Mystique floats on the morning breeze as you explore the Pindaya Caves, where 8,000 Buddha images provide a bizarre and baffling sight.
Some are intricate, detail packed into a sculpture the length of a fingernail. Some gleam through the gloom, huge icons with eyes that seem to follow you through the caverns.
Incense and candles burn softly, feeding on the vestiges of oxygen that join you in the remote ends of the caves. These caves create a poignant impression of Myanmar’s spirituality and remain off the tourist path.
The other people you see here are local pilgrims and there are always interesting points of conversation as your guide interprets.