AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HPA AN!
Hpa An is a little hidden gem located east of Yangon and it is a MUST see destination on your Myanmar backpacking adventures!
Hpa An is not usually on everyone’s typical Myanmar route but I can’t recommend this location enough as it ended up being my favorite place to visit in Myanmar.
I have put this complete guide of the 5 Best Things To Do In Hpa An to help you plan your trip!
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5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HPA AN
#1 HPAN PU HIKE
Hiking to the top of Hpan Pu Mountain (Pha Bhu Taung Pagoda) for sunset was a welcoming adventure at the beginning of my 3 days spent in Hpa An Myanmar!
The short hike up Mount Hpan Pu is more rewarding than expected with speechless views of the incredible landscape and one of the best things to do in Hpa An!
WHERE IS HPAN PU MOUNTAIN & HOW TO GET THERE
Hpan Pu Mountain (Pha Bhu Taung Pagoda) is located across the Thanlyin River, north-west of Hpa An town.
There are 2 ways to get over the river to hike Mt Hpan Pu which I have listed below:
If you plan on renting a motorbike during your visit to Hpa-An, you can simply drive across the bridge on road 85 and take a right-hand turn on to the road that runs parallel with the river.
There is a sandy parking lot at the base of Hpan Pu Mountain to park your motorbike and you’ll see a concrete stairway leading up the side of the mountain. The drive from Hpa-An to Hpan Pu Mountain is approximately 20-minutes.
You will be able to rent a scooter from your accommodation for approximately 6,000 – 10,000 Kyat per day.
Taking a boat across the Thanlyin River is the second option to reach Hpan Pu Mountain.
Head down to Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda, which is a short walk from the center of town and you will be able to jump on board a local boat for 500 Kyat.
The boat will drop you off to the riverbank on the other side and it is a few hundred meters walk to the base of Hpan Pu Mountain.
Note: The boats stop running across the river at nightfall so you will need to coordinate with the boat driver if he will be able to wait for you or not to take you back across the river to Hpa An after hiking Mt Hpan Pu at sunset.
Hpan Pu Hike – Things to do in Hpa An
Hpan Pu Mountain – Hpa An things to do
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE HPAN PU MOUNTAIN HIKE
Hiking to the top of Mount Hpan Pu for sunset on my first day in Hpa-An was one of the best experiences I had in Myanmar! The short 20-30 minute hike is steep, sweaty and thirsty work but more than rewarding once I reached the summit!
On the trail to the top of Hpan Pu Mountain, you can expect overgrown shrubs, loose gravel, sharp rocks and bamboo ladders, so your full attention is recommended during the hike as to not have any slips.
At the summit of Hpan Pu Mountain is the Pha Bhu Taung Pagoda, offering 360-degree views of Hpa-An, the Thanlyin River and distant mountain ranges!
The awe-inspiring views of the incredible landscapes in the region had me jaw-dropped and smiling from ear to ear. The fiery sunset on this day was the icing on the cake!
I recommend having at least 2 litres of drinking water for the Mount Hpan Pu hike as the humidity is quite intense. Believe me, it was thirsty work getting to the summit and back.
If you are hiking Mt Hpan Pu at sunset, you may want to pack a torch or phone light to aid you on the way back down the trail as it gets dark very quickly.
Full Blog Post: Hpan Pu Hike
Hpan Pu – Things to do in Hpa An Myanmar
#2 SADAN CAVE ADVENTURE
Sadan Cave is one of the most impressive cave systems I have ever experienced and one of the best things to do in Hpa An.
HOW TO GET TO SADAN CAVE IN HPA AN
Sadan Cave is located 30km south-east of Hpa An city center.
There are 2 ways to get to Sadan Cave in Hpa An which I have listed below:
If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is approximately a 45-minute drive from the city center to the entrance of Sadan Cave. You will be able to rent a scooter from your accommodation for approximately 6,000 – 10,000 Kyat per day.
The second option of getting to Sadan Cave from Hpa An is by taxi/tuk-tuk. The cost of a 45-minute taxi ride should be around 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat one way.
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The entrance to Sadan Cave – Hpa An sightseeing
WHAT TO EXPECT AT SADAN CAVE HPA AN
When I arrived at Sadan Cave I had to pay an entrance fee of 1000 Kyat before making my way down the stairs and into the cave. Shoes must also be taken off at the start and appropriate clothing is to be worn to cover your shoulders and knees.
Sadan Cave is incredibly huge inside and one of the biggest caves I have been in. There are a number of monuments at the entrance to Sadar Cave such as a golden stupa, a reclined Buddha, gold monk statues and wall carvings.
Once you have explored this area, follow the pathway deeper into the cave. The way is lit so a torch isn’t necessary.
The Saddan Cave in Hpa An stretches at least 500 meters from one end to the other and the floor to ceiling height, in my guess, is approximately 30 meters high. Listen out for the almost deafening sounds of the thousands of hanging bats and admire the oversized stalactites throughout the Sadan Cave.
