by Liz Price
“This is Burma and it will be quite unlike any land you know about ” – Kipling (1898)
Myanmar, or Burma as it was previously known, is one of the few countries relatively unexplored by cavers. In colonial days at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries there were many visitors to the caves. Some were just going on outings and for picnics, whereas others were doing scientific studies. Many of the scientists published their findings. There were several famous temple caves, such as Pindaya and the Farm Caves. Since then very little research has been done on the caves, and when Myanmar effectively closed its doors to travellers, it was not easy to travel to the limestone areas. However it is now getting easier to travel around some parts of the country and cavers are once again taking an interest.
In the last 2 decades there have been a handful of caving expeditions to Myanmar, however more work has been done by bat researchers. The cavers were generally restricted to the northern Shan area. Even in the late 1980s foreigners were not allowed to the southern peninsula area, so it was only in 2009 that the first cavers were able to visit that area. However a lot of the limestone areas are still off limits to foreigners.
This site will consist of an accumulation of data gathered for and after the 2009 expedition, which was held Jan 28 - Feb 4. Further expeditions took place in 2010 and 2011 and continued in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In Jan 2012 there was a recce trip and another in Jan 2013. Cavers are now becoming more interested to visit Myanmar.
Also life in Myanmar is changing. Following the release of Aun San Suu Kyi from house arrest in Nov 2010, there seems to be an increase in tourists to Myanmar. This has already resulted in hotel rates having doubled or even tripled - at least for the international standard ones.
Note that this site does not cover all the karst areas in Myanmar.
- - Karst and Caves of Myanmar.
- - Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Southeast Asia 2nd edition.
- - Karst and Caves of Myanmar (Expeditions to the Shan States 2011–2013).
See more details on books page.
THIS WEBSITE WAS STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 2009 AND NEW INFORMATION IS SLOWLY ADDED.
For further information, or to give information, please contact moc.liamtoh|ecirpzil#moc.liamtoh|ecirpzil
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Updated Jan 2017