Hpa-an is an emerging destination in Kayin State due to the construction of the highway linking Yangon to Mae Sot (Thailand). The highway is still under construction (as of this writing, Jan 25, 2020), but a good portion of it is already finished specially the portion between Kawkareik and Myawaddy. Travelers making the arduous 12-hour land trip from Mae Sot to Yangon can break the trip by exploring the hidden charm of Hpa-an. This is the state capital inhabited mostly by people from the Karen tribe. Now in January, it's a winter dry-but-cool season.
Hpa-an Blogs by TheLoneRider
Hpa-an FYI / Tips
- Myawady to Hpa-an - 5 hours, MMK 13,000, big double-decker a/c bus, leaves 11:00am
- Hpa-an to Mawlamyine - by BOAT, departure 1:30pm, arrival 5:00pm, 3.5 hours, MMK 10k including car pick-up from hotel
- Hpa-an to Mawlamyine - by BUS, MMK 1200k, disembarking on every bridge crossing
- Kayin State Cultural Museum -
- Night Market -
- Zwegabin -
- Kyauk Kalat Pagoda -
- Kawgun Cave -
- Myoma Morning Market -
- Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda -
- Mahar Sadan Cave -
Hpa-an Cost Index
- As a general rule, local food is very inexpensive in Hpa-an. It is delicious, safe (I never had a tummy issue with any of its street food) and all over the place. You can get a decent local noodle meal for MMK 500 ($0.30).
USEFUL INFORMATION(as of Jan 2020)
Myanmar FYI / Travel Tips
- accommodation - not all destinations in Myanmar can accommodate foreign travelers. Walk-in hotel guests could be refused. Better make an online booking, or make sure the hotel you wish to stay, at is listed in the online booking sites (Agoda, Booking.com, etc.)
- local time - adjust time 30 mins behind from Thailand (if arriving from Thailand)
- Burmese people - Burmese people are new to what's happening to Myanmar - being opened-up to the rest of the world. They remain friendly, helpful and curious. Tourism being new, the culture is not yet corrupted by it.
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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