sign in a cave in Laos

19 September 2011

Limestone hills around Hpa An, Kayin State, south Myanmar

Hpa An is the capital of Kayin state in southern Myanmar. Many parts of Myanmar are still off limits to foreigners, and although it is possible for tourists to go to Hpa An, very 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 mix with an assortment of other vehicles of all ages and states of dilapidation.

Hpa An lies on the banks of the Salween River (known as Thanlwin in the Shan state).

There are stunning (but sometimes hazy) views across to the imposing limestone mountain which is topped by a chedi.

There are several limestone hills in the area and each one has at least one chedi on top and usually a few more on the lower slopes.

The Hpa An area is dominated by Mt. Zwegabin, 722m high, and an impressive long karst ridge.

Zwegabin is considered a sacred hill, and as with most hills in the area has many chedis and shrines and a pathway up to the top. See more on Zwegabin.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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