Hpa-An, little hidden Treasure of Myanmar Hpa-An, little hidden Treasure of Myanmar

Hpa-An, little hidden Treasure of Myanmar

Hpa-An in Myanmar is a destination off of the usual route through Myanmar and, therefore, often skipped. However, Hpa-An (pronounced Pa Ahn) is a small city surrounded by lush green rice fields, limestone mountains, and a huge amount of caves, making it a must-see. Experience the local life, hike, visit the world’s biggest lying Buddha, or explore the rice fields. Take about two full days to explore all the things to do in Hpa-An.

8 Things to do in Hpa-An

1. Do a small hike up to Hpan Pu Mountain

Hpan Pu Mountain is the perfect way to experience Hpa-An. In the morning, take the canoe boat (500 kyats) from this place to the other side of the Thanlyin River. Expect to get a bit of dirt on your shoes. The people in this area grow a lot of vegetables and sell them in Hpa-An.

things to do Hpa An myanmar hike Hpan Pu Mountain

Once you get off the boat, walk 350 meters until you reach a small town and note the sign to the left that says ‘Hpan Pu Mountain’. When you are at the foot of the mountain, go right and walk around until you reach this point. On your left side, there is a staircase that will lead you about 20 minutes to an amazing view over Hpa-An.

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Hpa-An, little hidden Treasure of Myanmar

2. Visit Saddar Cave

Saddar Cave is one of those places you do not expect to see. Follow the path for 15 minutes into this massive cave. The path ends at a small lake where you can take the boat back to near the entrance of the cave.

The area is surrounded by lush green rice plantations, which makes it even more impressive. The entrance to the cave is 1000 kyats (0.75 USD) and a private boat ride costs about 3000 kyats (2.25 USD).

things to do Hpa An myanmar Saddar cave drone

3. Hike up Mount Zwekabin

If you think hiking up the Hpan Pu Mountain is way too boring for you, then get out in the early morning and hike up Mount Zwekabin instead. This 2.5-hour hike will definitely test your skills but will reward you with an incredible view.

Photo: @sommertageblog

4. Visit Golden Rock

Halfway from Yangon to Hpa-An, there is Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, better known as Golden Rock. It is one of the most important Buddhist sites in Myanmar. Getting to Golden Rock is quite a ride from the base camp. From here, you will take something like a bus filled with locals and a few tourists, and it takes about an hour to reach the top.

The views from on top are beautiful, and it is fascinating to see how many (local) people there are on the top of the mountain.

things to do Hpa An myanmar golden rock

5. Sunset at the river

One of the most simple yet memorable things to do in Hpa-An is watching the sunset at Thanlyin River. You might even have the luck to interact with some locals who are washing themselves or their dishes in the river.

6. Kyauk Kalat Pagoda

Another spot where your mind will say: But .. how?! The Kyauk Kalat Pagoda is situated on top of a small limestone dot, and it looks like it’s almost about to fall over. This is a beautiful place to spend an hour.

7. Explore the rice fields

Hpa-An is surrounded by unbelievably green rice fields. Rent a motorbike or bike and drive just outside of town. They grow rice multiple times a year, so you will have a big chance to see it when you visit.

things to do Hpa An myanmar rice fields

8. Explore Mawlamyine

About a 1.5-hour drive from Hpa-An lies Mawlamyine, a more developed but less touristy city. This city was the former main harbor of Myanmar before it moved over to Yangon. Here, you can visit the biggest Reclining Buddha (Win Sein Taw Ya) in the world, which is 180 meters (!!) in length. Make sure to also experience the amazing sunset from the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda.

things to do Hpa An myanmar Mawlamyine

At both sites, it is hard to spot a foreign tourist. Do put this as the last item on your to-do list since we think the other 7 items are better! :)

How to Get to Hpa-An from Yangon

If you want to include Hpa-An on your Myanmar Route, make sure to take 2 or 3 days to explore the area. From Yangon, you can either go there by car or a bus ($9). Both take about 8 hours to get there.

Hotels in Hpa-An

Hpa-An is still new to tourism and offers only a small selection of hotels, with most found on Agoda.com.

23/10/2023 https://www.saltinourhair.com/myanmar/hpa-an-myanmar/
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