Reached by road from Ywangan or boat trip across a reservoir from Kume.
|Guided tours:||self guided|
U Aung Thaw (1973):
The "Neolithic" Culture of the Padah-lin Caves,
Asian Perspectives, 1973 - Volume 14, Number 1, University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu).
|Address:||Padah-Lin Caves, Tel: +95-, Fax: +95-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1937||first reported by the American South-East Expedition for Early Man.|
|1960||rediscovered by local geologist U Khin Maung Kyaw.|
|1969–1972||excavation of cave 1.|
|1996||added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.|
|2004||visited by a joint Australia – Myanmar team.|
|2015||surveyed by the British Shan Plateau Expedition 2015-16.|
|2016||excavations in cave 2 conducted by Ben Marwick.|
Pada-lin Caves are actually two caves, a huge but shallow grotto on the right side (cave 1 or site 1) and the entrance to a 358 m long, well decorated phreatic system of large phreatic passages (cave 2 or site 2). The small grotto is the archaeological site, full of Neolithic cave paintings, including wild boars, sun symbols, and hands. The hands are exceptional, because they were painted, not made as a negative of a real hand. They are freely accessible but protected by a railing. Excavations of 1969 were dated by C14 between 1,750 and 13,000 years BP. They revealed 1,600 stone artefacts as well as many pieces of bone and red ochre stone tools. Also animal bones including shells of land mollusks, a deer skull and fragments of tortoise shells were found.
The left cave (cave 2) is the speleological and buddhist temple site. A 350 m long passage with nine chambers is illuminated by four holes in the ceiling. We nevertheless recommend a headlamp. Excavations conducted by Ben Marwick in 2016 revealed deposits dating to 65,000 years BP. Also flaked stone artefacts dating to 25,000 years BP.
Its hard to reach this cave. There is the possibility to cross the dammed lake and then hike one hour to the cave, There is also a new road which ends at the cave, the drive take 1.5 hours from the nearest village. Cave visits are offered by travel agencies with pickup and drop off at your hotel, so we guess its best to book such a full day trip. Although we heard that the cave 1 was lately closed to visitors, which is a bit disappointing. It seems with the new road vandalism boosted. If you go you should get first hand information from the tour operator if the cave is actually closed.