Hiking the Taung Wine mountain was an absolute highlight for us in Hpa An. It was also the main reason we went to Hpa An, because the view from this mountain on the surrounding area is incredible! Be prepared, because the hike up to the top of this 180 meter high mountain is very steep and strenuous. For the fit people it is doable in about 45 minutes – an hour depending on the pace and amount of stops you make. You can hike the mountain before sunrise to watch the sunrise, or before sunset to watch the sunset. Because you will have a 360 degrees view from here, both are great options. In this blog post you will find all the information you need to know before hiking the Taung Wine mountain.
How to get to Taung Wine mountain
The Taung Wine mountain is 13km east of Hpa An city centre located. The easiest way to get to the base of the mountain is with your own rental scooter. But be prepared that you have to drive on some unpaved, dusty roads. So take a mouth mask with you to prevent dust on your face! You can rent a scooter for around 10 000 Kyat a day. Another option is to arrange a taxi or TukTuk for around 7000 Kyat one way. But if you want to do the sunrise hike, make sure to arrange a taxi the day before.
There is a new road leading to the base of the mountain which is not on Google Maps yet. But you can see it if you put your navigation on satellite. If you type in “Taung Wine mountain”, Google Maps will probably lead you to the wrong way. Once you’ve reached the white bridge you will see an open space with little shacks. Drive all the way to the end until you see the stairs leading up the mountain.
See below a screenshot of the road you have to take.
Best time to do the Taung Wine mountain hike
You can either do this hike with sunrise or before sunset. But in both cases you will need a headlamp or torch because it will be very dark on your way up or down. Of course you can also do this hike during the day, but it will be very hot, humid, and the view is less attractive than with the golden sunrise or sunset tones.
With sunrise you will see the sun rising right in front of the stairs with the mountains in the backdrop. This will be a perfect photo opportunity!
But with sunset the beautiful golden light will last longer so you will have more time to make your perfect photo. The light reflects beautifully on the mountains and creates a beautiful orange golden glow.
In terms of the best season to do this hike you have to take into account that burning season will kind of ruin the view because of the haze created by the burning fields. Especially with sunrise it is very hazy during this period. Right after rainy season all the fields will be lush green, so the best timing will be from September until January. But don’t be discouraged by this advice, the view is stunning at anytime. I am only giving here the advice for the very best period to go, especially to take the best pictures!
What to expect during the Taung Wine mountain hike
The hike starts immediately with steep steps leading up the mountain. You might think to yourself, this is not going to be very easy… And we can tell you, it isn’t! It’s not even a super long hike, but it’s pretty strenuous all the time with many, many steep steps. You will need to rest some times to catch your breath and rehydrate. But keep going because the view on the top of the mountain is priceless! There are enough spots to stop, but you won’t see stalls or seats to sit down for a moment.
I would only recommend this hike if you are fit and have some experience with hikes. You won’t have to be super trained, but just make sure you have enough energy for this one!
What to prepare for the Taung Wine mountain hike
- Good hiking shoes with grip and support
- 1L water, you will need it!
- Some snacks or bananas, especially if you go with sunrise!
- Maybe a dry shirt for the way back (haha). But on a serious note, we regret not taking a dry shirt with us for the way back on the motorbike. Especially when you go with sunset, as temperatures will drop once the sun is gone, and you are still in your sweaty shirt, not good!
- A headlamp or torch when you go with sunrise or sunset. It will be very dark on your way up or down, and a misstep is easily made
- Don’t forget your camera, you will need that here!
Other things to do in Hpa An
There are many other interesting things to do in Hpa An. If you love hiking and nature, you also will love to hike the Hpan Pu mountain, or the even more challenging 2,5 hour hike to the top of Mount Zwegabin. But there are also lots of cultural things to do in Hpa An, like exploring the caves and pagodas.
Read in this complete guide about all the best things to do in Hpa An
Best time to visit Hpa An
The best time to visit Hpa An to admire its true natural beauty is right after the rain season. The whole landscape will be lush green then and temperatures very pleasant to hike and explore. Since rainy season in Myanmar lasts from June until September, that means the very best months to visit are October, November and December. In January – February the burning season starts which means that farmers burn their land what results in a lot of smoke in the air and less green landscape. Sunrises and sunsets will be very hazy which makes it less attractive to make beautiful pictures. The hot season in Myanmar is from March until June, which is the worst season to go because temperatures can get up to 40 degrees! You certainly don’t want to hike or explore with that heat! But you also shouldn’t be discouraged to go to Myanmar in rainy season because it might only rain for 3 days in one month.
How to get around in Hpa An
The best way to get around in Hpa An is by renting a scooter. For 10 000 Kyat a day we rented a scooter and we were free to go! Most of the Hpa An attractions are at a few kilometers outside of the city situated. So if you are not confident to drive a scooter yourself, you can also rent a private TukTuk for a day trip for around 35 000 Kyat.
The roads in Hpa An are pretty good, but for some locations you have to drive on unpaved roads. These can be a bit bumpy and very dusty, especially in burning season! So whether you are on a bike or in a TukTuk, wear a mouth mask to prevent yourself from the dust.
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