After around 15-minutes of strolling through Sadan Cave, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel and emerge at the opposite side of the cave from which you entered. On this side of Sadar Cave is a secret lake with a dozen fishing boats and local vendors selling cold drinks and fruits.
Note: The Sadan Cave in Hpa An is only open during the dry season (November – April) and closed during the wet season.
Full Blog Post: Sadan Cave
Sadan Cave – Things to do in Hpa An
#3 TAUNG WINE MOUNTAIN
Hiking to the top of Taung Wine Mountain for sunrise was one of my ultimate favorite things to do in Hpa An, Myanmar. If you are an adventure enthusiast like myself and looking for a bang-for-buck hike in Hpa An, then you can’t go past an unforgettable journey to the summit of Taung Wine Mountain!
WHERE IS TAUNG WINE MOUNTAIN & HOW TO GET THERE
Taung Wine Mountain (Taung Wine Pagoda) is located 13km east of Hpa An city center.
There are 2 ways to get to Taung Wine Mountain;
If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is a short 25-minute drive from Hpa An city center to the base of Taung Wine Mountain. You will be able to rent a scooter from your accommodation for approximately 6,000 – 10,000 Kyat per day.
The second option of getting to Mount Taung Wine in Hpa An is by taxi. If you plan to hike Taung Wine Mountain for sunrise it is best to organise a taxi the day before to pick you up from your accommodation at around 4:30 am.
The cost of a 30-minute taxi ride is somewhere between 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat one way.
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Taung Wine mountain – Things to do in Hpa An
Taung Wine mountain hike – Hpa An
HIKING TAUNG WINE MOUNTAIN
Some friends of mine recommended the Taung Wine Mountain hike prior to my arrival in Hpa An. They raved on how insane the views were at the summit and that the hike only took them 45-minutes from bottom to top.
I left my accommodation (Keinnara Lodge) at 4:30 am and arrived at the base of Taung Wine Mountain in Hpa An at 5 am to begin the 45-minute ascent to make it to the summit for sunrise.
The hike does not ease you in at all. From the get-go the stairs are steep and the humidity is intense. I broke out in a sweat from head to toe about 15-minutes into the hike and my quads were already starting to burn.
However, I was so determined to make it to the top before the sun popped up over the horizon.
I would recommend giving yourself at least one hour to hike Hpa An Taung Wine Mountain, allowing for short breaks on the trail up to catch your breath and rehydrate.
I arrived at the summit of Taung Wine Mountain about 15-minutes before sunrise, so it was nice to have a breather before getting out my camera gear to get some shots.
As the sun started to rise and light up the Hpa-An region I was in complete awe of the insane panoramic views from the Taung Wine Pagoda!
The steel stairway on Taung Wine Mountain has a slight resemblance to the Stairway to Heaven stairs in Hawaii and this is the best spot to take photos.
Full Blog Post: Taung Wine Mountain
Taung Wine mountain – What to do in Hpa An
#4 MOUNT ZWEGABIN HIKE
The hardest, the longest, but the most rewarding hike in Hpa An Myanmar is the famous Mount Zwegabin hike! After hiking Mount Hpan Pu & Taung Wine Mountain, I saved the best for last and it was worth every drop of sweat to make it to the summit of Mount Zwegabin for sunrise!
WHERE IS ZWEKABIN MOUNTAIN & HOW TO GET THERE
Mount Zwegabin is located 10km south-east of Hpa An city center.
There are 2 ways to get to Mount Zwegabin which I have listed below;
If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is a short 15-minute drive from the city center to the base of Zwekabin Mountain. You will be able to rent a scooter from your accommodation for approximately 6,000 – 10,000 Kyat per day.
The second option of getting to Mount Zwegabin in Hpa An is by taxi. If you plan to hike Zwekabin Mountain for sunrise it is best to organise a taxi the day before to pick you up from your accommodation at around 3:30 am.
The cost of a 15-minute taxi ride should be no more than 5,000 Kyat one way.
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Mt Zwekabin – Hpa An Myanmar
Mount Zwekabin – Things to do in Hpa An
HIKING MOUNT ZWEGABIN – THINGS TO DO IN HPA AN
I arrived at the base of Mount Zwegabin at 4:30 am, parked my scooter and paid 4,000 Kyat entrance fee to a monk at the beginning of the hike. He wrote me out a ticket and I was on my way.
There was no easing into the Hpa An Zwekabin Mountain hike, especially at 4:30 in the morning. There are concrete stairs that zigzag steeply all the way to the summit of Mount Zwekabin.
The majority of the hike is dimly lit with hanging lights and safety railings are in place where needed. I would recommend packing a torch to aid you in the darker areas along the Mount Zwegabin trail.
The Mount Zwegabin hike took me 1 hour and 15 minutes from bottom to top. This was with around 3 or 4 short breaks to sip on some water and catch my breath.
