The 7th-century artwork of the Kawgun Cave consists of thousands of tiny clay buddhas and carvings plastered all over the walls and roof of this open cavern, which is a popular spot with the local macaque monkeys. Just over a mile away is the Yathaypyan Cave, which contains several pagodas as well as a few more clay wall carvings. Both caves are partially inaccessible during the rainy season (June to October).
Kawgun was constructed by King Manuaha after he was defeated in battle and had to take sanctuary in these caves. Impressive as it is today, you can only imagine what it was like a few years back, before a cement factory, in its quest for limestone, started dynamiting the nearby peaks – the vibrations caused great chunks of the art to crash to the floor and shatter.
After traversing Yathaypyan Cave, which takes about 10 minutes, you’ll emerge at a viewpoint with views over the surrounding countryside.
A return trip by motorcycle taxi is K6000; a thoun bein will cost K10,000.