Friday, November 25, 2016

Mount Popa

Amidst many other miscues on the short trip I'm documenting here, the trip from Magway to Mount Popa included a tragedy that I only found once I was back here in Yangon. The video footage from that leg of the trip has disappeared! Gone! It's a shame because there were quite a few interesting sites along that road. 

Mount Popa is an odd geographical feature. It juts up some 5000 feet above the river plains surrounding it, all alone above the flatlands. It is, in fact, a volcano, which last erupted in 441 BC, not that long ago in geographic time.  

Culturally, the mountain holds an interesting significance as well. Popa is the home of the 37 most important nats, spirits, of Burmese lore. These spiritual entities have been worshiped in Myanmar for centuries and actually predate the arrival of Buddhism. Nowadays, reverence for the nats has blended in with Buddhism and remains live and well.

High up on the hillside, I found the Popa Mountain Resort. This luxurious accommodation would normally be outside my budget when traveling, but it was pretty much the only hotel which offered anything I might enjoy. It the case of the Resort, that was the spectacular view. I'll never forget it.   


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