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Kayin

Is on elongated area lying to the south-east running from the north-west to the south-east. The total area of the State is 11,731 square miles. Besides Kayins who are the majority, the Mons, Myanmars, Taungthus and Shans live in Kayin State. The Kayins are the second largest minority in Myanmar. There are two types of Kayin the hill Kayins and the plain Kayins. And they differ in language and physical features. There are animists, Buddhists and Christians among Kayins but the majority are Buddhists. The Kayins have their own letters, literature and culture. Main economy is agriculture and its related businesses. Rice, betelnut, ground nut, sesame, peas, beans, coffee, tea are grown. Rubber plantations are found in the southern areas. Evergreen forests cover roughly half of the region. Teak and other hard wood timber are important products of the region. The plains at Kayin State are dotted by lime stone caverns and lime stone hills protruding steeply upwards. Among the hills, Zwegabin hill is the most prominent with a height of 2,372 ft above sea level. There are many Kayin cultural activities worshipping the Duway Pagoda, propagating Nat spirit paying homage to etcetera deities traditional boom fire festival are held since old time till today. On such occasion, Kayin Don dance is performed. Don dance originated from the collected social activities. Kayins love Don dance. Don dance provoke communal unity and cultivate sense of corporation. Don dance is the naional cultural performance portraying the beauty and love sign of Kayins. It’s long last as one of Kayins traditional dances.

Hpa-An

Hpa-An is the main capital of Karen state but it looks like a small town. It is easily accessible by car from Yangon or Kyaikhtiyoe (Golden Rock) and also by boat and by car from Mawlamyine. Earlier very small number of tourists visit to Pha-Ann because of political turmoil. Although still unknown to many international travelers, around Hpa-Ann area is very well known among Buddhist Pilgrims.

Zwegabin

The Zwekabin Hill has a very unusual shape, which, once seen, is not easily forgotten. Rises around 650 Meter steeply from the plains. A pagoda is on top for those who are fit enough to walk up to the top. It takes app. 2 hours, but the view over the river and the plains will compensate you for the strenuous walk. There is also a monastery on the top.

Thamanya Monastery
Thamanya Hill is located 23 miles south-east of Hpa-an beside the Hpa-an - Kawkareik road. This place is very famous for the most venerable monk "Thamanya Sayardaw", passed away in 2003. Pilgrims all over the country come to pay homage so it is always full of pilgrims and devotees.

Kawgun Cave
Kawgun cave is located near Kawgun village, which is two miles distance from Hpa An township. It is a natural lime stone cave and measures 200 fts height and 300 fts length. The rock surface is profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images and votive tablets. It is a rare cave in the lower Myanmar. According to the style of the Buddha images it can be datable to 15th century A.D. Hanthawaddy period.

Bayin Nyi Cave
Bayin Nyi Cave is closer to Thaton and makes an ideal stop on the way to Yangon. This is another steep Rock in the plains with a monastery at the foot of the mountain. There is a hot spring with bathing possibility.

Thandaung( Hill Resort)
Thandaung was also developed as a hill resort from Victorian times by the British. Thandaung is a romantic place. It is in the Kayin State and is inbabited mainly by the lovable ad simple Bwe Kayin (Karen) people who are mostly Christians. Like many of the picturesque hill towns there is a romantic legend, a kayin folktale connected to this place and the Dawparkho or Bwihikho mountain range which has its highest peak nearly, at 4.824 feet above sea level. Thandaung is a very beautiful hill station an important tea, coffee and fruit producing region. During the colonial period a few of these towns on the hills were developed as summer resorts, where the Europeans went to escape from the heat and humidity of the Central Plains. The most famous of these hill resort towns are Maymyo or Pyin Oo Lwin, Kalaw and Taunggyi . We often overlook another picturesque hill town called Thandaung (meaning Iron Hill) which is much closer to Yangon than the above mentioned towns. Thandaung was also developed as a hill resort from Victorian time by the British. It happens to be the hill resort closest to Yangon as it is only about 200 miles away and can be reached by car or bus on a half day’s journey. If visitors prefer using the railway, they can ride the train from Yangon to Taungoo in about six hours, and from Taungoo to Thandaung it is only 27 miles up by car passing through lush virgin forests, see cascading mountain streams and climb gradually to over 4.000 feet, to reach Thandaung.