Hpa An & its stunning Countryside

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Overview

Hpa An, a picturesque laid-back town located on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin river, is encircled by dramatic karst mountain scenery, containing many of these mountains large and religiously significant caves. The setting itself, the surrounding caves, sacred mountains, rivers and lakes of the stunning countryside and the impressively beautiful and monolithic Mount Zwegabin are definitely the highlights of this region which is definitely worth exploring.

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1: Yangon - Mawlamyine

Day 2: Mawlamyine - Cruise on the Thanlwin River to Hpa-An

Day 3: Hpa-An by kayak

Day 4: Hpa-An - Golden Rock - Yangon

Yangon – Mawlamyine

Day 1 Yangon – Mawlamyine

Meals: not included | Accommodation:  Queen Jamadevi Hotel, Deluxe room (Mawlamyine)

We will leave Yangon after breakfast and spend the morning on a scenic drive through Mon State towards Mawlamyine, passing through several noteworthy sites like the city of Suvannabhumi, which supposed to be the seat of the last capital of the Mon kingdom (Burmese archaeologists have recently started the search again for the exact location of this ancient city) and also passing through the ancient city Thaton, which is famous for its durian and betel nut (as is the whole of Mon state).

On arrival in the colonial city Mawlamyine, we will visit a local house and enjoy a home-made lunch with Mon specialties. In the afternoon, we will head to the Mon Museum to learn about the rich Mon culture. Afterwards, we will stroll around the area and admire the impressive colonial-style buildings from that time when writers like Orwell and Kipling lived in the city. Continue with a visit to the nearby village of Hpa Ouk, famous for its weaving of the traditional Mon style sarongs for men and women.


 

Mawlamyine – Cruise over Thanlwin River to Hpa An

Day 2 Mawlamyine – Cruise over Thanlwin River to Hpa An

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Hotel Gabbana, Deluxe room (Hpa An)

This morning we will get started our exploration by the Seindon Mibaya Monastery in Mawlamyine, said to be so beautiful that one could actually call it a museum.

Afterwards we will continue to the Ni Paya for a beautiful view over the city and the river before boarding a private boat to Hpa An. We will enjoy then a cruise along the Thanlwin (Salween) River – one of the longest in Myanmar. After about an hour, we will reach U Na Auk village and take a tuk-tuk to see the amazing carvings and decorations on the temples and ordination hall. These buildings were donated to the village by Mr Na Auk, a Mon trader during the British period famous for his savvy in trade with the big British companies. He is a sort of patriotic symbol throughout the country and is known for his kindness to his fellow country man.

We will continue afterwards with our boat trip along the Thanlwin River with spectacular sights of Zwekabin and other limestone mountains rising from the rice fields, a definite highlight of our trip through this part of Myanmar. Lunch will be served on the boat, arriving in the afternoon in Hpa An, where we will enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Hpa An by kayak

Day 3 Hpa An by kayak

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation:  Hotel Gabbana, Deluxe room (Hpa An)

In the morning, enjoy a trip through tranquil rural scenery on a kayak from the charming village of Lakkana to Muku village. We will be surrounded by rice fields, limestone mountains in the distance and the tranquil traditional Kayin villages and stop for some fresh fruit in one of the wooden Kayin houses. Note that as the creeks in this rural part are quite shallow, small kayaks are used to travel, which means that we can get wet – sandals, shorts and a t-shirt are recommended.

The afternoon will be free at leisure. As Kayin state is bordering with Thailand there is some very tasty Thai food available in the local restaurants. 
 

Hpa-An – Golden Rock – Yangon

Day 4 Hpa-An – Golden Rock – Yangon

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included

We will drive in the morning to Kin Pun where we will start our climb to Kyaiktiyo (the 'Golden Rock'). According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. 

Then, we will continue to Yangon. On the way, we will visit the impressive Allied War Graves cemetery near Htauk Kyant, the last resting place of over 6300 Allied soldiers and home to a memorial to 27,000 more. Upon arrival in Yangon, we will be transferred to our hotel or airport.

PRICE

*This is sample itinerary with no selection of accommodation and/or domestic air tickets. Please contact our travel consultant at info@handspan.com to tailor this itinerary to your personal specifications.
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