I arrived at the summit at 5:45 am with 30-minutes to spare before sunrise. However, I would recommend allowing 2-hours for the average person to hike to the top of Zwekabin Mountain in Hpa An.
Mount Zwegabin – Things to do Hpa An
THE VIEWPOINTS AT MOUNT ZWEGABIN
There are 2 epic viewpoints not to be missed at the top of Mount Zwegabin in Hpa An and they are;
When you arrive at the Mount Zwegabin Monastery (gold pagoda) take a left-hand turn down the concrete stairs towards another pagoda below, but at about halfway down there is a dirt trail leading off to the right and this will take you to a rocky hillside with insane views facing east where you’ll find the best spot to watch the sunrise. See the images above for reference!
The second best viewpoint is on the opposite side of the Zwekabin Mountain in Hpa An, only 5-minutes walk from the sunrise viewpoint. Look for the toilet block on the right-hand side of the Mount Zwegabin Monastery and you can actually climb on the roof for incredible west-facing views of Hpa An. See the images below for reference!
Full Blog Post: Mount Zwegabin Hike
Mount Zwegabin Monastery – Hpa An things to do
#5 KYAUK KALAT PAGODA
The Kyauk Kalat, also known as Kyaut Ka Latt, is a limestone pinnacle that is topped with a golden stupa in Hpa An.
I have included the Kyauk Kalat Pagoda on this list of things to do in Hpa An because it is one of the most interesting and unique landmarks I have seen in Myanmar!
WHERE IS KYAUK KALAT PAGODA & HOW TO GET THERE
Kyauk Kalat is located 8.5 km south of Hpa An city center.
There are 2 ways to get to Kyaut Ka Latt Pagoda which I have listed below;
If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is approximately a 30-minute drive from the city center to the Kyauk Kalatt Pagoda.
The second option of getting to Kyaut Kalatt in Hpa An is by taxi/tuk-tuk. The cost of a 30-minute taxi ride should be around 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat one way.
Kyaut Kalat Pagoda – Things to do in Hpa An
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE KYAUK KALAT PAGODA
The Kyauk Kalat Pagoda in Hpa An sits precariously on top of a limestone pinnacle that looks like it is going to tip over. Kyaut Kalat is surrounded by a circular lake and is only accessible by a wooden footbridge that stretches over the water.
Kyauk Kalat is an active monastery and meditation site, so please be quiet and respectful when wandering around this location in Hpa An.
The famous Mount Zwegabin lingers impressively in the background of Kyauk Kalat and it is a truly impressive sight! There is also a very beautiful temple right next to the Kyauk Kalat known as the Chan Thar Gyi Buddha Temple.
On a clear day, you can see impressive reflections on the small lake in front of Chan Thar Gyi Temple.
Kyauk Kalat Pagoda – Hpa An
Chan Thar Gyi Buddha Temple – Things to do Hpa An
WHERE TO STAY IN HPA AN
Hpa An has dozens of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Hpa-An to suit the needs of luxury travelers, budget backpackers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Keinnara Lodge Hpa An
Mid Range: Hotel United Hpa An
Budget: Galaxy Motel Hpa An
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN HPA AN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
GETTING AROUND HPA AN MYANMAR
#1 Rent A Scooter
Renting a scooter in Hpa An Myanmar is very affordable and the most efficient way to get around self-guided. You will be able to rent a scooter from your accommodation for approximately 6,000 – 10,000 Kyat ($6) per day.
#2 Taxi’s / Tuk-Tuk’s
Taxi’s and tuk-tuk’s are another mode of transport in and around Hpa An. Depending on where and how far you are going determines how much the cost will be. Always agree on a price with your driver first before jumping in.
Exploring Hpa An on our rented motorbike!
HPA AN MAP
HOW TO GET TO HPA-AN
The best way to get to Hpa An Myanmar is by bus.
Whether you are on a budget or not, I recommend traveling by bus throughout Myanmar. The main bus companies (JJ Express, Elite, Ok Express) are very efficient and will get you comfortably from A to B.
The cost of bus transportation between cities in Myanmar is on average around $10 to $30.
Bus duration times:
- Yangon to Hpa An – 6 hours
- Inle Lake to Hpa An– 14 hours
- Bagan to Hpa An – 13 hours
To check timetables, prices and to book online in advance, use the search form below:
BEST MYANMAR TOURS
MORE MYANMAR TRAVEL GUIDES
Myanmar Guide: 2 Week Myanmar Itinerary
Bagan Guide: 5 Things To Do In Bagan
Mandalay Guide: 10 Things To Do In Mandalay
Inle Lake Guide: 5 Things To Do In Inle Lake
Hpa An Guide: 5 Things To Do In Hpa An
LONELY PLANET – MYANMAR
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Myanmar Travel Guide!
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AIRBNB HPA AN
Another option for accommodation in Hpa An is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Hpa An.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR HPA AN
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF HPA AN
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