If you’re a seasoned traveller who has pored over countless travel guides in awe of pictures of Burmese temples, you’re going to love Mt Popa. This 4,980-foot high volcano last erupted around 250,000 years ago. Popa means ‘flower’ in Sanskrit, and the fertile soils of the volcano is a rich breeding ground for flowers of all kinds, as well as a great spot for birdwatching.
Mt Popa lies in the Mandalay region of central Myanmar and is a popular day-trip from the nearby city of Bagan. It’s a 45-minute hike to the top for some spectacular views and you’ll see many golden stupas along the way. We recommend hiring a local guide (who may not speak English!) for the best experience.
Mt Popa is perhaps best known as a pilgrimage site and has been called Burma’s Mount Olympus. The temple here is home to Myanmar‘s most powerful ‘nats’, important Buddhist spirits worshipped in Myanmar. An annual festival is held here on the full moon of December in the Burmese calendar.
While you’re here, visit the Popa Taung Kalat shrine – it’s quite a climb to the top though! You must remove your socks and shoes to scale the 777 stone steps to the summit, and make sure you pack some tissues or wipes, as your feet are going to get pretty dirty. Hold onto your possessions too, as the cheeky monkeys you’ll pass on your climb love to steal things – sunglasses in particular!
Plan your trip to Mt Popa today.