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MAWLAMYINE

It is a port and the fourth largest city in Myanmar. As it served as capital of British Burma from 1827 to 1852, the atmosphere of post-colonial decay is still palpable here: it is also an attractive, leafy, tropical town with a ridge of stupa capped hills on one side and the sea on the other. The main attractions are Kyaiktalan Pagoda which affords lovely views over the city and harbor, the Thanlwin River on the west and the Taungyo Hills to the east. Kyaikmaraw Pagoda, a half hour-drive out of town along palm-lined roads and rubber plantation is a pleasant shrine to visit. Thanbyuzayat, about 60 km from Mawlamyine, there is a large, well maintained war cemetery for thousands of Allied prisoners-of-war who died during World War II constructing the infamous death railway for the Japanese; Guangsay Island is also a nice place to consider. Another 28 km brings one to Kyaikhamior Amherst, a popular coastal resort during British times with is well-known Kyaikhami Pagoda in the sea. Setse Beach, a 20 km, drive away, is a favorite with local residents but has no infrastructure yet in terms of accommodation, dining, etc.Win Sein Taw Ya, 30 km south on the outskirts of Mudon is the site of the largest reclining Buddha image in the world.There are a range of hotels with 3* quality, which are acceptable and clean enough for international visitors. The rooms are attached with bathroom, air condition & fridge. The local restaurants there are nothing special but good enough to dine with one place as good as the other.

HPA-AN

It is the capital of Kayin State with monumental hills, wonderful caves and lakes, 4 hour-drive from the base of Kyaikhtiyo&7 hours from Yangon. It is bordered by Mae Hong Son, Tak, and Kanchanaburi provinces of Thailand to the east;Mon State and Bago Region to the west. Situated at the foot of Zwekabin Hill, which has a very unusual shape, once seen, is not easily forgotten. The travelers can go on hiking among Great Dawna Mountain Ranges. Rivers trips can be arranged along Thanlwin River.Mount Zwekabin- the tallest of a chain of limestone-mountains, 2372 feet is crowned by a stupa, said to contain a hair of the Buddha.The mountain boasts fantastic views over the Kayin country-side.KyaukKalap- the column or rock, standing sheer out of a lake makes this monastery, pagoda and Nat shrine one of the most photographed spots in all Kayin State. This is a popular pilgrimage site close to Hpa-An town.Kawgoon Cave-eight miles south of Hpa-An ,the hidden gallery of 7th Century artwork within. Thousands of Buddha images and carvings line the walls and roof of the cavern. The pagoda was first recorded in 1893 in an Archaeological survey of India Report. One headless carving of an elegant torso is believed to represent a queen who donated some images to the cave pagoda.Saddan Cave-this breathtakingly huge cavern contains a pagoda near the entrance with many Buddha images. Further in the cave becomes a dark and wild place with many huge stalactites, the home of a large bat population. Continue to the end of the cave to find a hidden lake in the mountains.Kawkathaung Cave,YathayPyan(Hermit)Cave,Khayon Cave,Ruby Cave are also famous caves in Hpa- an.BayinNyi Cave and the hot spring-The BayinNyi cave is located north of Hpa-An; the closet notable town is Thaton. There is a large entrance chamber that is filled with many statues and Buddhas.The cave itself is not illuminated by natural light. However, there are said to be intermittent areas that are lit by sunlight through small openings in the rock ceiling. During the latter part of the wet season, there is sometimes a chance to enjoy hot springs that form due to the amount of water in the area. There are several good hotels in downtown and outskirt of Hpa-an from 2 star,3 star to 4 star rated with bath room attached, hot and cold water.

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