Once the customs formalities have been completed, we set off in search of a transport to reach Hpa-An. We meet some reelers who we kindly refuse. We quickly realize that few people speak English and that we have difficulty making ourselves understood with the fatigue that is beginning to be felt.
So we choose to take a taxi that the rebuilder had proposed to us, we are off for about 2 hours of driving. The road being filled with potholes, the journey was very hectic, especially with a driver who was driving a little fast for our taste! Once there, we look for a guest-house to rest. In the afternoon we do some research on the places to see, the hostel organizes tours in tuktuk but we will choose the scooter to be free of our choices. We are ready for the next day.
ESCAPADE IN THE SURROUNDINGS OF HPA-AN
With the scooter key in hand, a first thing tilt us: the manager opens the trunk and shows us three inner tubes that we can use in case of a puncture, it announces the color! We left for a busy day in the sun.
Kawt Ka Thuang Cave
As soon as we leave the city of Hpa-An, we stop at a first cave. There is a huge snake statue about 20 metres long all along the way to the cave. On the side, there is a small very colourful temple and in the Buddha cave. In front of the cave, there are a whole series of statues of monks lined up along the road, it gives a nice perspective and it continues to go on endlessly. The music resonates in the cave, there are not many people so we enjoy the discovery.
Continuing the road, we arrive at the foot of Mount Zwe Ga Bin, where Lumbini’s garden is located. It is a kind of field that has more than 500 identical Buddhas. Nature has regained its rights for a while, some Buddhas are more damaged than others but the place is nice and it’s quite funny to see so many statues lined up.
A few kilometers later, what was supposed to happen happened: we had a flat tire! No problem, we’re handling the situation now! The Burmese people immediately point us to a garage that is not very far away (we are still lucky every time we have a garage nearby!) and in less than 30 minutes our wheel was replaced. The opportunity to distribute candy to the garage owners’ children!
The path to Saddan’s cave is really nice. We cross small villages where children call us in all directions and where we sometimes have to look for them to say hello! We really feel that mass tourism has not yet arrived here and it feels good!
Nature is also beautiful, there are green rice fields to fall to the ground on each side, mountains in the distance and a blue sky without a single cloud. It’s really beautiful, we fell under the spell!
The entrance to the cave is not free but it is worth it and it is really not very expensive. We start the visit with Buddhas as always. Several statues follow one another as well as a Buddha lying down before joining the path that sinks into the cave. The barefoot crossing (temple obligatory) is not very pleasant since we walk on piles of bat droppings. We cross the cave for about a hundred meters, some stalagtics are quite impressive. When you reach the end, the cave makes a small opening that opens directly onto a sublime view.
Once out of the cave, we had the choice between taking the same path back to the entrance or taking a boat that takes us back to the entrance by another path. We opted for the latter option and we didn’t regret it for a second! It was 20 minutes of amazement at the beauty of the landscape and the serenity that reigned there. It was really a crush we had!
Kyauk Kalap Monastery
As soon as we recover from our emotions, we leave for Kyauk Kalap Monastery. It has the particularity of being perched at the top of a karst rock located in the middle of an artificial lake. We didn’t stay long because in the end, we quickly made the tour.
The cave of Yathe byan
It is a cave that is located before the Kaw Goone cave. Martin went alone because there were too many monkeys for Sylvie who has a phobia of them from Thailand. After climbing a few steps, we still find our Buddhas again and again but this time we have a pretty panoramic view, especially when the sun starts to set. There are just two artificial lakes under construction downstairs, we don’t really know what it’s for, but for the moment it’s very “raw” scenery.