This was my first day in Hpa-An and after a long previous day from bus to bus to go from Taungoo to Hpa-An, I slept until noon. As I only had the afternoon to explore Hpa-An, I decided to walk around and find the best spot to watch the sunset in Hpa-An. I know that the best way to explore is by motorbike, but I will not rent one for half-day.
Kan Thar Yar Hpa An
This way I decided to walk to some points nearby that are also interesting and worth a visit. After lunch in a very cheap and tasty place, I walked until Kan Thar Yar. It is a lake not so far from the Soe Ko Ko motel where I am staying. This lake is very charming with wonderful views of the mountain. Nearby I saw a few local couples walking along the lake and some elderly women fishing. It looks like a spot where locals like to go for a walk. And I understand why. It has beautiful views and relaxing surroundings. It is a very quiet place.
There are sidewalks next to the lake that makes it a nice place to wander around. I sat there for several minutes enjoying the peaceful ambiance.
Shwe Yin Mhyaw Pagoda
After it, I decided to walk until Shwe Yin Mhyaw Pagoda where I will watch the sunset in Hpa-An. It is a pleasant walk till there and on the way, I saw locals preparing for the night market. There is a night market by the river, and not far from Shwe Yin Mhyaw pagoda, that gets very busy. At the time I visited the locals were just preparing things but I could already buy something to eat and drink. By the night this place goes too busy. The traffic gets serious on the street next to it and there are even policemen controlling the situation. I guess this might be the biggest market in town due to the number of people gathering there.
I head to Shwe Yin Mhyaw Pagoda, one of the best spots for sunset in Hpa-An. This is actually a very beautiful place to watch the sunset in Hpa-An. Just the fact that it stands next to the river is already a plus.
There are so many wonderful places to watch the sunset in Hpa-An that the challenge is to choose one.
It is near this pagoda that you will find the jetty to Hpa-Pu. It actually looks like a very interesting place to visit, but I don’t have time to visit everything in Hpa-An. I would say you could spend 4 full days in Hpa-An and not miss things to do and see. I felt like my 3 days were short.
Shwe Yin Mhyaw Pagoda lays next to the river with a privileged view to it. There are many locals at the pier that is under the pagoda and we can see Burmese loading and unloading wooden boats. The pagoda stands in a hill just above the place where locals receive merchandise from the other side of the river. It is a very interesting spot, and for that reason, I stayed there for more than expected simply watching them. There were many people down there and the hustle and bustle of boats are real. It is a true viewpoint of local life and culture. It is a place where you can sit and enjoy the movement happening downhill.
When it gets closer to the best time for the sunset in Hpa-An, the pagoda gets busier. A few foreigners start to show up for the delight of the locals that ask for pictures. I sat in a quiet place and enjoyed a wonderful sunset in Hpa-An.
Hpa-An is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in Myanmar. I visited by the end of January, but I believe that if you go sooner is better. Saddan cave had empty rice paddies and that’s why my conclusion. Hpa-An has the most colorful typical clothing for sale. They are the typical Karen clothes and are extremely colorful, fun, and irresistible. There are a few stores selling this type of clothing and I didn’t resist buying one. But if now, I would have bought many more. These clothing are typical of Karen people and you will mostly see people wearing them in Kayin state. Due to its uniqueness, I would love to have bought more.
See my video about this day here: