Friday, May 1, 2015

Mount Popa - The Mt Olympus of Burma

During our second day started with a sunrise tour in Old Bagan,

we went to Mt Popa resort - to see vantage view of Mt Popa and monastery.

Mount Popa is a volcano 1518 metres (4981 feet) above sea level. 

Southwest of Mount Popa is Taung Kalat (pedestal hill), sheer-sided volcanic plug, which rises 737 metres (2,417 ft) above the sea level. A Buddhist monastery is located at the summit of Taung Kalat. 

At one time, the Buddhist hermit U Khandi maintained the stairway of 777 steps to the summit of Taung Kalat. 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.

Near the entrance of the Mt Popa Resort are these Elephant head sculptures,

Arriving at Mt Popa Resort - we had our late lunch, food details here.

The resort was really a relaxing place, we all thought of staying here, if we have more time...and money!

Facilities are designed for the visual appreciation of the Taung Kalat monastery.

Then, we drove down to the Taung Kalat, to see the magnificent structure.   

Who would have thought that this rock which the temple stood on top - was part of the Popa Volcano before errupting!

Similar to other places of worship, the way up to the temple plateau was lined with shops / markets. 

Upon our arrival, the sky turned dark, and heavy rain started to fall, the floors are wet, and we have to take off our shoes (as usual). 

Only one of our friend have manage to climb till top of the hill.

The way up was slippery wet, so I decided not to proceed anymore.

We just hang around to have some monkey photo sessions, these monkeys roam freely.  They are well behaved, and don't snatch / steal things form the visitors.

While waiting for our other friend, we look around the Nat temples. Mount Popa is considered the abode of Burma's most powerful Nats and as such is the most important nat worship center. It has therefore been called Burma's Mount Olympus.

Nats are consider like saints by the locals, 

This is where we saw how Thanaka is made, by rubbing a tree branch, in a grinding rock surface,

At around 4:30 pm, we rush back New Bagan, to have the last sunset view of Bagan.  Our good driver brought us to Thitsawati temple. 

More photos here.

That night, around 8pm, the bus company Shwe man thu picked up the passengers to be sent to bus station for the night bus back to Mandalay city.

Hope you enjoyed our trip in Bagan. Read next article for the continuation of our trip in Mandalay City.

To navigate while on location download this article from

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