Mount Popa, Myanmar: Monetary on Top of Extinct Volcano

A sacred monetary on top of an extinct volcano, which is like something out of “Harry Porter”? It sounds strange but you can see it in real life if you visit Mount Popa in a Burma travel.
Located in Mount Popa National Park in central Burma, the mount, 1,500 meters high, is the headquarter of Myanmar’s most powerful Nats.During the trip to Burma, if you have flexible time, climbing Mount Popa is very worth trying. Though the weather in the region is very dry, the mountain and surrounding area is green and look like an oasis in the desert. Moreover, the plunging valleys around the peak are dramatic and ona clear day, you can view stretching vast distance.

Climbing Mount Popa

The monastery on top of Mount Popa is famous for being home of 37 most important Nat spirits (Burmese spirits). To reach here, you must climb a stairway of 777 steps.Make sure that you pack plenty of drinks and snack because there is no food or drink available at any point on the ascent. However, along the staircase to the top, many temples and shrines provide a chance for rest and spiritual reflection on why you tackling such a climb.You will also find an impressive array of flora and fauna including a variety of  species of birds and butterflies. One special thing in this visit is that you will see a lot of monkeys, both along the stairway and in the monastery itself. They are always on the lookout for food and the food opportunities were enough to keep them busy.

Popa Taungkalat Monastery on Top

There are two giant golden colored Chinthes and a lion like a creature that guards the entrance to most temples in Burma. Once you enter the monastery area, please take off shoes and socks as it is usualin Burmese temples. Other requirements at Popa are no vests, no shorts and removing hats and bags, which is to protect you from the monkeys.. Here you will find a golden pagoda surrounded by many smaller pagodas. Besides, a shrine in PopaTaungkalat monastery has statues of the 37 most important Nats, all wearing very colorful clothing. Many pilgrims from all over Burma visit Mount Popa to pay homage to Nats, especially during the full moon festivals of Nayon and Nadaw. From the top of Mount Popa, you can see for miles and miles across the land. The views are very spectacular, which is worth your climb of 777 steps. You can even see as far as Bagan and the Irrawaddy river providing the weather is clear.

How to Get to Mount Popa

After arriving in Myamar on Burma river cruises, you can start your journey from different places.The mountain is about 50 kilometers South East of Bagan and Nyaung U airport. Fromeither place it takes around 1 and half an hour by car to get there. The most convenient way is to book a private car for the day, which offers you a chance to stop at many other places along the way.
In conclusion, a trip to Mount Popa will be one of the most memorable one in your life because you will have opportunity to know more about animportant Burmese pilgrimages site. Beside, you will dive into the nature and get close to the monkeys because the mount is in a national park area.

For more information about Mount Popa and other charming destinations for sighseeing and photographing, have a look at our tours below:

What To Expect on A Mekong River Cruise

There are many ways to discover the beauty of Indochina countries, but cruising on Mekong river seems to be the best. The cruise gives you the chance to both experience many interesting activities and admire a wide range of charming destinations on its various routes. We would like to bring you some suggestions for what to expect on a cruise on Mekong River.

Explore Mekong River on Mekong Princess Cruise

The Port of Saigon
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its busy night life, luxurious buildings and bustling traffic, but not so many tourists know that Saigon has a world’s busiest trading Port until they join Vietnam to Cambodia river cruises. The cruise offers you the opportunity to learn more about the development of the biggest city in Vietnam and admire a completely different panorama of the city that you do not see often.

Cai Be
Cai Be seems to be the most interesting spot to see on a Mekong River Cruise where you can witness a bustling trading scene of local people. Once passing by the market, you will be amazed by a ridiculous large number of boats with different stuffs of all types including tropical fruits, fish, food, vegetables, alive animals etc.

You will have a chance to communicate with the most kind-hearted and generous people in Vietnam and observe their selling activities to earn their living.

Mekong Delta Countryside
Once cruising on Mekong River, you will be able to pass by many rustic villages of Mekong Delta in Vietnam. This is a great chance for you to not only admire the tranquil beauty of the traditional-styled countryside in Vietnam with immense rice paddies, bamboo bridge, leaf-roofed houses but also experience many activities like the local.

Narrow waterways in Mekong Delta

Phnom Penh
Known as a kingdom to a lot of ancient temples, French architectural buildings and bustling night markets, Phnom Penh is a must-see destination for you to experience the true Cambodia. Indeed, once you first set foot in this beautiful city, you will realize a combination of old and new architecture together with a wide range of Golden Buddhist temples, outstanding historical sites and Modern shopping and entertainment center – An ideal place for those who want to learn more about culture and history of the country or just experience brand new flavors that Phnom Penh bringing.

