A shaft of sunlight penetrates the darkness of Yathae Pyan cave in Myanmar’s mountains, where a local man rests and smokes.
Caves pockmark the mountains of the Southeast Asian country, but this is a cave with a difference. Like some others scattered through Myanmar, Yathae Pyan has been turned into a Buddhist place of worship.
Statues of Buddha and Buddhist deities plus stupas, dome-shaped religious structures, have been built in some of Myanmar’s caves, turning them into mystical, other-worldy places.
Buddhist caves have a long history in Asia. Some in India date back to 200 B.C.; others have massive, centuries-old carvings of Buddha, more than 50 feet tall, hewed from the rock.
- Whitest big county in the U.S.? It’s us
- Mount St. Helens, still steaming, holds the world’s newest glacier
- Kent family mourns loss of father, two sons in Father’s Day weekend crash
- Seattle sets heat record for July 4
- Ticket prices soar, then drop for World Cup
Most Read Stories
At Myanmar’s off-the-beaten-track Yathae Pyan, locals and tourists come to worship, to admire or just to sit and smoke in the relative coolness of a sacred cave.
Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at email@example.com.