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Published on Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:20
Zwegabin Mountain seen in Hpa-an (Photo - Thida Linn/EMG)
The southeastern state of Kayin is beginning to find its way on to the itinerary of international visitors, with local guides saying several hundred are visiting weekly compared to almost none last year.
The southeastern state bordering Thailand is known for its hot and humid climate and unusual rock formations within its forests.
It’s capital, Hpa-an, is a small but bustling market for Kayin farmers. The state’s caves also proving to fascinate tourists, especially Kawgun, Bayin Nyi and Sadan caves, local guides say. Zwegabin Mountain, Thamanya Monastery and Thandaung hill station are also popular, they say.
Political stability has been key attracting tourists, locals say. Previously, the state had been a conflict zone where the Kayin National Union and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army fought government troops.
International tourists appear to be increasingly fascinated by the traditions and religious practices of the many Kayin ethnic groups, guide Thike Oo said. These include the Pwo Kayin, S’gaw Kayin, Red Kayin and Black Kayin, Thike Oo said, adding that the two main languages are Pwo and S’gaw.