Siem Reap
A cruise on Mekong River also takes you to Siem Reap, another unmissable destinations in Cambodia. 
One of the most outstanding structures here must be the Angkor Complex - one of the most famous of its kind in the world, where you can admire a massive architectural historical and cultural masterpiece of different temples. Besides, there are some fascinating attractions to see such as The Bayon Temple, the Terrace of the Elephant, War Museum, Silk Farm, Cambodian culture village.

>> Overall, cruising on Mekong River would be a memorable experience in your life time and a highlight of your excursions in Vietnam.
Do not waste your time in Southern Vietnam, try a cruise:

Top 6 Best Restaurants in Yangon

Looking for a place to enjoy the quintessence of Burma culinary - a country has been separated from the world for a long time which bears an excellent cuisine. Be prepared to indulge in the delicious flavors of the golden land with these 6 outstanding restaurants in Yangon.

1.Aung Mingalar Shan Noodles Restaurant

A familiar spot of many locals and travelers in their Yangon tour where offers an interesting menu of Shan dishes as well as Burmese delicacies. The fried dumplings here are especially delicious which you should try it once in the restaurant.

Location: 34 Bo Yar Nyunt Road (corner with Nawaday Road), Yaw Min Gyi Quarter, Dagon Township.
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

2. Myanmar Culture Valley

Situated in the area of the People’s Park, Myanmar Culture Valley is a not – to – be – missed spot in Yangon which features a number of great restaurants with a wide variety of eating options and the one – stop shopping area. Tourists can enjoy a walk in the park or go for a shopping tour then take a rest and enjoy the exquisite cuisine of Myanmar in this wonderful complex.

Opening hours: daily from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

3. Padonmar Restaurant

If you are looking for a high – end restaurant with authentic Burmese menu, Padonmar is definitely a great idea. The place offers the less greasy food made from home - grown ingredients which can easily charm any guests.

Location: 105/107, Kha-Yae-Pin Road, Yangon 11191, Myanmar
Opening hours: 11am – 11 pm

4. House of Memories.

This unique restaurant is actually an old colonial villa which is listed in the historical and national heritage where used to place the head quarters of the Burmese Independence Army and the office of the national hero – General Aung San. House of memories brings an amazing menu of both Eastern and Western food with a reasonable price. Especially, the restaurant offers 50% off cocktail on the happy hours from 6pm-8pm daily.

Location: No. 290, U Wizara Road, Kamaryut Township, Yangon
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm     

5. Taing Yin Thar Restaurant

Taing Yin Thar restaurant offers a wide range of food options from different regions of Burma. The restaurant also features the terrific vegetarian recipes. 

Location: No.(2/A), Kanbae Road, (6)Quarter, Yankin Township, Yangon 
Opening hours: 10am-9.30pm

6. Rangoon Green Gallery

Green Gallery is a great restaurant that you should not miss in your Yangon culinary tour with the menu focuses on salads and Thai food. It not only attracts the locals but also the foreigners to come to enjoy the most exotic and delicious meals. When eating in this restaurant, you can see the chef herself serves the dishes in some nights.

Location: Mahabandoola No 58, 52 street (Lower Block), Botahtaung Township, Yangon
Opening hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)

Check out for more travel options in the golden land.

4 Mysteries of Sapa Cuisine

Located in the northernmost of Vietnam, Sapa is widely well-known for not only its natural and cultural beauty but also its unique culinary characteristics. Sapa cuisine as well as specialties always surprises tourists thanks to their mysterious local flavours and ingredients. Today, I would like to present to you 4 mysteries of Sapa cuisine for your upcoming trip to this beautiful land. 

Sapa cuisine

1. Seasonal Fruits

Sapa has a wide range of fresh vegetables thanks to the ridiculously cool climate, which offers tourist an opportunity to taste many fruits they have never had before in their Vietnam excursions. Particularly, there are a lot of seasonal herbs and vegetables growing in Sapa only or they were discovered by local people many years ago. Therefore, Sapa is said to be the kingdom of fruits in northern Vietnam including fragrance peaches, Sapa apple, red plum, etc.

Sapa cuisine 2

2. Cooking Secrets

Sapa cuisine is totally one of the most outstanding of its kind in Vietnam which consists of many specialties that you will never forget during your Vietnam culinary tours. The secret is hidden behind skillful techniques and experiences of some ethnic minorities in Sapa who owns a long-term tradition of cooking from generation to generation. As always, they keep looking for their culinary ingredients from Northern forest and mountain which are really healthy and flavoursome, some of them can even cure serious diseases.

