Myanmar is a country where tourism is still taking shape, so there are still developing regions where information is very vague. Hpa-An was one of those places. It is so green, so natural that it wins your heart in the first second. If you like nature, scenic mountains, limestones, rivers and caves, this is the place.
In this article we will explain what you can do and visit in 3 days.
Travel Tip: we recommend to rent a motorbike during your visit in Hpa-An. The price is around 12000 MMK (approx. €7,00) for one day.
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1. MT. ZWEKABIN
Mt. Zwekabin it is famous for its stunning and beautiful green nature. Is about 723 m high and is the tallest limestone mountain in Hpa-An. To climb Mt. Zwekabin prepare yourself for the stairs. There are steps all the way to the top but it is a hard work. It takes around 2,5 hours to get to the summit, depending on your pace.
Travel Tip: Take a many water as you can. You will need it, special if it hot and the humidity is high also.
The monastery and pagoda at the top of the mountain are a delight, and the summit also offers extraordinary views of the surrounding mountain and plains.
There is fee of 4000 MMK (approx. €2,50) per person, although, they call “donation” for the monks.
After an accident in February 2017 it is not possible to stay overnight at the top.
2. KYAUK KALAT
Kyauk Kalat is a monastery in the middle of the lake. It contains a pillar interestingly stable or to say impossibly still standing rock with a pagoda mounted on the top.
It is built on layers of natural rock formations. The rock can be climbed and you will have a spectacular view of the Mt. Zwekabin.
The entrance is free.
3. KOW GOON AND YATHAE PYAN CAVE
The Kow Goon Cave is one of the main attractions of this city. The rock carvings are said to originate from the 13th Century. The rock surfaces are profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images and more than 2000 votive tablets of Buddha image and non inscriptions.
The entrance fee is 3000 MMK (approx. €1,75) per person.
Tip: Be careful with the monkeys!
The Yathae Pyan Cave, also known as “The Cave of Hermit”, it has a large pagoda and many votive tablets inside the cave.
There is a passage way that leads you to another side of the mountain and the view around the cave offered a little excitement.
Travel Tip: Visit this cave in the afternoon, the exit has an amazing sunset view deck.
The entrance is free.
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4. BAT CAVE
Also known as “Linno Gu”, Bat Cave is a small cave that cannot be entered but you can visit there to view an amazing sunset. During the sunset thousands and thousands of bats fly out from the cave.
This is a great experience and an impressive mother nature spectacle when an endless stream of more than 100.000 bats come flying out of their cave at sunset time and the whole spectacle takes more than 1 hour.
The entrance fee is 1000 MMK (approx. €0,60) per person.
5. SADDAN CAVE
A huge cave filled with a reclining Buddha statue, a pagoda and many more Buddhist items. Saddan Cave is incredibly huge inside and one of the biggest caves in Myanmar. The cave is 107 m in length and 40 m in width and 30 feet high above ground. Do not forget to bring along your shoes when entering the cave; to walk further and through after the pagoda part. At the end are boats waiting for a nice trip.
The entrance fee for the cave is 1000 MMK (approx. €0,60) per person and the private boat ride is 3000 MMK (approx. €1,75).
6. YAE TA KHAN
Yae Ta Khan is a nice natural swimming pool in a cool surrounding. Following up the hill to the right of the pool there are many white pagodas standing in a geometrical and quite picturesque order. Know place among the locals.
The entrance is free.
7. TAUNG WINE PAGODA
After hiking Mt. Zwekabin you will see that hiking Taung Wine Mountain is more easier.
Is located 13Km east of Hpa-An, so you have 2 options to get to Taung Wine Mountain:
1. Rent a motorbike – is about 25 minutes and the cost of the motorbike is around 12000 MMK (approx. €7,00) for one day.
2. Taxi – is about 30 minutes ride and the price is around 10000 MMK (approx. €5,90) one way.
Travel Tip: we recommend you to hike the Taung Wine Mountain for sunrise, make sure that you leave Hpa-An around 4:30 am. The hike is around 1 hour.
8. DOWNTOWN AND NIGHT MARKET
Hpa-An is not so big, so the city center highlights are all walking distance. You will find markets, where you can witness local life and culture. In the morning you will find as well many vendors selling everything from vegetables, fruits or even handicrafts.
The Clock Tower is the iconic landmark of the city. It’s nothing special or unique, but is the symbol of Hpa-An and where your bus would drop you or if you need to pick-up any bus or taxi.
The other thing we love most are the Night Markets. Yes, in Hpa-An there is a Night Market every night. This is the perfect place to interact with locals, see their customs and eat good and cheap food.
EXTRA TIP JUST FOR YOU!!
VISIT KYAIKTIYO PAGODA
This beautiful pagoda is halfway from Yangon to Hpa-An. Is also known as “Golden Rock” and it is one of the most important Buddhist sites in Myanmar.
It is a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder and is covered with gold leaves. The legend says that the Golden Rock itself is held by a hair of the Buddha.
The entrance fee is 10000 MMK (approx. €5,90) per person.
IT’S BED TIME!! 💤 WHERE TO STAY IN HPA-AN?
If you don’t know what kind of accommodation that you prefer, just click here, where you have a lot of excellent options.
Safe and Happy Travels Everyone ✈
SARA & JORGE