Mount Popa is a volcano in Myanmar and on top of it lies a monastery. Quite a unique location for a monastery! Mount Popa is located about 60 km southeast of Bagan. This remarkable mountain is in fact an extinct volcano and comes out of nowhere. A peculiar sight indeed. As far as the Burmese are concerned, this is their Mount Olympus. They believe nats (holy spirits) live here and you should visit Mount Popa on a trip to Myanmar!
Visit Mount Popa, a monastery on top of a volcano, on a trip to Myanmar
What is Mount Popa’s significance?
For the Burmese, Mount Popa is the center of worship for the ‘nats’ or spirits. Believe in spirits is deeply rooted, it exists for as long as Buddhism is around. On top of Mount Popa you’ll find a shrine for the nats, next to a Buddhistic temple complex. The 37 most important nats are being worshipped here. They resemble important people from the Burmese past. For that reason, it is an important place of pilgrimage. A lot of Burmese are visiting this monastery.
What to do when you visit Mount Popa on a trip to Myanmar?
From a distance, this place really looks astonishing. The way the temple lies on the mountain looks like stuff from fairy tales. 700 steps on the stair will get you all the way to the top. The stairs are covered and since it’s a holy place, you are required to walk bare feet. You will see a lot of monkeys on your way, as well as plenty of small shops. Luckily, there are many people working nonstop to keep the stairs as clean as possible. Monkeys will ensure your ascend will be a pleasurable one.
The view on the way to the top is beautiful as well. The monastery on top of the mountain is a bit underwhelming, to be honest. But the view makes more than up for it! Mount Popa lies in a relative flat area, allowing you to look out very far indeed.
How to get to Mount Popa?
It can easily be visited from Bagan. It only takes an hour of driving from Bagan to reach it. It’s a great change from all the temples in Bagan. Mount Popa can only be reached by car, which you can easily arrange in Bagan. Costs are around €30,- per taxi.
- Looking for a place to stay in Bagan? Check here!