Since I have 2 more days in Bagan, I decided to see Mount Popa.
Mt. Popa is one of the sacred tourist attractions in Myanmar. It is said that Nats or Spirit Shrine is situated here. Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano and erupted on 442 BCE. It is 50 km away or around 2 hours from New Bagan. Same with Golden Rock, this is also famous to have it’s panoramic view from the summit.
How did I get there? My hotel assisted me in booking this trip. I shared a taxi with other tourists and travelers. I was happier then as my transpo budget get cheaper. Though my stomach aches that morning, I still continued the trip.
We left my hotel before 9 AM and picked up other tourists who were been my company on going to Popa. It was a rough ride away from the city.
We stopped over in a palm store where locals show how they made different produce from palm trees. It was like a mini-trip to see how Burmese made their own living.
The locals demonstrate the process on creating palm sugar, candies, wine, etc. Tourists were offered to buy their goods too.
After a 30 minutes, we returned on the road to climb Mt. Popa. Dark clouds cover our way. We reached a spot to take a photo of Mt. Popa from a distant. I was like thinking, what if this erupts? Since the land is covered now with forest and like an oasis in a dry zone, Mt. Popa is safe.
We reached the entrance gate of Mt. Popa by 11 AM. Our driver instructed us to return by 2 PM. Ok dude, it is 777 steps to go up and I will go down, how can I do that? Nevertheless, I have no option! HAHA. Ginusto ko to eh.:) Drops of rain started to fall.
I read from the blogs that there are monkeys in Mt. Popa. I was expecting that! But I never expected that these monkeys are EVERYWHERE. They are sitting, running, climbing EVERYWHERE. Monkeys are in each souvenir and food stores, chairs, hallways. EVERYWHERE.
It could have been easier to climb Mt. Popa if there was no rain and monkeys. But I guessed, this is Mt. Popa’s surprises for me.
The stairs are bearable as there are railings that you can hold. Some were cemented, tiled and steel-made. I stopped many times but I kept going. I was thinking of the time and getting rid of the monkeys. HAHAHA.
In every stop, I was lucky to see how locals patronize this place. I saw how they do their living here. It was motivating to observe.
After 45 minutes, I reached the top of Mt. Popa! I admitted that I was not struck on the top of Mt. Popa since I was disgusted by my feet. I don’t know if I walked in the rain or in monkey’s pee. I just don’t really know. Take note that you have to remove your footwear.
The clouds covered the area. Taungkalat Monastery or called the Pedestal Hill is built on the top of the mountain. Some souvenir shops were there too and more monkeys! I was able to see some amazing view yet my feet is disgusting. HAHA
I returned on the entrance gate at around 1:30 PM, right on time. Thank God that my stomach was in good condition until going back to the hotel.
We came back in New Bagan before 4 PM. I immediately clean my feet upon arriving at my hotel. I admit that I haven’t enjoyed Mt. Popa that much. I could enjoy it more if there is no rain. Nonetheless, it is an honor to be on the top of Mt. Popa and a success for my lazy, disgusting feet! HAHAHAHA.
To have an idea of how much I spent in this day, here it is:
The total of my whole expenses in Bagan and itinerary is here – Bagan – The Glory of Myanmar.