Mount Popa

Mount Popa is an extinct volcano, locates on 1518 meters (4981 feet) above sea level in central Myanmar, about 50 km (31 miles) southeast of Bagan. Mount Popa is best known as a religious site, with numerous Nat temples and relics atop the mountain.

The main highlight of Mount Popa is its famous Taung Kalat, a tower-like 2418ft volcanic plug filled with monkeys and crowned with a gilded Buddhist temple on top, which can be accessed by 777 steps. The Taung Kalat pedestal hill is sometimes itself called Mount Popa and given that Mount Popa is the name of the actual volcano that caused the creation of the volcanic plug, to avoid confusion, the volcano is generally called Taung Ma-gyi (mother hill). From the top of Taung Kalat, you can enjoy a 360 degree panoramic view that different directions offer different views. From the highest place, you can see the ancient city of Bagan; while behind it to the north, the massive solitary conical peak of Taung Ma-gyi rises to the sky.

Taung Kalat Monastery, a golden temple on top of Mount Popa
Taung Kalat Monastery

Like an oasis in an arid zone, above the fertile soil from the volcanic ash, the Mount Popa is covered by plenty of trees, flowering plants and herbs. Prominent among the fauna are macaque monkeys that have become a tourist attraction of Taung Kalat.

Climate, best time to visit Mount Popa

The surrounding areas are arid, but the Mount Popa area has over 200 springs and streams, which bring about a comfortably cool and stable weather there. The dry season in Mount Popa is November to April while the rainy one takes the remainder of the year..

The annual average temperature is 26ºC and the precipitation is about 64cm. The hottest time in Mount Popa is in April, when it can reach to above 30ºC.

How to get in and out

Since the Mount Popa is not so far from Bagan, you can get into Bagan before come visiting Mount Popa. From Bagan, you can get to Mount Popa by buses or cars. Tailoring a tour to both Bagan and Mont Popa is also a great idea.

To discover Mount Popa, you can rent a bike or just walk. It would be able to explore Mount Popa within a day.

For further travels, you can get back to Bagan or come to Kyauk Padaung to get to Yangon, Mandalay and Pyay.

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