Chhay decided to join me in Bagan, woo! It looked far too cloudy to chase the sunrise, so we opted to hike up Mt. Popa, a popular attraction not too far from Old Bagan.
No floor length mirror in the hostel…Longi (that I bought in Yangon) selfie! So comfortable! PROTIP: always double knot when you plan on wearing one while riding a scooter. Unless you want to give the villagers a free show when your longi suddenly flaps open like a superman cape in the wind.. -_-
All aboard! On our way to Mt. Popa, our driver asked us if we would like to stop by a palm plantation for a little while; he explained that we could see the processes of making sugar, wine, and juice. Yes please!
Palm ‘fruit.’ The black pots pictured are used to collect the juice that trickles from the palm flowers.
Palm pots in action.
Filled palm pots. I got to have a quick taste, the juice was pleasantly light and sweet.
Palm sugar is made by boiling the juice until it forms a paste, and then drying the residual paste into small balls of sugar.
Palm alcohol – roughly 40% alcohol content
Palm sugar/tamarind goodies. These were super delicious. Tart, sweet, and salty.
Onwards to Mt. Popa!
Chhay trying a betel leaf snack. I declined.
Chhay not liking the betel leaf snack. (ha, told you)
Mt. Popa! Mt. Popa is actually the name of the volcano that created the hill/volcanic plug on which the golden temples (as seen above) sit. The volcanic plug itself is called the Taung Kalat Pedestal Hill, and is home to several shrines and temples.
The entry way. Goodies, clothing, and snacks for sale! The sales pitch was strong here.
Monkey babies on the stairwells.
It started pouring while we were ascending so we couldn’t see much; the stairs quickly turned into the largest slip and slide I’ve ever witnessed.
One of the shrines at the top
I love this.
More monkey babies
Back at the bottom.
Burmese noodle soup
Thoroughly tired, we headed back to the hostel and took it easy for the rest of the day. It seemed like packing activities into the morning/early afternoon was the best way to go as Bagan completely shut down by 8pm.