I've always been keen to travel to Shan State because of its untouched multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. Last January, I was able to manage to make a trip to Southern Shan State. It wasn't easy for me to make this trip. I need to use my rare annual leave and also need to convince my family to go with me. At first, my father only planned to go to famous tourist spots like Kalaw, Innlay and Taunggyi. My father had worked as a officer at a government office in Taunggyi for three years and my sister was born there. As we arrived at Taunggyi, we were invited to a dinner by my father's ex-colleagues and I was told about a mysterious cave called Htamsam. Next day, we decided to visit to the newly discovered place called Htansam Cave.
Htamsam Cave is a naturally formed lime stone cave in Hopong Pa-Oh Self-Administered Zone, Southern Shan State. The cave is believed to be the biggest cave in Burma and some also claimed that maybe one of the biggests in the world. There are there Pa-Oh Self-Administered Zone in Southern Shan State namely Hopong, Hsihseng and Pinlaung. The Pa-Ohs, second largest ethnic group in Shan State after the ethnic Shan (Taiyai), form the majority of the population of these towns. On the way to Hopong, there are some Lisu villages. The roads are partially paved but dusty. Foriegners are not yet allowed to visit the region which is about 2 hours drive away from shan state capital Taunggyi. The name of the cave is in shan language ( Htam=cave; Sam=elephant ), meaning "the cave of elephants".
On the way to Htamsam Cave, all written in Pa-O language and likely to be taking place a Buddhist Festival
|Lisu tribal women|
|Pa-oh women shopping in Hopong Town|
|The Great Htamsam Cave|
|Pa'O Army, PNO?|
|inside the cave|
Yakka the guardian spirit