Located six hours away from Yangon by bus, Hpa-an is a small town known for its famous mountain, Mt. Zwegabin.
Where to Stay:
The Soe Brother Guesthouse is the most recommended place to stay within Hpa-an. They have two locations Guesthouse 1 and Guesthouse 2. Guesthouse 2 is the more modern one and isn’t as centrally located, but you won’t be missing much by staying outside of the city. It’s actually easier to get to number 2 because the bus will drop you off one street away from hostel.
The other benefit, as opposed to staying at other guesthouses, is taking a 6,000 Kyat (~$4 USD – July, 2019) group tour of the famous caves of the Hpa-an region. They load you up into a tricycle like this and take you from 8am to 5pm for the whole day, instead of having to scooter around the area. Along the way you’ll see lots of sights.
What to Do:
Yathae Pyan Cave:
This natural limestone cave features many buddha statues. You’ll ascend a small amount of stairs into the primary chamber of the cave. If you keep exploring past the larger sized buddhas, you will go through the whole cave complex and end up at the other exit, which has a higher elevation and views of a rice field behind it. Watch out for the wild monkeys that lounge on the open walkway near the end.
Mahar Sadan Cave:
One of the larger caves you can visit in Hpa-an, Mahar Sadan cave features a number of large buddha shrines lit up by lots of artificial neon lights. This is in distinct contrast to the natural cave formations, which you will see in other parts of the cave. However, aside from the oddly lit buddha shrines, the rest of the cave is spectacular. The surprise is coming to the end of the cave and being greeted by a large lake with boats inside of it. You can then take a boat ride through another low level cave to get back to the entrance.
Kyaut Ka Latt Pagoda & Chan Thar Gyi Temple:
A beautiful white floating pagoda lies at the top of an impossibly narrow rock formation in the middle of a man made lake. You can climb to the top via a narrow staircase, or chose to admire it from one of the sides of the lake.
Kaw Gon Cave:
One of the less impressive caves in the Hpa-an area, it is worth visiting for the view at the top of the monastery. You’ll see the whole ridgeline of Mt. Zwegabin and the vast, flat plains of Myanmar’s southeast.
Lumbine Buddha Garden:
Blind Massage Center
More Myanmar Guides Here:
These are my other guides for Myanmar:
Explore the whole country: Your Travel Guide to Myanmar
Explore Bagan: Your Travel Guide to Bagan
Explore Inle Lake: Your Travel Guide to Inle Lake
Explore Loikaw: Your Travel Guide to Loikaw
Explore Hpa-an: Your Travel Guide to Hpa-an
Explore Yangon: Your Travel Guide to Yangon
Get Inspired for Myanmar: Top Five Reasons to Visit Myanmar