Hpa An, Myanmar: Hikes and Caves in the City

Hpa An Myanmar

Myanmar was right on top of the countries I wanted to visit soon as I can. I never read about the country in general; it was the force of the universe that got me landed into this gorgeous country.

My Beautiful Days in Hpa An

Hpa An is a quaint and beautiful city, set in the Kayin State of Myanmar. We (I and Iffy) reached here all the way from Mandalay in an overnight bus journey, which took about 9 hrs. After de-boarding at around 5 AM, we took a bike ride to our Hotel – Hpa An Breeze.

Then, quickly freshening up, we kicked off the day tour organised by Beyond Boundaries Myanmar. They curated it so well that we didn’t go through a tough time managing things, at all! We had a guide, an easy flowing day plan, scooters and some munchies for the way.

Following mentioned are the things we did, and hopefully, you can do too!

Saddar cave, Hpa An
Saddar cave, Hpa An

Caving in Hpa An

Kawgun & Yathaypyan Cave

Imagine walking through a cave whose walls are covered with tiny, intricately carved buddhas; millions of buddhas, from bottom to top – providing solace not only to the mind but eyes too.

Now, if you like the imagination, then there’s exactly such a place near Hpa An! Just 10-15 km from the city, Kawgun Cave is a delight for photographers, historians, travellers and cavers.

Said to be built in the 7th Century, this well-preserved masterpiece is just 10mins away from Yathaypyan Cave. So you can quickly head to another unique destination on your day trip in Hpa An.

Yathaypyan Cave, also called The Cave of Hermit, not only has a large pagoda along with other artefacts; it boasts of an exquisite view at the other mouth of the cave too.

Entry Fee: 1000 Kyat

Linno Gu

Near Thanlyin river, 9 km away from the city, rests a small cave which houses over a hundred thousand bats. Entry to this Bat Cave is prohibited but you can rest by the river bank and watch thousands of bats fly out, just when night starts engulfing the city.

The viewpoint is at a height, so you first climb for 30 min or so and then enjoy a vista of meadows and a slowly curling river. At sunset, the bats fly out and it all continues to happen for as long as an hour.

Quick Tip: Take a torch along because you’ll have to climb down after sunset.

Entry Fee: 1000 Kyat

Saddar Cave

This being one of the biggest caves in Myanmar should be on your check-list while visiting Hpa An. Yes, it has Stupas, a reclining Buddha statue and stalagmites and stalactites; the most interesting part in this cave starts after the pagoda.

There’s a path that leads to the denser part of the cave. After a walk of 15 min or so, you reach the end which is popularly known as ‘Hell on Earth’. This area houses thousands of bats and you can observe them in their natural habitat.

Then you can head to the exit of the cave which opens to a beautiful lake or river, not sure lol. Its surface is laced with locals on wooden boats. You can take a ride if you want and cherish the tranquility of it to the start point.

Sadly, we couldn’t take the boat as the water was less in the lake/river.

Entry Fee: 1000 Kyat

Toung wine at Sunrise
Toung wine at Sunrise

Hiking in Hpa An

Tuang Wine Mountain

It’s probably one of the most gorgeous hikes you’d find in the whole of Myanmar. Imagine hiking yourself on to the top of Tuang Wine during sunrise, with a 360-degree view of entire Hpa An. Oh my my, what a gorgeous beauty!

We left our hotel (Hpa An Breeze) around 5 AM which is a 30-min drive from the Base. It took me another 30 mins to climb to the top of this mountain. I made it. The hike wasn’t easy on the knees at all; it is steep with stairs built to the top. Despite all the pain and sweat, I vouch for it, IT IS WORTH IT!!

But you may take an hour for the hike; the time totally depends on your efforts and speed.

Entry Fee: None

Mount ZwegaBin

Famous because of the panorama it offers, ZwegaBin is the tallest limestone mountain in Hpa An. And the taller the mountain, the tougher its hike.

Climbing to the top of this mountain may take you at least 2 hrs and it can be done either via East or the West trail. East trail has stairs while the west trail is unpaved and rugged. It can take up to 3-4 hours to reach the top.

There are options for an overnight stay at the pinnacle if you wish to avail them.

Entry Fee: 4000 Kyat

Hpan Pu

This is one hike where the trail isn’t paved. There were wild bushes, loose gravel, bamboo ladders – all the things that I love while climbing.

For me, this mountain’s journey was as beautiful as the destination. On an average it takes about 2-3 hours to make it to the top. And like all other hikes, it’s preferable if reach the top by sunrise or sunset.

That’s because the play of light at such hours can and does paint the sky much better than Van Gogh ever could! 😛

Quick Tip: Carry a water bottle, a towel and a torch (if starting at dusk) along. Thank me later.

Entry Fee: None

1000 Buddha Images near Mount Zwekabin
1000 Buddha Images near Mount Zwekabin

In case you still have the energy and time to explore around this gorgeous Hpa An, then you must go to Kyauk Ka Lat for sunset and visit nearby villages to know about the Burmese lifestyle.

Hope you got good insights on Hpa An if you’re planning to go to this part of Myanmar anytime soon!! You can also check for tours with Beyond Boundaries, they are the best <3

You can follow me on Instagram for my real-life travel updates.

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