Sapa cuisine 3

3. Farming Methods

Just like other countryside areas in Vietnam, local Sapa farmers grow their plants and feed their poultry and cattle in traditional ways. Most of the farmers in Sapa are too poor to built large solid cages for their animals, they only have leaf-covered bamboo house for big cattle like cows and buffaloes, and set other animals and poultry free in the wild instead. As a result, those not-being-captured ones grow more healthy because they can feel free to eat whatever they want. Thus, their meats reach the best, making the cuisine in Sapa more and more nutritious.

Sapa cuisine 4
Source: Hellovietnamtravel

4. Homemade Stuff

It is said that nothing is better than homemade stuff. Indeed, local people in Sapa have got many natural advantages to find the best ingredients in the wild for their homemade products. One of the must-try specialties here must be handmade wine, which is made of various ingredients including rice wine, corn wine, grape wine, apple wine and even snake wine etc. Once have tasted the wine, you will feel that it is really good for your health and even helps you enjoy your meals to the fullest.

Sapa cuisine 5

Overall, each regions has its own flavors and fascinating culinary mysteries. However, a trip to Sapa definitely promises to bring you nothing but a charming diverse cuisine together with a true local techniques in cooking.

Travel Guide to Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is the old capital city of Myanmar with more than 2000 temples built close to each others which is similar to Angkor, the air in the city is filled with antiquity, which gives a feeling of sacred and peaceful times, the old temples covered in the mist are incredibly mysterious. Especially in Bagan, you can take many beautiful photos from high places.


It takes about 10 hours to travel from Yagon to Bagan. The bumpy road slows us down a little bit but it also gave us enough time to mentally recovered and be ready to watch sunrise at 6.30 am from the temple of Shwe San Daw (the map of Bagan is available in motels) right after we get off the vehicle. In Bagan there are many transport options for you to choose such as wagons, bicycle, electric bike, or a cab. The price of transportation is negotiable with the service providers, or you can ask the motel receptionist for most reasonable prices. If money is not a problem with you then you can preorder an air balloon tour for sight-seeing at the cost of $, the views will completely amaze you.

Book a balloon tour at:


There are not many unique dishes in Bagan, you should carry your own food such as sausages, hams, canned fish, or cheese..etc if possible.


You can stay at the Golden Myanmar Motel around Old Bagan (Most motels in New Bagan are expensive). The motel is close to a bus stop, it provides free wireless connection , hot water, air conditioner, and it is very quiet , the employees are able to speak English very good and the price for a double room is about $30, there is a groceries store just 3 blocks away from the motel which provides a wide range of food and drink, and a free breakfast.

Ox-cart Taxi in Bagan. Image by
Note: Be careful not to be overly charged by cab drivers who are willing to take 10k kyat from you for just a 5 minute drive to your motel.


1. The old capital city of Old Bagan, where there are many temples that would take us more than 2 days to fully visit all of which. Due to our lack of time, we had to hire a cab for 45k kyat from 8 a.m to 7 p.m, which is better because the driver is familiar with where to go first and from where we are able to watch sunrise and sunset, However some places charge visitors $15 for an entrance ticket. 

New Bagan is not an attractive place to visit because there are just motels and some traditional villages such as kite-painting, drawing..

2. Popa mountain which is 50km away from Old Bagan, suitable for a half-day sight-seeing experience (Because in the following evening we would be travelling to Inle) the price for a cab is also 45k Kyat. This is a temple on a high mountain, the cab will take you close to the mountain peak, and you have to climb about 700 steps of a stone ladder to get to the top of the temple, during your tour you will meet with countless mischievous mountain monkeys who are always staring at you and ready to receive nuts when given (There is a staff team who takes care of it). The cab driver will take you to a native residence who is specialized in making Vodka and jams, you will be given a chance to try and to spray the thanakhan powder upon your face, which is a really interesting experience.

For some good reasons, Bagan is chosen as one of top places to visit in Myanmar, even luxury holidays such as river cruises on Irrawaddy River. Check out a best river cruise with Sanctuary Ananda at or contact us to get best offer!

The best time pass activities in a long train journey

Flight journey costs a lot but a train journey values a lot. Yes, this is really true if you love to spend few days on the train watching the culture, architectural excellence, natural wonder and more passing by. Train journey gives you a great opportunity to study the culture and character of different people from different locations. If you are looking for the best time pass activities in a long train journey, then here are them for you.

