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This place is not really in Nyaung U at all, but, unfortunately VT does not find Mt. Popa as a destination. It is a feasible half day trip from any of the Bagan resorts and is well worth doing. The main attraction is a monastery and pagoda built on Mt. Popa which towers more than 2000 feet over Popa village. It is some sort of volcanic plug (basalt, perhaps), rising out of the flat plain and is very inpressive.
Be aware, that there are no lifts, and the climb can be quite arduous, especially in the heat of the day (although the majority of the ascent is shaded). the views from the top, however, more than compensate for the exertion. Be even more aware of the extremely forward monkesy, who will come and grab things off you. This is especially true if you buy food for them from the numerous vendors about the place.
The best way to get here is by taxi or jeep. I paid 10 USD for a trip and this included a few stops along the way to see things of interest.
Written Mar 5, 2006