Remote and off the beaten track, the capital city of Kayin State, Hpa-an boasts an abundance of culture and a gloriously rich history. This charming, riverside city is quiet, quaint and nestled among some of Myanmar’s most wonderful countryside scenes. Enveloping the city, you’ll find breath-taking mountains, proudly home to a collection of the country’s most sacred Buddhist caves.
With its rugged charm, fresh country air and plentiful cultural and historical sights to visit, it won’t be long until Hpa-an sets itself firmly on the well-worn traveler trail. In the meantime, stay a few days in this breezy hill station and explore the fascinating surrounding regions of Hpa-an.
Some visitors claim that Sadan Cave is the most impressive cave they’ve ever visited. The cave’s size can be compared to that of a football stadium and is estimated to be over 500 metres in both length and width and is also exceptionally high.
The most exciting way to experience this fascinating cave is by canoe boat. Sit back and relax as you meander effortlessly through this seemingly endless cave system of impressive pagodas, ancient Buddha statues and intricate cave wall carvings.
Marvel at the natural wonders of stalactites and stalagmites to the songs of echoing bats who have made this giant cave system their home.
As you exit the cave by canoe boat get ready for a wonderful surprise as the rays of light shine into the cave and guide you into a magical hidden lake filled with lilies. The unforgettable scenery and tranquil atmosphere promise an exceptionally magical day out for all the family.
Probably the most unique and wonderfully photogenic pagoda in the region is the Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda. Built on a tiny island in the middle of a huge serene lake, the pagoda looks to have been built high up on the peak of a lime stone rock, giving onlookers the feeling that the pagoda could indeed fall into the lake below.
The houses that surround the beautiful artificial lake are to this day occupied by resident Monks. From the shore line, visitors can also enjoy a wonderful view of Mount Zwegabin. A relaxing kayak ride can be taken across the serene lake to the pagoda where you can learn more about its history from a tour guide.
A morning or afternoon trip to the secluded site of Kyauk Ka Lat Pagoda makes the perfect retreat from busy city life.
Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda
Situated in Theinseik Village, the Shwe Yin Myaw Pagoda boasts an impressive, glimmering gold pagoda and uncountable beautiful Buddha figures for visitors to enjoy. Marvel at the wonderful dragon and giant frog statues and learn how the city of Hpa-an got its name.
Best visited around sunset to avoid the midday sun, join the influx of people who venture to the pagoda on an evening to watch the magical setting of the Burmese sun over the never-ending river below.