Enjoy good sleep
Don't wonder why to sleep. If you are on to train for a long train journey after a tedious work or from a busy business schedule, then it is better to take a good sleep to calm your mind and body. There is no doubt, movement of the train give you the experience of a rocking cradle. Take a cup of coffee after the sleep to feel rejuvenated and refreshed and to enjoy the real spirit of the travel.

Keep your favourite books
Get your favourite book before you get into your seat. It is certainly a good idea to complete one or two novels before you reach your destination. The movement of the train and the breeze passing by gifts you with a fantastic time to get indulged in the real spirit of the novel.

Music on the go
This is one of the fantastic ways to spend time on the train. Make use of tablet, laptop, iPad or phone to listen to your favourite track. Enjoy the cool wind to get some fantastic moments of experiencing the favourite music. Thanks to the internet service providers. Tune your favourite FM store or download the favourite tracks to enjoy music on the go.

Take time to taste the delicious food
Food seems to be a serious problem for most of the train travellers. At present, the problem is completely solved by train food delivery services. Yes, you can book your food online through your mobile and that too within minutes. Make use of the mobile app to get the menu and book the favourite dish. If you are traveling with friends or family, make the food time a good experience by taking some snaps and sharing it.

Have chat with strangers
This is another important time pass with good values. Yes, have a chat and share the experiences. It is something really values and provides you with a great learning experience.

Watch the wonders
The real happiness of train journey lies in watching the fields, towns, villages, rivers and other amazing sceneries. If you start watching something filthy or boring, you can turn back to books or music. 

Watch a movie
Keep some of your favourite movies with your iPad or mobile. There is nothing going to happen if you forget to make it. Now you can download your favourite movie within minutes. It is really good to watch a full movie when you move with the fantastic movement of the train.
Now you better know how to enjoy the long train journey. Have a happy train travel.

Grab a piece of spirituality with the essence of Buddhist culture!

Myanmar, with its peace keeping Buddhist culture is considered to be one of the most pious countries around the planet. The aesthetic value of this country includes the saintly tradition and authentic culture showcasing the morals of Buddhism. The country embraces the essence of harmony and peace through its various spiritual sites. With a beauty of glittering gold pagodas and temples to the ravishing Artwork, Myanmar is a great place to explore for Gallivanters in terms of spirituality. Let us find out how to inhale the essence of spirituality in the culture and tradition, while in Myanmar.

Sanctified Pagodas:

Pagodas form a major part of the religious sites in Myanmar. There are plenty of pagodas to visit in the country. Few of them include:

·Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Grab a piece of spirituality with the essence of Buddhist culture!

Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most famous and renowned Buddhist site. Its eternal beauty ranges from 27 metric tons of gold usage to thousands of diamonds and other precious stones and gems. It is known for the antiques of the three former Buddha’s and preserving eight hairs of Gautama Buddha. Visiting this place in the cool dawn may surprise you with the setting sun colors of the golden sputa.

·Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake

Grab a piece of spirituality with the essence of Buddhist culture!

This pagoda is located in the pleasant atmosphere of Inle Lake in Shan state and can be visited by the medium of boat. The charming and quiet surrounding contributes to the beauty of this pagoda. In October, a very joyful festival celebration takes place in this state which is considered to the largest and most renowned celebration of the Shan state. It is definitely a place not meant to be missed!

Tranquility of Temples

There are a considerable good amount of temples in Myanmar. Let us focus on one of the main and very renowned temple in Bagan.

Ananda Temple in Bagan

This temple is a wonderful creation of King Kyansittha in the 11th century. It is build with a traditional Mon architectural fashion, and is 35 feet high. It is one of the largest and most beautifully designed temple in Bagan with 30 foot tall Buddha images facing the four cardinal directions that exhibits the four successful wisdoms of Lord Buddha. There is a temple festival that is celebrated in January and February which marks as the biggest event in the city illustrating many traditional performances. Visiting this temple should be a must on your list.

Monks of Burma

Myanmar’s tradition and culture revolves around Buddhism and its teachings. Children in Myanmar are raised as Novice monks from a very early stage. They are made to live and gain their understanding of the culture in the Buddhist monasteries along with all other children forming a very close bond with each other. People in Myanmar honor Buddha’s teachings by chanting and praying throughout the day. This forms as an integral part of their tradition.

Amongst all the Buddhist follower countries, Myanmar has the highest proportion of sacred monks and nuns with around 80 to 90 percent of the population in the country preaching Buddhism as their core religion and practices. From the age of 7, every boy in the country is expected to live in a monastery and learn the Buddhist culture and teachings for a few weeks and return to the normal life willingly. The ethical conduct teaches the children lessons of life.

