The capital of Kayin state is Hpa An and Mount Zwekabin is its most famous landmark. Lumbini Garden, on the western side of the Mt. Zwekabin mountain, is the most popular to start the ascent and is home to over 1100 Buddha statues. Today Visiting Hpa An from Yangon is five-hour drive via motorway, there are no other ways such as flights, boats, and train.
Amazing Caves of Hpa An
The three famous caves in Kayin state are Sadan Cave, Bat Cave, BayinNyi Cave, and Kawgun Cave. BayinNyi Cave is in quite a large complex with hot springs at the base of the hill.
In Kawgun Cave, thousands of tiny clay Buddha images and carvings, some dating back to the 7th century, can be seen mounted on the walls and roof of the main cave. Other eight caves can be found in Kayin state, namely Sadan, Phakat, Htungwi, Yathaepyan, Wepyan, Khayone Cave and Kaw Ka Thaung Caves.
Shwe Yin Myaw
Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda is located on the bank of Thanlwin River in Hpa An. The pagoda is the most famous in Hpa An and a favorite spot for tourists to watch the sunset. People visit Shwe Yin Myaw pagoda and learn why the city is called as Hpa an. Legend has it that Hpa An was created by a dragon and a giant frog. The impressive statues of these figures can be seen in the pagoda compound.
Taung Wine Pagoda
Taung Wine Mountain is easily accessible from Hpa An. From base to the top, it takes 45-minutes – 1 hour hike up to the top. If you want to see spectacular surrounding view sunrise time is highly recommended.
Mt. Zwekabin at 722 m high is one of the most sacred mountains in Myanmar, with a monastery at its peak. Getting to the top requires a challenging two-hour hard climb up a steep staircase. There is a monkey feeding event every day at around 11 am. Legend has it that there is a strand of the Buddha’s hair enshrined in the pagoda. At the foot of the mountain, thousands of large statues of the Buddha can be seen.
Kyauk Ka Lat
Kyauk Ka lat is a pagoda perched atop a sheer rock that rises out of an artificial lake. It is topped with a golden stupa making it unique. It was built near Hpa An and surrounded by mountains and farmland. From the rock, there are great views of the surrounding countryside and nearby Mount Zwekabin.
Many people visit to enjoy the sunset from there.
Kyone Htaw Waterfall
Kyone Htaw waterfall is next to Htiklawtho and is located at Hlaing Bwe town in Kayin State. It is surrounded by a pristine forest. The waterfall is becoming a popular attraction for both local and foreign tourists who are drawn by the naturally green-colored water. The best time to visit is at the drier times of the year.