Set in a fertile valley amongst the western Shan hills, Pindaya is a small town set around a lake amidst the farmland of the Danu and Pa-O hill tribes. On a ridge above the lake is the town’s most famous attraction, the impressive Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda.
The three main caves are approached by covered walkways that climb the limestone ridge above Pone Ta Loke Lake. The main (southernmost) cave, containing the main shrine is 490 feet long and is filled with Buddha images of all sizes made of wood, bamboo, bronze or stone, some of them thickly gilded. Many of the Buddha images are in the ‘healing’ posture, with a bowl on the upturned palm of the left hand, and the thumb and forefinger of the right hand holding Hpan Khar fruit (used in traditional medicine). In total the caves contain more than 8,090 images; some ancient, some recently placed by pilgrims. The second cave contains a 40 feet high gilded sitting Buddha and the third cave a large reclining Buddha. The caves walls have natural cavities in them that are used as meditation chambers. A ‘pwe’ (pagoda festival) takes place here on the full moon of Tabaung.
Two Day / One night Trek.
Day 1. Four hours trekking.
Day 2. Six hours trekking.
It is also possible to trek the little-known route from Pindaya to Kalaw. This is a 3 day, 2 night trek that includes approximately 21 hours of walking along the village paths. Please see the ‘Kalaw’ page of our website for details.
Pindaya also has a couple of good-standard hotels so we can also arrange an overnight or multi-night stop here. An overnight stop is recommended if you wish to do some trekking or have hired a car from us and wish to drive from Inle Lake to Mandalay, taking in Pindaya en-route. Pindaya is also a full day’s drive from Bagan or Mt Popa. Spending a night or two here after the drive would give you the opportunity to see the famous caves and perhaps spend some time in the highland villages on a one, or two day trek.