Mount Popa, a one hour drive from Bagan on the road to Mandalay, rises abruptly some 1,520m/2,418ft into the sky. Climbing the steps and ladders to the summit takes about 45 minutes and you can visit the Mahagiri Shrine dedicated to the 37 “nats” (ancestral spirits) at the top where there is a wonderful panoramic view. Burmese tradition says that you should not wear red or black on the mountain.
This is an easy journey from Bagan stopping along the way at local villages and a palm tree plantation.
Below right: a selection of 'nats' at Mount Popa.