Mount Popa, Myanmar

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View from the top of Mount Popa. Bagan is supposed to be visible from here, but it was way too foggy.

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Mount Popa presents the official nats (spirits) of Myanmar, with only one family living on it.

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It’s also known for its many monkeys.

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The mountain is considered sacred and is a mix of Buddhism and the indigenous belief of “nats”. Nats were historical figures who died a violent death and are eternally immortalized. The king attempted to rid the practice of nats-worshipping but failed.

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The pagoda at the top. All the way up one is not allowed to wear shoes or socks.

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These monkeys rob! One robbed me off my glasses!

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The nats who live on the hill.

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On the way to Popa, we passed by this place where they made stuff from a piece of fruit.

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Most people would be able to take a better photo by standing somewhere farther away from the mountain, but it was too foggy that day.

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Wat Phu, Laos

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Wat Phu is around 40 minutes by motorbike from the city of Pakse. It’s an ancient Khmer city, said to be Laos’s response to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Wat Phu is much smaller and much less impressive, but it’s simply fundamentally different.

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The sanctuary serves as the main site where tourists walk up from. But the area is supposed to be an archaeological region as well.

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On the way there, one can see the big golden Buddha on a mountain.

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A lot of places were flooded but these were expected flooding, unlike the region where the collapsed dam was in.

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There are several options getting there: going there early with a tour group, going there on your own by renting a bicycle, a motorbike, or a car, hiring a car, a tok-tok, or a motorbike. The route seemed straightforward.

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The special thing about this site is the fact that you can go up the hill and appreciate its scenic beauty.

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The roads are not terribly well paved.

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At the top, it’s the fountain of youth at the “Buddha’s foot”.

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Elephant or something?

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A temple at the top.

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As you can see, people actually take the spring water here.