Encounter the essence of Myanmar’s spirituality with an excursion to Bagan’s outskirts. Travel to Salay, a small riverside town that showcases Myanmar’s deep Buddhist roots. Discover ancient spiritual traditions at Mount Popa, learning about nat worship while rubbing shoulders with local pilgrims.
Mount Popa & Salay Tour - Full Day
Today your tour will start at 08:00.
This full day experience unveils some of the cultural enclaves and unique spiritual places in Myanmar. Depart from Bagan and head south to Salay, driving parallel to the Irrawaddy River. Make a stop in Chauk, a bustling market town. Walk around the morning market, browsing the stalls and getting a glimpse into the lives of the local people.
Resume the drive to Salay, one of the most significant Buddhist centres in Myanmar. Explore this small riverside town and its monasteries, of which there are more than 50. Learn about monastic life and Burmese Buddhism. Take a close look at the buildings which reflect a design and architectural style unique to Salay. Of note is Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery, one of the oldest wooden buildings in the area.
After exploring the town, head to Salay House, a restored colonial building. Learn about colonial life in the town at the small museum before sitting down for a coffee along the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
Having gained a deeper insight on Buddhism, continue through the countryside to Mount Popa, another of the most authentic spiritual places in Myanmar.
Arrive at Mount Popa and have lunch. Mount Popa is an extinct volcano that stands more than 1500 metres high. The restaurant is located on the slopes of the volcano, and offers fabulous views over the surrounding area.
After lunch travel to nearby Taung Kalat, a volcanic plug that is believed to be the home of the nats. Since ancient times, the people of Myanmar have believed in nats, or 37 spirits who serve as guardians. As Taung Kalat is the home of the nats, it is a very popular pilgrimage spot. Get a glimpse into this unique aspect of Myanmar culture at a small museum where statues of each nat are displayed. Then climb the stairs to the top of the shrine, joining local pilgrims on the way. On the way, learn more about the nats and the role they play in Myanmar society. Upon reaching the top, relax and enjoy the views.
Descend back down to the base of Mount Popa and continue back to Bagan. (L)
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