sign in a cave in Laos

5 January 2012

Saddan (Farm) Cave, Mawlamyine, Myanmar

After surveying the cave temple known as Farm Cave, we walked over to Saddan Cave.

This was also called Farm Cave in colonial times. The colonial records describe fauna collections, which were done in Saddan Cave in the 19th c. These caves are located in Kayon Hill just outside Mawlamyine in Myanmar. Mawlamyine (Moulmien) is the capital of the Mon state. We visited in 2009.

We walked through an avenue of palms to Saddan Cave.

There’s a wooden house for the monks at the base of the steps. When we visited workmen were making 2 elephants from Rhino brand cement, and they seem to be building a new road.

2 young monks took us through the Saddan cave

The cave is surprisingly big. There are Buddhas in the entrance passage,
then the huge main chamber, and we climbed up to a very small upper entrance.
At the small entrance the monklets and our guide Min went out and left us, so we went back in and began surveying.

There is some great stal in the cave.

Saw a root going through the stal wall.

The cave is not long, but it is wide and high, maybe 60m x 60m x 60m. Pity we didn’t have a disto to measure it accurately.

In the main entrance chamber a steep slope leads to an upper entrance, which we climbed so guessed the chamber height to be around 60m. Outside was a large Cycas, and I later saw many more on the cliff, all quite brown now in the dry season. There are also macaques on the hill.

The cave has some huge boulders, and 1 Buddha inside. Saw lots of crickets, 2 whip spiders, millipedes and small spiders, and 1 Thereupoda. Lots of fruit bats, but little guano, and not much invertebrate life considering the fauna reports.
guano on rocks

I saw graffiti from 1909 and 1922, but Helmut saw some from 1880s.

On the way out, I had time to take more photos

See more on Saddan Cave.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission


  1. Dear Liz,

    I work for a small NGO in Myanmar and I would like to use your text and images for a student resource I am writing to accompany the BBC's Planet Earth series. Our website is and our Facebook page is

    Please would you consider granting permission. I would be happy to supply more information for you about us and our project.


    Mote Oo Education

  2. Matthew, I have replied by email.