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.


The farmland and villages of the Pindaya area see far fewer trekkers than the more commonly walked paths around Kalaw. Various day treks can be arranged if you have only a little time available. If you can stay longer, and overnight in Pindaya we can arrange an overnight trek to the village of Yasakyi.

Two Day / One night Trek.
Day 1. Four hours trekking.

After breakfast at your hotel, trek to the Danu village of Htutni. After a stop here continue trekking to Sikyainn. The people in this area still wear traditional dress in their daily lives. You pass through fields of crops including Chive Root, Coriander, Cheroot leaves, pineapple and tea plantations. We overnight at the Palaung village of Yasakyi staying at the monastery or in a village home.

Day 2. Six hours trekking.

After breakfast continue the trek to the village of Menetaung, followed by Pinseinpin. After a break continue on through the colourful fields to the villages of Htinshugone and Taungbawgyi. We look around this typical Danu village before returning to Pindaya later in the day.

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.

Myanmar Cycling Tours can arrange daytrips, overnight stays and trekking in the Pindaya area. Daytrips are possible from either Kalaw or Inle Lake. If you are flying in and out of the region via Heho airport we recommend visiting Pindaya’s caves as part of an extended transfer between the airport and your overnight destination, or vice-versa. The journey, particularly the stretch between Aungban and Pindaya is very scenic, passing farms and villages of the Danu and Pa-O. This suggestion avoids unnecessary backtracking and would save you time and money.

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.

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