5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HPA AN – MYANMAR

5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HPA AN – MYANMAR

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 favourite place to visit in Myanmar. I have created this guide of the 5 Best Things To Do In Hpa An to help you plan your trip!

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 was 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.

Option #1: 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 ($6) per day.

Option #2: 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 centre 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.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

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hpan pu mountain, hpan pu pagoda, hpa-an things to do, mt hpan pu, mount hpan puHalfway to the summit of 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

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#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 centre. There are 2 ways to get to Sadan Cave.

Option #1: If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is approximately a 45-minute drive from the city centre to the entrance of Sadan Cave.

Option #2: The second option of getting to Sadan Cave is by taxi/tuk-tuk. The cost of a 45-minute taxi ride should be around 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat ($6) one way.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

sadan cave hpa an, sadan cave, saddan cave, sadar cave, things to do in hpa anThe entrance to Sadan Cave – Hpa An sightseeing

WHAT TO EXPECT AT SADAN CAVE

When I arrived at Sadan Cave I had to pay an entrance fee of 1000 Kyat (70c) 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 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 is only open during the dry season (November – April) and closed during the wet season.

Full Blog Post: Sadan Cave

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#3 TAUNG WINE MOUNTAIN

Hiking to the top of Taung Wine Mountain for sunrise was one of my ultimate favourite 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 centre. There are 2 ways to get to Taung Wine Mountain.

Option #1: If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is a short 25-minute drive from the city centre to the base of Taung Wine Mountain.

Option #2: The second option of getting to Mount Taung Wine 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 4:30am. The cost of a 30-minute taxi ride is somewhere between 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat ($6) one way.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

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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 4:30am and arrived at the base of Taung Wine Mountain at 5am 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 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

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#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 centre. There are 2 ways to get to Mount Zwegabin.

Option #1: If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is a short 15-minute drive from the city centre to the base of Zwekabin Mountain.

Option #2: The second option of getting to Mount Zwegabin 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 3:30am. The cost of a 15-minute taxi ride should be no more than 5,000 Kyat ($3) one way.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

mount zwegabin, zwekabin mountain, mount zwegabin monastery, mount zwekabin, things to do in hpa anInsane views at the top of Mt Zwekabin – Myanmar Backpacking

mount zwegabin, zwekabin mountain, mount zwegabin monastery, mount zwekabin, things to do in hpa anDrone shot of 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 4:30am, 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 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. 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 5:45am 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.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

mount zwegabin, zwekabin mountain, mount zwegabin monastery, mount zwekabin, things to do in hpa anSunrise at the summit of 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!

Viewpoint #1: 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 half way 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!

Viewpoint #2: The second best viewpoint is on the opposite side of the Zwekabin Mountain, 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.

Full Blog Post: Mount Zwegabin Hike

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#5 KYAUK KALAT PAGODA

The Kyauk Kalat, also known as Kyaut Ka Latt, is a limestone pinnacle that is topped with a golden stupa. I have included the Kyauk Kalat Pagoda on the 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 centre. There are 2 ways to get to Kyaut Ka Latt Pagoda.

Option #1: If you are renting a scooter/motorbike in Hpa An, it is approximately a 30-minute drive from the city centre to the Kyauk Kalatt Pagoda.

Option #2: The second option of getting to Kyaut Kalatt is by taxi/tuk-tuk. The cost of a 30-minute taxi ride should be around 5,000 – 10,000 Kyat ($6) one way.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE KYAUK KALAT PAGODA

The Kyauk Kalat Pagoda 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.

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.

Find All: Hotels in Hpa An

kyauk kalat, kyaut ka latt pagoda, kyaut kalatt, kyauk kalat pagoda hpa an, kyauk kalt pagodaDrone shot of Kyauk Kalat Pagoda – Myanmar Backpacking

Chan Thar Gyi Buddha Temple – Things to do Hpa An

HPA AN ACCOMMODATION

Hpa An has dozens of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favourite places to stay in Hpa-An that caters for luxury travellers to budget backpackers. 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 accommodations in Hpa An, you can click HERE to 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.

things to do in hpa anExploring Hpa An on our rented motorbike!

HPAN 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 travelling 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-$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 click HERE. Alternatively, you can book buses one day in advance through your accommodation in each destination.

Find All: Flights/Trains/Buses to Mandalay

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST IN MYANMAR

For more Myanmar backpacking adventures, you may want to read my other travel guides below:

2 Week Myanmar Itinerary – The Ultimate Guide

10 Best Things To Do In Mandalay

5 Awesome Things To Do In Bagan

5 Things To Do In Inle Lake

Yangon Bike Tour

Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions about Things To Do In Hpa An please leave me a comment below.

Happy Adventuring 🙂

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