Heading out of the hostel, a wave of hot air washed over me. Walking past the small daily market and taking a left towards the river, I was searching for two “lions” that marked the spot where I should find the boat across to Mount Hpar Pu.
I’d had a lazy day inside after a restless overnight bus journey that (in typical Myanmar style) arrived into town around 4am. By late afternoon, I’d decided it was about time I get out and move my body a little, so I settled on a quick trip for sunset at the nearby mountain.
The old guesthouse owner had marked the spot I was now searching for on a map, and I was wandering back and forth around the point he’d marked, getting no closer to the river. After a quick look in my guidebook, I’d realised his markings were very misleading, and continued down to the end of the road to see the lions and the boats – ready for another crossing.
Paying my 500 kyats fee, I ventured on to the rickety boat and sat down. In front of me sat a monk and a few other local men, while behind sat a few other tourists setting out to get a glimpse of sunset from the hill. Underneath, pools of water were collecting inside the boat, but it seemed this wasn’t of any concern to the driver, or any of the local men.
Getting off the boat, we walked through the small town at the base of the mountain; greeted cheerfully by the children and pointed in the right direction by their watching parents. Losing three of the other tourists to games with the kids, I kept on with Lisa, a Swedish girl. We scrambled up a dusty, rocky slope believing we were heading up the path to the top of Mount Hpar Pu. We soon passed a small monastery, where we saw the stairs we “should” have come up had we continued on the road a little further, and started climbing in earnest up the rest of the (somewhat crumbling) staircase.
It’s only a short climb to the top (or as far as you can get anyway), but it’s a steep one. I struggled after my recent trekking near Inle Lake, and we met a girl on the way back down who’d just given up and was waiting for her friends to come back down.
With the last boat back to Hpa An leaving at 6, we didn’t get to stay up there for sunset, but did get a glimpse of how stunning the view is (and could be without the haze of the dry season), making the trip well worthwhile given I had the afternoon free (even if it doesn’t quite show up in the photos).
Read More at: Myanmar Travel
Share this Post