Hpa An: Land of Caves and Mountains

Just by the Thanlyin River, Hpa An is the capital city of the Kayin State. It is near Mawlamyine (or more familiar – Moulmein – to some literature and history buff and 7 hour of driving away from Yangon. Despite nearing some of the most developed region in the country, the town is rather authentic with mostly tiny buildings some from the colonial times and with the ever present Buddhist structures. In spite not being a stop of any cruises, it is a truly worthwhile destination especially for nature lovers with the stunning limestone caves, huge mountains and river surrounding.

1. Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda

One of the most unique pagodas in the world, Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda is situated in a peculiar rock formation in a middle of a wide lake. From afar looking in, you feel almost enchanted by such a bizarre but harmonious sight. This pagoda is very much well-known among the local but not much foreign visitors know about it.


Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda

2. Kaw Gun Cave

A bit outside of the city, Kaw Gun cave is famous for its carving of around then thousands Buddha Image on the walls and ceiling of the Caves. Some Buddha on the ground is new and recently maintained.

Carvings on the wall of Kaw Gun Cave 

3. Saddan Cave

One of the bigger caves near Hpa An, the dimension of the caves is deeper with higher ceiling. The walls of the caves also have the carvings of Buddha cover in gold leaf. You can find the typical stupas and Buddha images inside the structure. However, a feature that make the cave special is the back entrance leading to a small lake. Here you can take the boat to pass through the canal to get back to the main entrance – a very scenic way to finish the visit.


Saddan Cave

4. Mount Zwegabin

Mount Zwegabin is a very sacred place to the local people here. With only a few kilometers away from the center, it is also a great spot to get panoramic vista over the region if you want to challenge yourselves with a moderately difficult hike. It is recommended to begin the climb early in the morning before 4:00 AM to avoid the heat of the morning. There are two ways to reach the top: one difficult with manmade stair but steeper and faster if you have good endurance; another one is easier with very gentle slope but only trail and take a bit longer to climb.

Aerial View of the top of Mount Zwegabin

5. Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda

Located in the north west end of the city, Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda is not only a place of worship and meditate but also the favorite spots for everyone to watch the sunset. Right next to the river and with the back drop of the mountain from afar, here you can witness the sun sink down between the jungle.

Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda

Hpa An gorgeous as it is, receive little to no love from the visitors due to its accessibility. We will guarantee you will have the best time here to explore the complete authenticity and genuineness of the place. Hpa An doesn’t belong in any stop in the cruise, however you can always contact us to arrange the trip to this wonderful city before and after a cruise.

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