Unique view of Mount Popa – Myanmar (Burma)

Picture of Unique view of Mount Popa - Myanmar (Burma)

Mount Popa - Myanmar (Burma)

While approaching the area, you suddenly see an odd shape sticking out of the landscape. There can be no mistake, that is Mount Popa, which can be visited on the long way from Bagan to Inle Lake, or separately of course. It is the foremost place of worship for so-called nat, or spirits, in Buddhist Myanmar. There is a small village at the foot of Mount Popa, which looks attractive from a distance, but has grown into a string of shops and restaurant for visiting worshippers. In fact, walking up the stairs to the top of the mountain, the shops continue.

More than anywhere else I visited in Myanmar, Mount Popa seems commercialized, which to me is an uneasy combination of religion and down-to-earth money making. Obviously, trying to make money from tourists is fine, but by far most of Mount Popa visitors are serious believers, who come here to make sure their relationship with spirits remains positive. This is a place where nat, or spirits, live, and there are all kinds of superstitions as to what you can wear, say or do on this mountain in order not to displease the nat.

Picture of Unique view of Mount Popa - Myanmar (Burma) another view

Mount Popa - Myanmar (Burma)

Walking through the string of shops, escaping the monkeys that can never be trusted, brings you higher on the volcano. When you reach the top, you suddenly realize the height you have covered – the view is great on all sides. The temples are of an especially flashy style, with an overkill of gold, silver, shining stuff, dazzling lights, mirrors, and so forth. The most interesting bit was perhaps a temple with spirits looking out to the visitor, money sticking out of all their sides. It should come as no surprise that here, too, the requests for donations thrive.

Source: http://www.traveladventures.org/continents/asia/mount-popa.shtml (With little update in picture)

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