Hpa-An is the capital of the Kayin State, in southeastern Burma. A visit to Hpa-An will offer you a great opportunity to discover many outstanding natural sites of this city.
Being the capital of the Kayin State, in southeastern Burma, Hpa-An is a picturesque town that can charms explorers. The scenery surrounding the town, nearby caves and mountains are the major attractions of this city.
During your stay in Burma, do not hesitate to make a short tour from Moulmein, even from Yangon, and spend a day or two discovering Hpa-An.
1. How to get Hpa-An and stay there
A visit to Hpa-An is quite easy to organize. Even if only a road trip is possible, the city is connected to most major cities in the country.
From Moulmein, it will take you 2 hours to reach Hpa-An (the ticket costs 0.8USD). You can even take the boat to travel between two cities. If you choose a private boat, it will cost you 53USD, or 6USD per person for the “public boat”. The journey takes 3 hours.
From Myawaddy, the journey by bus takes about 4 hours, and the ticket costs 3.8USD. There are also many taxis that will make the journey between the two cities for 7.6 USD per person.
A bus tour between Kyaikityo and Hpa-An will take 4 house and cost 4.5USD.
Buses also arrive at Hpa-An from Yangon (3.8USD, 6 hours) and Bago. However, many of them, also coming from Bagan, Naypyidaw and Mandalay go directly to Moulmein, via Thaton. You will then have to take a bus tour (1,5USD) for Hpa-An.
To get around the town, many motorbikes and trishaws are available, especially in the areas near the market and ferries. Do not pay more than 0.8USD for any journey in the city.
With regard to the offer of accommodation, you will find a various offer at different prices. It will cost approximately 8USD for a room in a guesthouse, and up to 60USD for a room in the best hotel in the town.
Similarly, in terms of catering, many restaurants exist in the city. You can also find local food stalls in the city market.
2. What to do during your visit to Hpa-An
Although Hpa-An is not one of the best known in the country, it will not disappoint visitors. As a stop in your tour in Burma, it will allow you to discover another facet of the country, by taking you a little off the beaten track.
Hpa-An is surrounded by majestic karst mountains hiding many important caves for believers. One of the most impressive examples is Mount Zwegabin. You can get the best views from Lake Kan Thar Yar (15min walking from the town center), and also from a beer factory to the south of the city.
On Zaydan Road, in the center of Hpa-An, you can find a large number of tea houses and restaurants serving local dishes with menus in English.
You can also discover the local culture and the history of the region by visiting the Kayin Cultural Museum (1.5USD for entrance fee).
If you want to climb up Mount Zwegabin, notice that it’s a difficult path, especially in hot weather. It will take you between two and four hours to complete the ascent. At the top, you will find a monastery and a pagoda, where a delicious meal will be served to you. You can enjoy it while contemplating the magnificent view of the region.
During your stay in Hpa-An in Burma, you will not be able to miss the caves around the town. Do not forget to visit the Sadan cellar, which lead to a huge cave filled with Buddhas and pagodas, and you can cross it to reach the other side. It is really impressive, and in the other way, you can take a small wooden boat for 1.1USD per person.
To the southeast of the city you will find the caves and pool of Kaw Ka Taung. This will allow you to relax after a day of exploration around the city. Against a backdrop of rice fields and mountains, guests can enjoy a meal in local restaurants.
Finally, in the south of Hpa An, on the road to Zwegabin, is the Kyauk Kalap, a unique pagoda, located on a rock formation in the middle of an artificial lake.
For you tailor-made tour in Burma, it’s suggested that you consider Hpa-An as your desired destination. Indeed, the city offers many outstanding natural sites, and will be a wind of renewal on your stay.