Hpa-An Myanmar | Exploring Via Motorbike

Last Updated 11/02/2024 | 11th February, 2024

I arrived in Hpa-An straight via night bus and felt monumentally underwhelmed. The town lacked atmosphere and charm, and there didn’t appear to be much worth visiting.

But how has my opinion changed over the following days?

Whilst the town centre still left a little to be desired, there is so much to be enjoyed on the outskirts of Hpa-An Myanmar.

Getting to Hpa-An Myanmar

You’re probably visiting Hpa-An from Yangon, which is a relatively comfortable six hours on the bus. These buses run relatively frequently and are very inexpensive. 

However, I arrived via night bus from Inle Lake as part of a three-week Myanmar trip. This bus took around 15 hours and although uncomfortable, it made the most sense on my route.

Renting a Bike in Myanmar

Renting a motorbike in Hpa-An Myanmar is affordable and straightforward. (Although they are prohibited in Yangon and Bagan). Always give the bike a check over before you leave, and never leave your passport as a deposit. 

Expect to pay between $5 USD and $15 USD for the day, depending on the particular model. 

Remember to carry your international driving licence with you at all times.

Hpa-An Myanmar

Stop 1: Sadan Caves Myanmar

Your first stop of the day should be the Saddan Caves in Hpa-An. 

Saddan Cave is known for its impressive limestone formations and is often visited by tourists exploring the Hpa-An region (although if travelling in off-season or shoulder season, expect to be the only foreign tourists there!).

The cave has a large entrance and extends into the limestone hills. Inside, visitors can find a cavern with various stalactites and stalagmites, creating a fascinating natural environment.

It will take between 30 and 45 minutes to drive here from the centre of Hpa-An. We found the first half of the drive to be relatively easy and the second half a little more challenging. The roads got very bumpy and sludgey, making for some difficult driving conditions. 

But my word is this magical site worth it.

Be prepared for some dirty feet as the floor of the caves are somewhat flooded and like all Buddhist monuments, you will be expected to remove your shoes at the door.

There is only a 1000 Kyat charge to enter, and once inside the caves you will be greeted with numerous pagodas and a giant leaning Buddha.

It will take around an hour to wander through the caves and admire all their beauty. As a non-Buddhist, this is the most impressive part.

The height and magnitude of the stalagmites and stalactites are fantastic to see, as well as the hundreds of thousands of bats flying above your head. (Sounds a little creepy but it’s actually really cool.)

Sadan Caves Lakes

Once through the other side of the caves, you be simply blown away by the view.

Vast amounts of water sitting in front of the fantastic mountainous backdrop, and the best part? For 2000 Kyat, you can take a rowing boat around the caves and back to the entrance. The view from the water is truly breathtaking.

The rowing boats have no motor, making the return journey very tranquil, allowing the passengers to see a side of Myanmar yet to be discovered.

Hpa-An Myanmar

Stop 2: 1000 Buddahs Hpa-An

Once we had finished exploring the Saddan Caves, we jumped back on the bike and set off on the fifteen-minute journey to the Thousand Buddhas. 

Of course, this didn’t end up taking fifteen minutes at all. The dirt roads were even more unstable here. However, we made it to the Thousand Buddhas in just under half an hour, and our breath was taken away from the moment we drove through the entrance. 

As you drive down the long entrance path you will be immediately surrounded by the many, many Buddha statues. 

Each one is a replica of the previous, with the only differences being those created by time and weather. 

The entrance fee for this magnificent site is 4000 Kyatt, and it is well worth it. 

I was a little surprised to see a ski lift in the centre of the park, but for a very reasonable 1000 Kyatt each we jumped in and witnessed a fantastic and unique view of the Buddhas.

As we were travelling in the off-season, we were pretty much the only foreign tourists there, so posing for photos and chatting with each local became a big part of the afternoon.

Hpa-An Myanmar

How Long To Spend in Hpa-An

I think two nights is the perfect length of time to spend in Hpa-An, Myanmar. There isn’t much to see here, but if you have spare time during your Myanmar trip, it is well worth the visit!

Do I Need to Rent a Motorbike in Hpa-An Myanmar?

You don’t need to rent a motorbike in Hpa-An, but I would certainly recommend it.

There are two alternative ways to see the area:

🛺 Hire a tuk-tuk driver for the day. This is a fun way to see the sites, and you will undoubtedly get some local recommendations! Your hostel or hotel can help you organise this. 

🚎 Book a guided tour. Hpa-An doesn’t receive many foreign tourists (by Southeast Asian standards), so they may be more challenging to locate. 

Hpa-An Myanmar


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Exploring Hpa-An
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