Mount Popa, located an hour's drive southeast of Bagan, is a pilgrimage site perched atop an ancient extinct volcano rising high above the dry Bagan plains. This is the sacred home of Burma's indigenous nat spirits, and makes an excellent day trip or overnight stay.
“I highly recommend staying overnight at Mount Popa. After walking up the 777 steps up to the summit, head over to the opposite hill to your hotel to relax in the mountaintop swimming pool and watch the sun set behind the glittering golden temples atop Mount Popa itself. Bliss!”
Enfys Maloney, Sales Team Leader
Mount Popa's pilgrimage site is built on a steep-sided outcrop called Taung Kalat - or pedestal hill, which stands to the southwest of the mountain Taung Ma-gyi. This rocky formation is called a volcanic plug, and was formed when magma hardened within a volcanic vent and the slopes of the volcano were subsequently eroded away.
On top of Taung Kalat is a Buddhist monastery, however it is not for Buddhism that this site is famous. Much more important to the visitors to Mount Popa are the temples and relic sites of the nat spirits - indigenous Burmese deities who are said to reside on the mountain. For this reason, Mount Popa has been likened to a Burmese Mount Olympus in terms of its relation to the national mythology.
The road journey from Bagan to Mount Popa passes several villages typical of the region. The farms produce dry country crops such as peanuts and sesame, the fields ploughed by water buffalo. You can stop along the way to see the production of palm sugar balls and try some of the local "toddy" - a spirit made from the juice of the toddy palm.
Arriving at the Mount Popa area, you'll find that the arid landscape becomes markedly lush and green. This is due to over 200 springs and streams that bubble up in this oasis-like region. To reach the main shrine at the top of the hill, visitors must climb a winding stairway of 777 steps to the summit, a journey that takes around thirty minutes and rewards the pilgrim with panoramic views of the surrounding area. The ancient city of Bagan is visible in the distance, while the massive cone of Taung Ma-gyi dominates the skyline to the north.
Weather in Mt Popa
The Climate Guide for Mt Popa is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.
|Max Daytime Temperature (°C)||27||30||34||36||34||30||31||30||31||30||28||26|
|Min Night-time Temperature (°C)||13||14||18||22||23||23||23||23||23||22||18||16|
|Hours of Sunshine (Daily)||9||9||9||8||6||4||3||4||5||6||8||8|
|Hours of Daylight (Daily)||11||11||12||13||13||13||13||13||12||12||11||11|
|Heat and Humidity Discomfort||Low||Moderate||High||Very High||Very High||High||High||High||High||High||Moderate||Low|
|Days with some Rainfall||1||1||1||3||13||18||19||20||17||10||4||1|
|Monthly Rainfall (mm)||4||2||3||32||147||253||262||238||216||173||48||10|
|UV Index (Maximum)||8||10||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||11+||10||8||7|
Featured trips including Mt Popa
- Mt Popa
- Inle Lake
To see a thousand ancient pagodas, fascinating floating villages and beautiful colonial architecture, join our Beautiful Burma tour.
13 nights: US$3577 Read more >
- Mt Popa
- Inle Lake
Our Classic Burma tour is the perfect introduction to the country; exploring its cultural, historical and scenic highlights.
15 nights: from US$3240 pp (twin share) Read more >