Start with 9am pickup at your hotel in old Bagan, then begin the 30-mile (50-km) trip to Mount Popa in a private car (a roughly 1.5-hour trip). You’ll see the mountain from a distance, with a cluster of pagodas and stupas rising from the top of the dramatic extinct volcano, .
Upon arrival at Mount Popa, climb 777 steps to the peak’s Buddhist shrine, where you’ll have sweeping views across the Myingyan Plain. Learn about Myanmar’s tradition of nat workshop, and about the 37 nats that are believed to reside in the country. Visit the Mount Popa Resort for a set lunch, then begin the return trip to Bagan—with a series of sightseeing stops along the way.
Visit a palm tree plantation, then enter the village of Zee O, which is dedicated to protecting a 40-acre (16-ha) forest of ingyinn trees (Shorea Siamensis). The hardwood trees are threatened species, and the local people believe they’re sacred, protected by a pair of guardian spirits. You’ll have time to meet the village head and explore the forest on foot, then see the village library and clinic. This full-day tour concludes with drop-off at your Bagan hotel.