Site Name: Kawgoon Cave
Area: Near Hpa-An, Karen State
Kawgoon Cave is unique to the area and well worth a visit. Unfortunately those that run this site know just how unique it is and have slapped a 3,000 kyat foreigner price on it. They call it a donation, but from what I can tell it is compulsory. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth a visit. The open caves sport rock carvings believed to have been in existence since the 13th century and you cloud easily spend an hour here gazing at the walls and ceilings. There are of course modern Buddha images around also.
Hpa-An is well set up for tourists so if you’re staying there you’ll have no trouble getting on a tour to this site. If you’re in Mawlamyine you have a few options:
2. Hire a car and driver. Make a day trip of it to be more cost effective – I suggest King’s Cave, Sa-Dan Cave and Kyauk Ka Latt also.
3. Hire a scooter and drive yourself. Be aware that even though the hire place might not ask for it, you do need to have a licence to ride a scooter in Myanmar. Hpa-An is the only region in Karen State that foreigners are permitted to go, so if you choose to self drive, make sure that you don’t deviate from your path. GPS Coordinates are 16.823288, 97.585823
Don’t feed the monkeys. They bite!!
This is a religious site and guests are expected to behave accordingly. This means covered shoulders, knees and cleavage, removing your shoes and overall behaving in a respectful manner. Note that you should never show the soles of your feet to a Buddha statue, should never touch someone on the head and should absolutely never touch a monk’s robes.