Mount Popa Adventure

Mount Popa is a dormant volcano, about 65km far from Bagan. This is a very spiritual site for the locals (supposedly home to nats - the sacred souls) so it's mostly visited indigenously.

The Mount is sometimes called Taung Ma Gyi - Burmese for ‘Mother Hill’.

Mount Popa temple is perched on top of a vocalnic plug

Mount Popa is perched on a vocalnic plug

Climbing Mount Popa is really worth the effort. From the peak, you can see dramatic surrounding valleys, and if it’s a clear day, you can get a view to vast distances; including Bagan and the Irrawaddy River, and sometimes further. In your journey, beside the best view of the Popa Taungkalat Monastery, you could also be impressed by a kingdom of flora and fauna, including many beautiful and colorful species of birds and butterflies.

It takes you about 3 to 4 hours in one-way trekking to the peak with some effort needed.  Remember to pack plenty of drinks and snacks.

On the slope of the Mount Popa, there is a sacred Popa Taungkalat Monastery perching dramatically atop a huge volcanic plug. The name Taungkalat means ‘Pedestal Hill’. It is famous for being home to 37 nats - Burmese spirits - which are represented by statues at the base of the volcanic outcrop.

You will have to climb up 777 steps to reach the monastery – that is entirely surrounded by sheer cliff faces - where you will find stunning 360-degree panorama views of the surrounding plains, Mount Popa itself and a labyrinth of shrines to explore.

But please be aware of pickpockets. These little locals may look curious and friendly from a distance, but may quickly get anything they can from food to purse or camera…

The Mount Popa Nat Festival is celebrated in March to praise two brothers who were reincarnated as nats - spirits.

You can take some rest at the base of Popa Taungkalat with quite many teahouses and beer stations.

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