Worshipping Buddhism in the country

Theravada Buddhism is the main religion and preaching followed in Myanmar. In the life of a common man in Myanmar, the hold of religion is reflected in every aspect of his living and conditions around. Myanmar consists of considerable number of temples and monasteries including a special community of monks. They follow a proverb that states- "To be Burmese is to be Buddhist". Life of people in the country is centralized around the three principles of Buddhism -

Thila that states Morality, Dana that states Charity and B'wana that states Awareness.

To live up to the principles of this religion is not an easy path to follow. However, the people of this country are persisting in their beliefs from past many centuries.

Art showcasing the Buddhist of Myanmar

The presence of Buddhism in Myanmar has led to creation of stunning artwork since long period of time. It is mainly focused on Theravada Buddhism. The Buddhist art began to flourish in Burma with ‘Pyu city states’ where they used to build solid stupas which are now looked upon for building beautiful Burmese temples in the current century. Also, the Pagan Empire developed the stupa style as well as Gu-style hollow temples. The Architectural boom in innovation included the pointed arches, pentagonal temple plan as well as the vaulted chambers.

The images of Buddha are designed in 3 most popular styles - The Ava style, The Mandatory style and The Shan style. All the images are a must watch considering their beautifully formulated styles and designs.

So, get ready backpackers to explore the spiritual state of the Myanmar.

Wat Saket - The Temple of the Golden Mount Bangkok

Being nationally known as the place of cremation of 60,000 victims of plague, the oldest temple of Bangkok, Wat Saket, the Golden Mount Temple has attracted a significant number of worshippers, followers, or even tourists strongly believing that all wishes will turn into reality. 

In addition to familiar temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew, Thai Land is also nationally and internationally famous for Wat Saket Buddhist Temple, also known as Golden Mount Temple. Located right in the heart of the capital, the temple is housed on a low hill. Standing from a distance, tourists definitely realize the temple by a glittering gilding stupa at a height of up to 58 meters. Moreover, Wat Saket is surrounded by lush trees, so it makes visitors comfortable and releases the hot weather of the tropical region at the same time.

The temple was originally built under of Ayuthaya Kingdom (1350-1767) and underwent several restoration and renovation under the reign of King Rama I (1782-1809). The temple is characterized by the relics of the Buddha, so it draws a large number of Buddhist worshipers and followers all year round. To reach the temple, visitors need to go through over 300 winding steps like a snake. However, the destination is quite accessible thanks to the large passage, moderately high and safe steps, and instructing and warning signs.

The path leading to the tower of Wat Saket Temple is charming enough to fascinate all visitors, especially nature lovers and photographers. Standing at the tower, you can greet the panorama of the shimmering and splendid Bangkok featuring the perfect combinations of the ancient and modern significances, skyscrapers, and glittering gilding stupas.

It is hard to find out the most sacred temple in Bangkok, so both local and foreign visitors still flock to Wat Sake Temple to pray for the good luck, good health, good business, etc. They strongly believe that the temple makes their “in - need wishes” come true partly because of the long history of the temple. 
At the end of the 18th century, the capital of Thailand suffered from unprecedented epidemics that caused the death of thousands of people. The corpses were lined up in Wat Saket temple for cremation, then gradually piled up, making it a good meal for vultures. Later, the temple was chanted by monks to pray for the dead. This event makes Wat Saket temple calm, and tranquil that is quite different from other worshipping places. 

In November, the temple hosted a large festival following the burning incense to the Buddhist relics. During the festival, the peak of the tower is covered with a huge red cloth, accompanied by a magnificent candle-lit procession marking the beginning of a joyful festive week. Therefore, if you visit the temple in this time, you might grasp a rare opportunity to admire a large-scale festival throughout the year.

The festival attracts a great number of visitors, including worshippers, followers, and even tourists who gather at the yard of the temple from the festival’s beginning until the late night for a whole week. If you get there in the late afternoon, you might face to traffic stuck. Therefore, you should go to the temple as soon as possible.

Something that needs to be considered when visiting the Golden Mount Temple

Opening hours: 9 a.m – 5 p.m daily. If you buy tickets at 5 p.m, you can still go around the temple until 7 p.m

Entrance fee: 20 baht / person (over 10,000 VND).

Clothes: neat and polite.

Visiting the temple, visitors can light candles, burn incense, arrange the lotus into the vase, and pray. Because these services are available at any time, you might put cash into the donation box.

Tourists might follow the wooden stairs to reach the top of the tower and greet the panorama of the whole Bangkok at sunset. How amazing!