Mt.Popa lies 80km, 45 minutes drive from Bagan which is home for the spirit. Mt.Popa is an extinct volcano. The main mountain is 1600 m high and one of the best places for hiking. Due to explosion of volcano in past time there are many lava stone around and one of the big lava blocks forming unusual shape near Main Mountain which name is Popa Taung Kalet at the present time. Mt.Popa is oasis of dry zone and gets high rainfall while Bagan is so dry and get the lowest rainfall.
During the time of King Anawrahta 11th century, Thayrawara Buddhasim became official religion of the country, order to transfer all nat shrines.
From that time Mt.Popa became Home for all Nat. At the base of small hill near Mt.Popa Main Mountain, there is the main shrine of Minmahaghiri Nat, who care peace and good luck of family, and shrine for 37 nats. Popa village is the original place of famous occultist Bo Min Kaung, there is annual festival for Bo Min Kaung for all Myanmar.
There are dozens of Buddhist temples, recreation of caves for regional nat on the top of Popa Taung Kalet. Wide terraces on the top is the place to admire beautiful panorama around.
Most local visitors visit Mt.Popa for strong belief on Nat worship or just do pilgrimage while they visit Bagan.
Palm tree forest is the beauty of dry area in Myanmar. There are so many palm tree and farmers who cultivate sesame and peanut. Some farmers produce sweet juice from palm tree and make juggery – sugar from palm tree that is Myanmar sugar and use it widely to make different kinds of Myanmar rice cake and local sweet and snack. Juggery with apricot, coconut, ginger are popular local product of the area.
It is recommendable to stop at farmer house when you make day trip to Mt.Popa from Bagan.
Road trip as Bagan – Popa – Mandalay or Bagan – Popa – Kalaw can also do who love long drive in Myanmar.