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Mount Poppa

One of the guesthouse workers asked our plans for the day while we enjoyed bread and bananas. We found out then that the guesthouse actually offered the same tour to Mount Poppa that we'd booked yesterday. Usually the staff were quick to offer to book plans for us or tell us about their services when we checked it, but since we hadn't heard anything like that yesterday, we assumed that they didn't and booked next door.

We went over to Memory's stand for 8:45 and waited around twenty minutes for the van to come. After picking everyone up, we were over capacity by one. The driver said that we'd get another car. Twenty minutes later, we found out that he meant that he'd call his friend and offer us a 2,000 kyat (or $2) discount if we were willing to ride in the trunk. Yikes, and he wasn't kidding. We all declined and decided the slightly overcrowded van was a better option.

Our first stop was the sugar workshop where they had an ox turning a grinder to smash peanuts and create oil.


Inside the buildings palm sugar was boiled a whole day so it would clump to be used as candy and to make jaggery with coconut, a delicious treat. We got to try tasty samples. They were also fermenting the clumps of sugar for three days then boiling it to make liquor or wine. They had samples to try as well. A few friendly people explained the process to us while our driver was absent.


Our group proposed that the smallest people should squish in the roomier back section. My turn for now. The drive took awhile and some climbing to reach the town around Mount Poppa. The mount was a volcanic plug that stood out quite prominently in the green landscape.


We could already see the monkeys leering at us from the steps. We passed them with caution and made it up unscathed. Just after we had to take off our shoes, a monkey snatched glasses right off an American man's face and ran up to the roof. They were attracted to shiny objects. We'd placed all of our unnecessary items in zipped backpacks. A woman offered to climb up on the roof with a broomstick and retrieve the glasses for a small fee.

Mount Poppa had many temples dedicated to various nats, evil spirits. Praying and donations would help keep them at bay. We also weren't supposed to wear red, black or green, swear or bring meat while at the temple to avoid offending the nats.


Unlike trip advisor complaints, we found the many stairs leading up to the temple clean enough with people scrubbing the floors all the way up. The views were decent but we'd been spoiled by Hpa An and found these ones just okay. There were many donation plaques for amounts of $20 and up. There was a monastery and several shrines atop the mountain along with more monkeys. A man with a slingshot scared them away.


Many people had left donations to support the building of this temple. The walls were beautifully golden with Buddha statues inside. In one of the shrines you could leave a donation based on the day of the week that you were born. We also set some money aside to give to the cleaners since we hoped most of it would go to that person and they had done a really great job.


On the way down, a monkey approached Ryan, stared at him then grabbed onto his leg for a hug. Luckily, he had his jeans on and a local lady came with a stick to scare off the animal.

We had some lunch where other foreigners were as there was an English menu. We both got fried rice that was surprisingly expensive. That was the downside to not asking prices beforehand. They had a neat spice collected all housed in reused water bottles. There was also a cute toddler running around the restaurant with squeaky shoes set on exploring the fire-fueled kitchen as well as the pantry. Surprisingly none of the staff tripped over her.


We wandered a bit to find other restaurants and a temple with a woman performing a dance. On the drive back, we stopped for some viewpoint pictures and to see petrified wood. It was hard as a rock.

The back seat got hot and sweaty after some time plus cramped. Why did small people usually get the short end of the stick? It's not like we ever had an advantage going to shows or being able to reach things in the cupboard.

We found a restaurant with wifi not much better than our guesthouse. The fact that there was so much wifi around was showing some big changes, even if it didn't really work. We had some tasty potato curry and fruit pancakes to enjoy. The restaurant filled up fast too. We chatted with the man who'd recovered his sunglasses from the Mount Poppa monkeys. He was from St. Louis and had come out here to work. He was on vacation for a week between his assignments to save the company money and avoid having to recover from jet lag twice over. Ryan was excited as he was from the same city as the Blue, his favourite hockey team.

Posted by Sarah.M 16:45 Archived in Myanmar Tagged temple volcano myanmar nat mount_poppa

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