Hpa An is the capital of Karen State, sitting on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin river, about 270 kilometers to the east of Yangon. This is a wonderful town with a lot of interesting things to do with surrounding caves and mountains during Myanmar adventure tours.
Hpa An’s morning market
Located on a purpose-built and strong outdoor area is Hpa-an’s morning. This is not the only place to buy and purchase for vendors and shoppers, many photographers can take beautiful photos as unforgettable memories for Myanmar adventure tours. You can find some footpath stalls in the lanes around the old market, a couple of spacious tin-roofed hangars, and especially the rear of the market which looks on to farmland, forming a pretty background.
The town’s population is a whole mixture between ethnic Chinese, Tamils, Bengalis, Bamar and of course Karen farmers who come from the surrounding villages and fishing families from the banks of the nearby Than Lwin, or the Salween, all converge here.
Numerous items are sold, including fresh farm and river harvests, clothing and dry goods from nearby Thailand, Chinese household and electrical goods and Karen-style traditional medicine. If you want to buy some traditional Karen fabrics and dedicated souvenir for your Myanmar travel tour, the market is a good spot.
From footpath vendors, you can buy plenty of temptingly prepared food on display like myriad snacks. Over exploring this wonderful place, you may find it relaxing to have a tasty snack in your hand. Or visiting tea shops, watching the world go by over chatting with the locals can be an interesting experience during holidays to Myanmar.
The trip to the market can last from the early morning until early afternoon.
Kayin State Cultural Museum
The Kayin State Cultural Museum is an impressive building located on Zwegabin Street. The two-storey white building is next to the elaborate new city hall opposite Kan Thar Yar Lake’s duck boat hire. This place is such a well-kept secret that no English sign is put outside.
It is extremely hard to access this place during the two weeks of Burmese New Year. You will not be able to verify the contents even once you are informed of the museum’s location. However, it is said that the museum is still open to the public and displaying many aspects of Kayin culture. There are many things exhibited in the museum such as traditional costumes, handicrafts, and information on Karen history and traditional life.
Sadan Cave is quite close to Hpa An. The caves lead to a huge cavern filled with Buddhas and pagodas, and tourists can reach this cavern by walking all the way through to the other side, under the mountain. Another truly impressive way is making a lovely circuit on a small wooden ferry back under the mountain. The price is about K1500 per person.
Besides, Kaw Ka Taung – 10 kilometers to the southeast of Hpa An- is another exotic cave for your trip. It also offers the swimming area, which means you can wind down and cool off after a day of exploring. From here, you can see lovely views of the surrounding rice paddies and mountains. To make adventure tours more interesting, you had better visit restaurants that serve great local and Thai food in Myanmar.
Other caves in the area like Yathaypyan and Kawgun can be found on the west side of the Thanlwin river. They are all picturesque and of outstanding religious and historical importance, making your Myanmar holidays getting more and more unforgettable.
Kyauk Kalap is a truly unique pagoda which is right to the south of Hpa An, on the way to Zwegabin. It lies on top of an unusual rock formation in the middle of a (man-made) lake. This is a beautiful spot that offers great photo opportunities of Mount Zwegabin for your trip.
A variety of Myanmar adventure tours in which you can explore amazing Hpa An and the surrounding area await you in here.