The riverside town of Hpa-an (pronounced “Pa-an”), small and welcoming enough to become familiar quickly, is a pleasant place to hang out. There isn’t a lot to see in the town, but it makes a great base for exploring the surrounding area.

Good sunset views with a limestone karst backdrop can be enjoyed at serene Kan Thar Yar Lake, a twenty-minute walk south down Thitsa Street; at sunset, the riverside Shweyinhmyaw Paya, a pagoda in the northwest of town, is particularly popular. Fabulous views of the Thanlwin River and its surrounding fields and limestone hills can also be enjoyed from the pagoda on Mount Hpar Pu, reached by taking the ferry across the river from near Shweyinhmyaw Paya; once across, a twenty-minute walk through a village and another thirty minutes uphill will lead you to the pagoda.

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