What is there to do in Hpa-an?
On my second day in Hpa-an the group I was travelling with had made the decision to do the cave tour day. It costs 6000 Kyats each, that will get you a pick-up truck for the day from 8-5. Most guest houses seem to advertise the same 6 stop itinerary. I’m not 100% sure if we went to each cave in the order that was on the wall. Our driver spoke pretty good decent English and sort of acted as a semi tour guide. He played incredibly bad music in the back his pick-up where we learnt about songs like this;
Booking a cave Tour in Hpa-an.
Yathay Pyan Cave
This was our first destination the woman we booked it with had told us that you do have to pay to enter and believe it was 7000Kyats. As we were going to go and see 6 more places that where free we all decided to save our money. If your not going to pay the entrance fee I would get the driver to skip this one to allow more time at the other places.
Unfortunately this was actually shut the day we wanted to go so I can’t really talk about it. They were apparently redoing the roads so no one could get there.
Kyauk Ka Lap
On the way in there is a temple looking structure still under going construction that no one knew to much about. The main ‘attraction’ is a really impressive Pagoda built on the top of a insane rock formation. You can also buy pop corn to feed the overweight carps from off the bridge.
A really fascinating stop on the day. There are apparntely now just under 2600 Buddha’s at the foot on Mt Zwegabin.
We kept referring to the day as cave day but we actually only got to see 2 caves and this was the first. Caves can become quite same old after a while but this one was really quite cool. Some stunning formation inside but the best part has to be the huge scorpion spiders.
From there we paid 1000 kyats each to take small fishing boats that where carved out of one piece of wood. They took us through a couple of water caves and past where all the local men were fishing. I definitely recommend taking the boat back round to the front. The photo below doesn’t do it any justice to the place. I don’t think any of these shots really do.
Kaw Ka Thawng Cave
This is a pretty cool place to have some fun. There are 2 caves here but down side is women aren’t allowed inside. Both have water at the bottom which you can go and swim in. They are also full of pretty brave silver fish. Sorry about the photo quality it was the best I managed to get.
Theres semi man made swimming pool outside where everyone is allowed to have fun.
Overall it was a lot of fun, you do get to see some fantastic sights. But… There was a couple of us who wanted to rent motorbikes and do the tour on our own however, one girl didn’t feel confident to do so. This is the down side of travelling with a group of people. The sacrifice was worth the company this time for sure. I’d really recommend doing this trip without an organized tour. Everything was pretty well sign posted and I think the freedom of having your own bike will make for a much better day.
Please check out my Flikr as I’ll be uploading a lot more shots from the day there.