The capital of Karen (Kayin) State, Hpa-an is a small, lively town that has remained surprisingly undeveloped given its proximity to Yangon and Mawlamyine. Other than a bustling morning market, the city itself has little to write home about, but the surrounding karst landscape, sacred Buddhist caves and laid back nature make this a worthwhile destination to explore. One of the most impressive experiences is a trip to Saddan cave, with its ginormous cavern, rows of Buddha statues and a breath-taking view of a secret lake. You also have the natural limestone cavern of Kawgun Cave, which is filled with Buddha statues and Buddhist artefacts dating back to the seventh century. For photography enthusiasts, look no further than an early morning, or late afternoon visit to Kyauk Kalap Pagoda as it perches precariously on top of a severely weathered section of limestone rock.