Mount Popa and its Surrounding Villages
Mount Popa and its
Inked in as the birthplace of Buddhists spirits, Mount Popa draws visitors from near and far.
Shrouded by the animistic presence of the nats, stories and sagas fill the day with a
visit to a charming village with sustainable intensions outside Bagan.
WHY THIS TOUR?
The name Mount Popa is synonymous with Buddhism and worshipping the ‘nats’. The spiritual headquarters of the pre-Buddhist spirits known as ’37 nats’ and hence a place of worship, Mt Popa proper is an extinct volcano within Popa Mountain Park whereas the temple itself is located on Popa Taung Kalat.
Not only a visit to Mount Popa will cover this day; part of nature conservation by local villagers has not gone unnoticed, and the protection of this rare hardwood has gained international recognition. A walk through this unique forest will gain further insight in not only the preservation methods but more than that.
08:00 - 18:00
In the morning, pick up from your hotel in Bagan by your guide and driver and head out towards Mount Popa. The extinct volcano is visible from a distance with its pagodas and stupas towering majestically on top. Mount Popa is the home to animist spirits known as ‘nats’, and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. At the foot of the mountain, you will observe Nat Shrine contains a display of mannequin-like figures representing the 37 Nats and is a major pilgrimage destination. There will be the opportunity to explore the fascinating monasteries, stupas and shrine that abound plus, of course, enjoy the dramatic and mammoth-size view back across the Myingyan Plain.
Lunch is included at a leading resort before we make our way back in the direction of Bagan. On the way back to Bagan, a stop will be made at a local palm tree plantation. This relaxing break will give you the chance to observe local working life with Palm trees.
Just outside Bagan lies the local village of Zee O, where you can also observe how the villagers there preserving their Sacred Forest of 16 hectares covered with over 600 Ingyinn trees. The Ingyinn trees are on the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. The villagers do not dare to take out even one small branch or leave for the fear of “the two guardian spirits” which inhabit the forest. Meet with the village head who will be happy to escort you walking inside the forest.
After that, it is also interesting to visit the village’s library and the clinic to see how they are operated for the village and nearby villages around. The village landmark a thousand-year-old Tamarind tree has been well preserved and deserves a photo stop.
We return to your hotel in Bagan where you will return at around 6 pm.