Popa Mountain Resort

Popa Mountain Resort

Serene and Relaxing Escape with Breathtaking Views

Review

When it comes to vistas that tug at your heart strings, Myanmar doesn’t fail to surprise. Mount Popa is one such stunningly beautiful postcard sight where your soul transcends into a world of ethereal charm. Perched prettily on top of the extinct volcano is a sacred monastery that crowns the mountain in white and gold.

Glistening glamorously from afar, yet exceedingly tranquil on the inside, the monastery rewards the courageous spirits who climb up the 777 steps to reach it, with inner peacefulness and serene views of the surrounding countryside.

 

With Bagan ticked off our list, we had packed our bags, and were ready for a new adventure in Myanmar. Mount Popa was one of those places that had been talked endearingly by many visitors, so Vikram and I decided to experience it first-hand. We stayed at the Eco Popa Mountain Resort for three nights and decided to visit the monastery during our stay.

 

327zq

327zr

327zs

 

Journeying From Bagan to Mount Popa – A Treat for the Senses

Eco-lodges are a brilliant alternative to hotels. They are high on sustainability and encourage responsible tourism in many ways. Promoting bio-diversity and fostering a love for nature, the thought of an eco-lodge made me look forward to our visit to Myanmar’s Popa Mountain Resort.

 

327d

327e

327f

327fg

 

Bagan had been a bag of delightful surprises. Charismatic sunrise and sunset views had made us fall in love with the place. There were still so many pagodas to explore and so many sunrises that I wanted to witness from the temple tops, but with heavy hearts, we knew that our journey had to go on and so we started early from Bagan to reach Mount Popa before the sun reached its highest point in the sky. To maximize our time, we took a car that would bring us straight to the resort.

As Bagan gently faded away in the horizon, I realized that the arid lands started getting greener. Nature was more benevolent to this part of Myanmar. The roads were laced with wild flowers of different colours, cheerful springs gurgled happily on their course and quintessential villages peeped every now and then from the woody landscape. Often called Myanmar’s Mt. Olympus, the forested landmark rises about 4500 ft. above sea level.

Fun fact: Mount Popa gets its name from the Burmese word ‘Puppa’ which means flower. Gazing at the vibrant views of the mountain, I realized why its people would want to call it a flower. There was hardly another name that could fit so well.

 

The Resort – Beauty Personified

Ever wondered what it is like to be surrounded by amazingly beautiful views every time you looked out of the window or had your meal or walked out the door? This is exactly what we enjoyed during the time we spent at the Eco Popa Mountain Resort.

There are 55 chalets around the facility which are designed to seamlessly blend into the natural surroundings. Thoughtfully designed to include private outdoor spaces boasting stunning views of nature, the chalets are furnished with local teak decor, and fabrics and linens used display ethnic inspirations. The majority of the rooms have beautiful garden views with an additional 8 deluxe rooms facing the Taung Kalat Monastry. Our hearts were of course set on the mesmerizing panoramas of the mountain and monastery and so we settled on the Deluxe Mountain View Room.

 

327g

327h

327i

327j

327k

 

Perched majestically upon a volcanic plug, the awe-inspiring Popa Taung Kalat Monastery is a vision of beauty. Its golden stupas rise magnificently, glistening brilliantly in the golden Myanmar sun, leaving no doubt of its grandiosity.

The resort is the only place that offers such uninhibited views of this sacred place. But the vistas was not the only reason we loved the resort. Just a walk around the place exploring the organic gardens and the panoramic look outs took our breath away. And a long soak in the infinity pool with its splendid view of the monastery tempted us to linger a little longer.

 

327l

327m

 

Activities at the resort include trekking, bird watching, and horseback riding. You can also enjoy a relaxing spa therapy or simply while away your time in the garden and listen to the soothing traditional music that plays in the central pavilion.

 

327n

327o

327p

327q

327r

327s

327t

 

The resort has a strategically set terrace restaurant named Sagawa {meaning welcome} which treats you to resplendent views of the monastery in the distance and delicious food including a choice of Burmese and European cuisine. We had our breakfast and dinner at the open terrace of the restaurant where we appreciated the cool mountain breeze of the higher elevation.

