Sunset over Taung Kalat Monastery

Sunset over Taung Kalat Monastery

Post of the Day: Adding a bit of light to the darkness as we get through the pandemic together.
The series features travel photos from my archives, shared with you while staying safe at home.

June 29th, 2020

About an hour from Bagan we’ve arrived at Mount Popa National Park, the site of an extinct volcano. The landscape rises to Popa’s summit at 1,518 meters/4,981 feet. It’s a pretty sight but understandably overshadowed by the surprising feature sitting atop the volcanic plug to the west. A volcanic plug forms when molten rock rises from a volcanic vent and hardens, creating a neck or plug.

Taung Kalat Monastery

Taung Kalat Monastery

Seven hundred seventy-seven steps lead up the side of the plug to Taung Kalat monastery, a gleaming complex of gold spires with a panoramic view above Myanmar. It is a major site of nat or spirit energy and worship in Myanmar. The experience of climbing up for the view is memorable (watch out for the monkeys) but equally enjoyable is seeing the monastery at eye-level from nearby Popa Mountain Resort. Tucked into the jungle of Popa’s hillside, the resort is a remarkable spot to spend a night, watch the light change around the monastery and contemplate the process of building at such a precarious location. In some ways, Taung Kalat feels like Myanmar’s equivalent to Tiger’s Nest.

Pack your bags. Tomorrow, the magic carpet flies on to its next destination. Are you coming along? I hope so!

Until then,


This post is part of this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge found here.


    1. Same!! I searched high and low and found nothing about when it was built! Kind of remarkable considering the vast depths of the internet but Myanmar is so unplugged I’m not completely surprised. Wish I had kept better notes when I was there. Surely someone at the monastery knows the history.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My mouth just keeps on dropping! These buildings are simply amazing. Did you climb all the way up? Was the view spectacular? I’m so glad you continue to post because I’m learning so much and living vicariously.


    1. Yes, we climbed all the way up. The photo with the flag and gold spires was taken from the open area at the very top, with the summit of Mount Popa in the distance. So happy you’re enjoying my daily posts. 🙂 I fear I’m going to run out of content before this pandemic is over!! I need to start traveling again! Thanks so much for being such a loyal reader, Rusha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s easy to be loyal. You’ve taken me to places I’ll never get to see. Plus, if I were there, I wouldn’t be able to climb to the places you’ve gone. I, too, wonder what to write about if the pandemic keeps going. We have photos and stories to tell, but some say we shouldn’t be touring our trips in times like these. I love reading about other places but I’m not sure everyone does. Interesting times, for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It WAS crazy!! Don’t you love finding gems like this in remote locations? Our drive there was pretty great too — we paid a guy who had a pickup truck with a mattress in the back and a roof over the bed. Comfort, shade, fresh air and the world going by in both directions to and from Popa. It was fantastic. And like $15! And that hotel was magical on the side of the hill. We were the only guests there that night. And the power went out. An awesome memory, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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