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The capital of Karen (Kayin) State, Hpa An is a picturesque town with an authentic feel of Myanmar that sits on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin (Salween) river, about 270 kilometers east of Yangon. The setting itself, the surrounding caves and mountains to explore, and the laid-back atmosphere are the highlights of the area. Hpa An (sometimes spelled Pa-An and pronounced Pah-Ann) is encircled by dramatic karst mountain scenery which juts from the surrounding plains, and many of these mountains contain large and religiously significant caves (more details further down this page). Sadly, there has been some open-cast mining in the area, doing permanent damage to this unique landscape – but there remains much to enjoy, and the most impressive example is the beautiful, sacred and monolithic Mount Zwegabin (sometimes spelled Zwekabin), which can be found 16 kilometers southeast of Hpa An.

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