Visit Mount Popa in Bagan
Visit Mount Popa in Bagan, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)
Mount Popa is a volcanic peak located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar (Burma). It is about 50 km southeast of Bagan and stands at a height of 1,518 meters (4,980 feet) above sea level. The approximate latitude and longitude of Mount Popa are 20.9172° N, 95.2435° E.
The easiest way to get to Mount Popa is by hiring a taxi or a private car from Bagan. The journey takes about an hour and a half and the road is in good condition. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Bagan to Kyaukpadaung and then hire a taxi or a motorbike to take you to Mount Popa.
What to see and do
Mount Popa is a popular destination for both tourists and locals due to its religious significance and natural beauty. Here are some of the things you can see and do at Mount Popa:
- Visit the Popa Taungkalat Shrine: This is a monastery located at the top of a rocky outcrop on Mount Popa. To reach the shrine, you need to climb 777 steps that are lined with souvenir stalls and monkeys. The shrine is dedicated to the 37 nats (spirits) of Myanmar and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Explore the Mount Popa National Park: This is a protected area that covers an area of 1,580 hectares around Mount Popa. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including macaques, langurs, and civets. There are also several hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the mountain and the surrounding plains.
- Learn about Myanmar's nat worship: Mount Popa is considered to be the most important nat worship site in Myanmar. Nats are spirits that are believed to protect humans from harm and bring good luck. There are several nat shrines and statues around Mount Popa that offer a glimpse into Myanmar's animist beliefs.
When to go
The best time to visit Mount Popa is between November and February, when the weather is cool and dry. The monsoon season (June to September) can make the climb to the shrine difficult and the views may be obscured by clouds. The hot season (March to May) can also be uncomfortable due to the high temperatures.
Mount Popa is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Bagan or Mandalay. Its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural significance make it a fascinating place to explore. Whether you're interested in hiking, wildlife, or spirituality, Mount Popa has something to offer.