 

327u

327v

327w

327x

 

Our Villa – A Luxurious Stay Combined With Impressive Views

There is something very calming about the resort that automatically lets worries melt away into thin air. We felt relaxed and so much at peace at the resort that we simply didn’t want to leave at all. Every morning we would wake up to a tranquil and spectacular view of the Taung Kalat Monastery and the surrounding greenery, and in the evening we were greeted with sunsets being as poignant as those that we had witnessed in Bagan.

Our spacious Chalet was built with teakwood and was furnished with a comfortable four poster bed which added warmth. Stone furnishings were also commonplace in the rooms here. Nestled amidst organic gardens, it had a romantic aura making it the perfect place to spend some quality time with your loved one.

 

327y

327z

327zc

 

A Place to Explore the Wild Nature of Myanmar 

While the resort gently nudged me to throw back my hair and relax in the serenity of its atmosphere, the sleepy villages around the property beckoned to experience their quietude and take a closer look at the cultures of Myanmar. Then there was the most obvious magnetic pull towards the monastery that we had come here for in the first place.

 

Among all the spectacular sights we enjoyed in Myanmar, Mount Popa deservingly made it to the top of the list. Clad in white and gold, the monastery itself had an air of enigma around it, emerging tall and strong from between the lush green lands of the mountain.

We decided to visit the sacred monastery bright and early on our third day at the resort. We had to brace ourselves for walking 777 steps up the mountain and brave the monkey population which cheekily adorn the passageways!

 

327zd

 

777 Steps to Heaven

Rising 1518 metres {4981 feet} above sea level, Mount Popa in the Pegu Hills watches over the Myingyan plains of central Burma. Considered one of Asia’s most popular archaeological destinations, it offers its visitors the most magical sights of the monastery with its numerous glistening gold Nat {Burmese spirits} temples and relic sites.

 

The way to Mount Popa had a plethora of shopping stalls to buy pretty trinkets at. These stalls followed us all the way to the point where we began our climb. We had visited many religious monuments in Myanmar to understand that we were required to wear respectable clothing. Wearing shorts or vests is not allowed and neither are shoes. Keeping the resident monkey population in mind, visitors are also required to climb the steps without hats or bags.

Although tin roofs have been added to protect visitors from the scorching sun, and while 777 steps didn’t sound like too much, we realized that with the blistering Myanmar heat draining away our energy, the steps began to seem like a lot.

The monkeys were not a problem because we were careful not to carry any food or drink with us. But they lined the stairwell as we ascended watching eagerly for something that they could lay their hands on!

Tip 1 : Despite all the cleanliness that the locals try to maintain, the way to the top has copious amounts of monkey poop! Since you will be climbing bare foot, cleansing wipes will come in handy for cleaning your feet.

*Locals wash the stairs to maintain cleanliness and may ask you for a donation as your gesture of kindness for their hard work.

Tip 2 : To avoid unwanted attention from the monkeys avoid carrying food and drink completely or be discreet.

 

327ze

327f

327g

327zh

 

Mount Popa Taungkalat Monastery: Of Golden Stupas and Charismatic Views

At the top, the golden stupas dazzle and the magnetism of the place makes you delay your return with many visitors staying late to watch the sunset embrace them in its mesmerism.

The panoramic view of the area surrounding the mountain is a spectacular sight, and we could see for miles ~ the small settlements on the plains, the forests, the fields and the untouched beauty of Myanmar. All in all I’m glad we were able to experience visiting one of the world’s man-made architectural wonders.

 

If your schedule allows you time from Bagan, then head over to Mount Popa to cherish the peaceful beauty of the monastery and the views it offers.

When to go

Mount Popa is busiest with pilgrims during festivals on the full moon in May/June {Nadon}, the full moon in November/December {Nadaw}, and during Thingyan – Burmese New Year {April}. Visits are possible year-round, but the weather is best from October/November until March/April.

