Hpa an MyanmarMyanmar and Hpa
In the city itself there is little to see, although its relaxed charms and welcoming people make it a convenient starting point for exploring the local landscape. There is also much to see - from huge caverns full of old Buddha arts to holy mountain peaks to steaming warm water sources - Hpa An is sure to please even the most adventure-seeking traveller.
It is best to rent a motorcycle in one of the city's stores, but if you feel more at ease on three bikes, ask your local hotels if they can organise a trip to the major attractions of this area. Tucked away in the hills surrounding Hpa An, there are several stunning caverns that can readily be discovered over two whole day.
One of the most notable is the Sadan Cave. Stretching across the whole bottom of the hill, it leads you through a net of weakly illuminated galleries and cave galleries full of Buddha paintings directly to the other side. A small wood kayak leads you back under the hill with a wonderful view of the landscape.
Some of the other caverns that are well worth visiting are the stunning Kawgun Cave, which contains tens of thousands of Buddha pictures from the seventh centuries; Yathaypyan, where you can treat yourself to your inner Indiana Jones in its tight tunnel; or the lavish Bayin Nyi Cave, full of steamy warm waters that invite you to bathe. When the sun sets you should see the Bat Cave, where hundreds of billions of bats stream over the mountain for a stunning game.
Use real hiking boots, walk at dawn to get away from the sun and experience magic vistas of the foggy heights. Even if this may sound like too much work, the series of Buddha sculptures surrounding the foot of the hill still provide a stunning view without the hassle.
Following a long exploration of the city, the Shweyinhmyaw Pongo by the Danube in the north-west of the city is a favourite place to relax and observe the sundown. You can also take the boat from the footbridge next to the lagoon across the fluvial to Mount Hpar Pu, where a thirty-minute walk will take you to a lagoon overlooking the nearby paddy paddies and chalk heaps.
At night, the natives meet at the tranquil Kan Thar Yar Lake on the edge of the city, where you can watch the sun set over the hills over a glass of cool ale, as well as grill naps from various providers. Obtain our free insider guide and explore the best of Myanmar with our best advice!