We spent around a week in southern Myanmar, in Hpa An and Mawlamyine. This was our “off the beaten path” travels in Myanmar. I get why not many people come here – from Inlay Lake we were on several buses for around 24 hours… a long journey but definitely worth it!
In Mawlamyine we checked out Shampoo Island! This odd name originates from a royal hair washing ceremony that used to take place here. There are many beautiful Buddhist temples, convents, and monasteries. It was a very peaceful place, and very fun to wander around. You can hire a horse carriage to drive you around, but just walking around is a lot of fun.
We then made our way north to Hpa An, a really chill smaller city. The area surrounding Hpa An has numerous sacred Buddhist shrines, caves, and mountains. You guessed it, the caves and mountains are also shrines!
I had a bit of a dilemma in a large cave/Buddhist shrine. Because it’s a shrine, you have to take your shoes/socks off. The problem is that this cave has many resident bats and guano (bat droppings)! Luckily much of the cave had no lights, so I just didn’t think about it! Hehe, a very good travel tip in general!
Near Hpa An there is a Field of a 1000 Buddhas – there are around 1000 Buddha statues/shrines to admire. From here you can climb Zwegabin Mountain and see the temple at the top. You can climb up one side and come down the other, so you get a great view of the area. Three of us hired a tuk-tuk for the day, and our driver met us on the other side, and it only cost us about $3 US each. A great day and a solid 725 meter climb!
From Hpa An we head towards Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar. We will spend a few days here, and then fly back to Thailand. Off to Koh Lanta in Thailand’s south!
Photos by Jon Lang
Asia Trip – Early 2016