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Bayin Nyi Monastery and Caves

On the road between Hpa-an and Thaton on the western bank of the Thanlwin River in Kayin State, Myanmar is a beautiful monastery and a cave filled with statues of Buddha. To get to the monastery, a monk ferries you across the river in a large wooden boat. [NOTE: The boat is a little leaky and requires some occasional bailing.]

The monastery, marked by several golden pagodas, is built at the base of a 400 foot limestone cliff.

The upper level (where the monks live) offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area.  I visited Bayin Nyi during the rainy season and most of the Thanlwin River valley was flooded.

The cave contains a small limestone pool, a full complement of stalactites and stalagmites, and several dozen gilded, and incredibly refined, life-sized statues of Buddha. There is also a box containing the names of all the pilgrims who have visited and payed homage to the site.  My name is in this box now, too.

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