EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

Kayah- the new caving frontier in South-East Asia

Session code: OE7

Oral / Exploration, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Dr Joerg Dreybrodt


The Kayah State is located on the remote southern edge of the Shan limestone plateau in Myanmar. Here several karst ridges merge and valleys of 1000 m depth are formed by the Salween River and tributaries. After more than 60 years of civil unrest, the state could be visited for the first time by a speleological expedition with a special permission. A variety of tower karst landscapes hosting several large river caves are confirmed. Three of the five longest caves of Myanmar are documented from 2015-2016, with Red River Cave the 2nd longest with 3.8 km length. The state possesses also a rich tribal culture like the famous Long neck women and caves used as burial sites with coffins. Therefore it is interesting as destination for karst-related eco-tourism. The session gives an overview of the karst areas, major cave systems and concludes with an outlook and challenges faced for further exploration.


long term expedition caver with focus on Laos and Myanmar


Myanmar Cave Documentation Project