With the plentiful rains of a monsoonal climate and the soluble nature of its limestone, the landscape of Hpa An has been eroded away, leaving giant haystack towers of rock sticking out from the plains. Inside these monoliths, networks of caves have been carved out by water, with their stalactites and stalagmites still growing.
A boat ride across the lake leads to an arched opening under the rock. Ducking as we paddled underneath, we then popped out into paddy fields on the other side.
This temple complex was built by a Burmese tycoon, U Nar Auk. He earned his countrymen's respect by taking on the British and Indian businesses that were thriving on his country's resources, proving that the Burmese were perfectly capable of achieving equally great things. One of those that he competed with, was the powerful British owned Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. You can read his story here: http://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/a-burmese-tycoon-you-cant-find-today.html
At the foot of Mount Zwegabin, 1080 Buddha images reside in Lumbini Garden.