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Places to Visit in Mount Popa Places to Visit in Mount Popa

Mount Popa

Mount Popa in Myanmar is an ancient volcano, topped with a cluster of sacred temples. Hike the 777 steps to the peak, passing colorful statues guarding the way. Explore the vibrant Popa Taungkalat Monastery perched precariously on a rocky outcrop. Mount Popa offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and a thrilling challenge for any traveler.

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Start:  Mandalay
End:  Yangon

14 Day Yangon to Mandalay with Ananda Cruise

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Start:  Mandalay
End:  Yangon

14 Day Yangon to Mandalay with Ananda Cruise

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Ever dreamt of cruising from Yangon to Mandalay with Ananda Cruise? Explore Mandalay wonders, visit Bagan temples & relax at Ngapali Beach. Ready for your trip!

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Overview Mount Popa

Mount Popa Overview

Situated 50km away from the ancient city of Bagan is Mount Popa – an inactive 225m tall volcano and is known as Mount Olympus of Myanmar.

Mount Popa is famous for Taung Kalat, which is a beautiful Buddhist monastery and temple complex located on this mountain, this is also the home of 37 of Myanmar’s most powerful nats, hence the famous nickname of this mountain. All 37 nats statues at the mountain are important to not only the culture and religion of the country but also its history, as in the past, Burmese Kings had to ask for advice from the nats before making any decisions.

The name “Popa” is believed to derive from the Sanskrit word “puppha” meaning flower, which is why bottled flowers are used as offering at the temple. Visitors must climb a total of 777 steps without shoes or socks in order to reach the monastery.


Mount Popa overview

Despite the hardship visitors definitely will encounter on the way to the top of Mount Popa, the result at the end will leave you a long-lasting impression that every time you are reminded of, you will be proud of yourself for enduring the way up. Let Asia Links Travel accompany you on your trip!

What To Do And What To See In Mount Popa?

Trekking to the top of Taung Ma-gyi

It is widely misunderstood that Taung Kalat is Mount Popa, however, it is actually a volcanic plug, which was the result of hardened magma from when the volcano was still active. Therefore, to prevent further confusion, the actual volcano is called Taung Ma-gyi, meaning “mother mountain”. Taung Ma-gyi is hidden within Popa Mountain Park and is lesser known compared to Taung Kalat. The hike to the top of the mountain can be easily done as there is a trail that hikers along signs for hikers to follow. The view from the top is truly rewarding and worth every step. From here, you can not only see the mesmerizing panoramic view of the city but also the beautiful sight of the Taung Kalat Monastery sparkling under the sun.

Visiting the Taung Kalat Monastery

As mentioned earlier, all visitors must climb 777 steps under the heat of Myanmar, all while protecting belongings from the eyes of monkeys residing along the side of the mountain, to reach the top of the monastery. Some might think this climb is soo tiring that the end result might not be as satisfying, but we can ensure you that once you reach the top, everything will be worth it. The view from the top is absolutely magnificent; you can see every corner of the town below, look at the temples of Bagan from this distance, or even witness the majestic peak of Taung Ma-gyi – reminding you of Mount Fuji in Japan.


Taung Kalat Monastery

What To Eat And Drink In Mount Popa?

Myanmar cuisine, with a significant influence from South and Southeast Asia, combined with the availability of ingredients that are unique to the country and an emphasis on rich and savory taste, is truly an experience on the tongue that no one can miss.

Nga htamin (Shan-style rice)

This dish is made of turmeric rice squashed into a ball or a disk, then topped with freshwater fish and garlic oil. When served, it usually comes with sides of leek roots, raw garlic cloves, and deep-fried pork rinds.

Moun (Burmese sweet snacks)

Unlike typical depictions of “sweets”, moun do not take the sweetness from sugar, but instead from ingredients like grated coconut, coconut milk, rice flour, cooked sticky rice, tapioca, and fruit that already have natural sweetness in them. Hsa nwin ma kin, bein moun, and moun pyit thalet are some famous recommendations.

Nangyi thoke

Nangyi thoke is thick, round rice noodles topped with chicken, thin slices of fish cake, par-boiled bean sprouts, and hard-boiled egg slices; all ingredients are seasoned with roasted chickpea flour, turmeric, and chili oil, which are then tossed by hand, and served with pickled greens with broth served separately on the side.


Nangyi thoke

Buthi Kyaw (Burmese deep-fried gourd)

Also known as “Burmese vegetable tempura”, this dish is made by deep-frying chunks of gourd coated in batter, then eaten with a sweet and sour tamarind-based dipping sauce. It is usually served as both standalone snacks and toppings for many Burmese dishes. Other than buthi kyaw, there are many variations of Burmese fritters that you can try, such as bazun khwet kyaw (bean sprout and prawn fritter), mat pe kyaw (mung bean fritter), etc.

When To Visit Mount Popa?

As usual, the best time to visit Mount Popa is in the cool season, which lasts from November to May. Even though the weather during this season is less harsh than that of the hot season and the rainy season, the UV rays can still be too dangerous and penetrating, and although the staircase reaching up to the shrine is covered with tin roofs, the heat would still be too much for some visitors so be mindful of how you dress. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants can not only help you fight against the heat of Myanmar but also prevent you from having trouble entering shrines and temples.

Tours to Mount Popa

Bagan - Mount Popa - Yangon

Bagan is an ancient city with archaeological and religious significance, it was once the capital chosen by the Bagan Empire. Being only 50km away from each other and can easily travel by car, Bagan and Mount Popa are usually included in a day trip together. After finishing exploring Bagan and Mount Popa, tourists can move onto Yangon, which is more than 500km away. Yangon is the capital of the Yangon Region and the largest city in Myanmar, the place has a great amount of important architectural and cultural monuments.


Bagan's landscape in Myanmar

Mount Popa - Magway

Magway is the capital of the Magway Region of Myanmar and is located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. It is a region packed with beautiful nature and meaningful heritage and plays a significant role in the religious practices of pilgrims and devotees of Buddhism. Plenty of pagodas and monasteries are scattered around the region, proving the importance of Magway as one of the most famous religious sites in the country. The region also has several festivals dedicated to the celebrations of pagodas.

Mount Popa - Mandalay

With a road distance of only 189km, Mandalay - the second-largest city in Myanmar with a history of over 142 years - is another place that you can choose to continue your Myanmar trip. Mandalay is famous for many of its pagodas which are all carefully preserved, this city is believed to be one of the birthplaces of Buddhism.

Mount Popa - Pindaya Caves

Located next to the town of Pindaya in the Shan State and only 276km in road distance, Pindaya Caves must be the next destination for those seeking a pilgrimage-like experience. The Pindaya Caves are a Buddhist pilgrimage site and a tourist attraction situated on a limestone ridge in the Myelat region. The area is part of the ancestral homeland of the Danu people. Once you enter, you will be in awe of over 8,000 statues and images of Buddha, some of which were predicted to date back to the late 18th century or the early Konbaung period.

Mount Popa - Yawnghwe

285km in road distance from Mount Popa is Yawnghwe. Yawnghwe is a floating village on Inle Lake, which is the second-largest lake in Myanmar. The floating village is a popular tourist attraction in Myanmar, where visitors can experience life in a whole different way - on water!

Hope our article has given you enough information about Mount Popa. If you want to know more about Mount Popa tour package and Myanmar tours, don’t hesitate to contact Asia Links Travel today! 

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