 

327zi

327zj

327zk

327zm

327zn

327zo

 

With Mount Popa ticked off our list, the next morning after breakfast we packed our bags once again to head to Inle Lake where a new set of experiences awaited us. The eco resort was a refreshing stay and Mount Popa one of the most amazing places to visit.

 

Verdict

Certain experiences can hardly be wrapped in the armature of words in a way that does them justice. My experience at Popa Mountain Resort falls in this category of experiences. Whether it was enjoying a meal with the majestic monastery in full view or lounging in our balcony watching the sun spread the last of its fading embers in the sky ~ Popa Mountain Resort is a hidden gem that will be cherished in our memories forever!

 

327zp

327cd

 

If you’ve been to Myanmar or are planning to visit soon, shoot me a message, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

* My trip to Myanmar has been split into several posts: Myanmar / Bagan / Aureum Palace / Stay tuned for my post on Inle Lake

** If you like this article, please share it on social media using the share buttons at the bottom of the post.

*** Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

Stay connected with me over Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest |

Written By

* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

30 Comments

  • Mount Popa overwhelmed me when I visited in 2015. So happy that I stumbled upon your post… the photographs of Myanmar you took are among the best I’ve seen. Real photograph envy! xx

    • Thank you, Elaine!

      Myanmar is a maze full of incredible lines, colours and endless perspectives of views at every turn! It is any photographer’s dream!

  • Thank you for the visual treat! I visited Myanmar 30 years ago and have the fondest recollections of stopping at tea houses and having women put thanaka all over my face. Burmese are the friendliest and most genuine people I have met through all of my travels. Can’t wait to visit again!

    • The best thing about Myanmar is not just in the magic of its sunrises but more so in hearts of its people, Veronique. Some of my best memories while traveling here came as a result of connecting with their beautiful souls full of kindness 🙂

  • Popa Mountain Resort is best portrayed as an experience… it’s picture perfect, with a spectacular view of the golden pagoda glistening atop of Mount Popa!

    • Oh I agree, Henrik. Popa Mountain Resort was just so magical and a huge part of that had to do with the spectacular view!

  • Mount Popa Resort was the highlight of our Myanmar visit! For us it was perfect as we were passing by and had a night to spend.

  • How green is this resort! The fascinating view of the monastery looks like it could be straight from a book of fairytales!!

  • This seems like a captivating place to spend time at! I adore staying at resorts that provide a magnificent view…

  • Fabulous view! I was in Burma a couple of years ago, and must state that I did not come across this resort during my research of the country. A justifiable reason to return!

  • I’d love to visit the Popa Taung Kalat monastery one day and Eco Lodge Mount Popa sounds like quite the place to stay!

    • It was truly beautiful up there, Rebecca 🙂

      This quote comes to mind: The traveller of this world had blisters on their feet. The traveller of the spiritual world had blisters on their heart ~ S. Zulfiqar

  • Looks like an enchanting place to stay – and what a view! One doesn’t necessarily associate Burma with eco-resorts – so nice to hear differently.

    • I had heard about it before, Paulina and since I quite enjoy getting off the trodden path, it seemed like a good decision. 🙂

  • Popa Mountain Resort looks awesome! Having the opportunity to appreciate a swim with those views must have been amazing! Would definitely love to visit when I visit Burma!

  • That view looks incredible! It’s really cool to see the monastery from a distance. In spite of the fact that I abhor stairs, I do enjoy hiking so I would love to attempt their trails.

    • It was! This setting is beyond lush ❤️
      Myanmar ~ where life is slow, the people are kind and the sunsets are inspiring ✨

  • It genuinely appears like a serene place and that bit of extravagance would make it my sort of place to visit! The views look astounding and since I adore hiking, this would without a doubt be a place I’d be eager to visit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • This looks inconceivable! I’m gutted I did not know about this whilst I was in Burma!! Be that as it may, it’s a great reason to return!

    • Myanmar is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life ❤️ I’ll never forget the memories this country has given me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *