Photo: Stunning views from Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda.

Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda

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The Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda in the centre of town is Hpa-an’s most attractive and popular temple among locals and visitors alike. Constructed on rocks lapped by the waters of the Than Lwin or Salween River, the temple consists of a series of platforms connected by staircases and walkways featuring various shrines, stupas, the obligatory ancient bodhi tree and several spectacular viewing spots.

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With a west-facing perspective, the best time to visit is sunset, with views up, down and across the river with its karst backdrops spectacularly beautiful. It is pretty good though at any time of day. The actual temple buildings include your default large gold chedi plus an assortment of minor Buddhist and local nat shrines and a less standard giant frog statue. While they are interesting, it’s really the view that makes this the town’s top tourist site.

Late light. Photo taken in or around Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda, Hpa-an, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

Late light. Photo: Mark Ord

If atmospheric sunset views of misty, forest shrouded outcrops along the river aren’t enough, then Shweyinhmyaw also overlooks a fishermen’s jetty, so you can see the dusk wharf activities, with boats transporting Karens home to their nearby villages or fishermen bringing in the day’s catch. Local women clad in vivid sarongs taking selfies with their mates or couples gazing at the sunset are the icing on a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Hpa-an.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hpa-an? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

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