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Burmese Days: Mt. Popa

On my last day in Bagan I decided to visit Popa Taungkalat shrine or more famously known as Mt. Popa.

When I searched online, the only way one could get to this place is by hiring a car for $50, thankfully, there are now group tours that take visitors to Mt. Popa for only 10,000 kyats round way. I took the group tour and went to this shrine with four other people.

The drive to Mt. Popa took a couple of hours. We stopped by a small store on the way.

I tried one of the concoctions that the lady above was making. It was a mix of coconut and sugar cane, if I remember correctly. The Burmese countryside was similar to the Philippine countryside.

After an hour or so, we finally arrived at the foot of the shrine.

I immediately noticed the numerous monkeys all over the base and the ascent up Mt. Popa. One of the monkeys sneaked up behind me and stole my water bottle, the clever little monkey. Apparently these monkeys like drinking soda, and everything they see in a bottle is thought of as soda.

Kids were playing football near the entrance. There were also several eateries, small stores, and other shrines at the base of this volcanic plug.

Ascending the Steps of Popa Taungkalat

The journey up more than 700 steps.

It was raining when I ventured up the steps of Mt. Popa. There was a mixture of monkey poo, piss, and rain on the steps which made them harder to climb up. Upon reaching the top, you would see the same things you would see in other temples and pagodas in Burma.

It is believed that this shrine is home to several nats or spirits. Many locals climb up Popa Taungkalat shrine to pray.

The view of the town and the surrounding areas was good from this shrine. Too bad it rained really hard, which covered much of the view from the top.

The climb up the more than 700 steps was anti-climactic for me, I liked the view of the shrine from below more than the actual shrine when I set foot on it. But for those who want to see more of Burma, Mt. Popa is still a good place to visit.

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