Dat Taw Taung Cave

Useful Information

Location: Ye Baw Gyi. Located on a mountain top above Kado.
45 km southeast of Mandalay, 15 km east of KyaukSe. 45 min walk uphill on steep staircases.
(21.650685, 96.266201)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided, D=1 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Dat Taw Taung Cave.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Dat Taw Taung Cave is located on top of Dat Taw Taung mountain east of Kyaukse. The Dat-taw-taungpwe (Mountain Festival) is usually held on 14th waxing day and Tabaung full moon day. We guess normal tourists should avoid those dates, except if you are especially fond of crowded religious events. You should plan at least 45 minutes for the walk uphill, and take enough water and use a hat and sun protection.

The cave is quite big and located in the limestone peak. There are numerous buddha statues and stupas inside, but also quite impressive speleothems with huge stalagmites. There is a golden sleeping buddha and numerous stalagmites have stupas on top. A path goes up to the ridge of the mountain with more stupas and an outlook which offers a great view. Tour operators tend to plan this place for the afternoon, because the sunset is quite spectacular.

The cave is said to have been a hiding spot during raids of the Mongols in the 13th century.

Dat Taw Taung has become a sort of white whale on the internet. It is frequently on multiple top ten lists of the most beautiful caves of the world, on pinterest and other picture sites as well. It is listed under the name Kyaut Sae Cave, and there is a sentence which is actually the same on all websites: "Very little is known about this mysterious cave in Myanmar, other than that the inside has been fitted as a Buddhist temple." This comment is utter nonsense, as any known cave in Myanmar contains a buddhist temple. Sometimes it is even listed as ShowcaveSaddan Cave, which is a completely different cave. This cave is located 15 km from the city Kyaukse, which has hundreds of different transliterations, one of them is Kyauk Sea. It seems the origin of all this hassle is the stunning picture on 500pix which was uploaded by a Myanmar photographer named Lin Tun. For some reason (probably lack of English) he did not comment his picture except for "Myanmar(Kyaut Sae)" which is just the general location.