon and Mawlamyine. The setting itself, the surrounding caves and mountains to explore, and the laid back atmosphere are the highlights of the area.

Mount Zwegabin

If you want to climb a mountain, over 700 meter high Mount Zwegabin is waiting for you. There are steps all the way to the top but it is hard work. It takes two to four hours to get to the summit depending on your pace where can enjoy breathtaking views of Hpa-An and the surrounding areas. The monastery and pagoda at the top are a delight, and the canteen there serves fantastic local food.

Sadan Cave

Nearby to Hpa An can also be found Sadan Cave, which opens into a gigantic cavern filled with Buddhas images and stalactites and stalagmites are all the way through to the other side. It is truly impressive, that on the way back you can take a small wooden boat under the mountain and making for a lovely circuit.

Kaw Ka Taung Cave

10 kilometres to the south east of Hpa An you will find Kaw Ka Taung caves and pool ; the swimming area here provides an opportunity to wind down and cool off after a day of exploring (although it can get busy with local children), and offers lovely views of the surrounding rice paddies and mountains. Kayaking in the rice fields will give you the truly taste of Asia. There are also a number of restaurants here that serve great local and Thai food.

Kawgoon Cave

Kawgoon Cave is a natural limestone cave and situated on the west side of the Thanlwin river in Hpa-An. It is famous for its Mon cultural style clay Buddha images and terracotta votive tablets in its interior walls. This cave dates back to the later Bagan period 13th century AD. This can be seen in the caved statues, sandstone Buddhist statues, the mural paintings and the ink and carved Mon inscriptions.

Other caves in the area include Yathaypyan Cave that gives the dramatic scenery of the Hpa-An state.

Kyauk Kalap

Directly to the south of Hpa An, on the way to Zwegabin, is the Kyauk Kalap – a truly unique pagoda, set on top of an unusual rock formation in the middle of a (man-made) lake. It is a beautiful spot and another that offers great photo opportunities of Mount Zwegabin.

Bayinnyi Cave

Bayinnyi cave is situated 19 km from Hpa-An. The cave is approximately 20 meters in length and has an ancient pagoda with many Buddha statues inside. On the hillside of the cave there is a natural hot and cold spring.

Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda

This pagoda is located on the eastern bank of Thanlwin River in Hpa-An city center and the best place to enjoy the sunset with the Thanlwin River.

Kayin Cultural Museum

It is a two-storey building located near Kan Thar Yar Lake and displayed Kayin cultural and history. In museum, there has exhibits about the history of Kayin ethnic group, Kayin literature, culture and Kayin musical instruments.


Myawaddy is one of the Thai-Myanmar Border gateways. It is the link from Myanmar to Maesot in Thailand via Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge which passes over the Thaungyin River (Moei River). Myawaddy is also located on the ASEAN-India Highway Road. The area has been developed for tourism and cross-boder trade with Thailand and many tourists use this as a gateway.

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