Mount ZwegabinMt Zwegabin
There is another small curve along the way. This hike is very rapid and usually takes you uphill. Be sure to take a flashlight or at least a telephone lamp with you, as the track sometimes has drop-offs and you could be in big difficulties without it. On the top of the hill there is a giant gold stupa and a convent.
When I tried to run through the convent, I was carrying my flask of bottled hot and cold running rifle (for self-defense, of course). At 6 o'clock in the morning we reached the summit of Mt Zwegabin, but we were in a cloudy place and could not see any of the sight. When you go down the back of the convent, there is a lavatory area.
This may not be the best place, but we cooled down with a giant drop below us, hung our feet over the rim and watched the mist pass by. It is my favourite place in the convent and much colder than next to the big Stupa.
Hpa-an, Myanmar (Burma)
Mt Zwegabin, about 7 leagues southwards of the city, is the highest of the Hpa-an surrounded calcareous rock formations. It is not only a decent 2372ft, but also home to ghosts and holy people. It' s an exhausting two-hour walk to the top - many stairs up and with aggressively minded apes as permanent enemies - but once you get up there are plenty of reward.
It offers breathtaking vistas, a small convent and a stupa with a Buddha head. Climbing down on the east side of the hill lasts about 1 hour. Explore the hill on a guided walk from a guest house. As an alternative, motorbike taxi makes the way back for K5000, while a thoon leg (motorized Trishaw) is K10,000.
Walking begins with a 15-minute stroll through a small town to the foot of the hill on the west side, past several hundred (1150 to be exact) of the same Buddhist statue, strung in series. It is possible to spend the night in the convent for a K5000 gift, but the sleep condition is very easy.