Nat Ma Taung National Park and its namesake mountain—known in English as Mount Victoria—lies well off the tourist beaten track, taking a seven-hour drive from Bagan to reach. However, the local biodiversity, rugged landscape, and isolated communities make a trip to Myanmar’s third-tallest mountain well worth the trouble.
Visitors can first book accommodations at the town of Kanpetlet, then attempt to conquer the mountain from here: a popular trek from the trailhead to the twin summits takes two to three hours to complete.
The trails will look particularly gorgeous during the peak season from October to February when the rhododendron trees splash the landscape with white, red, and yellow flowers.
Another town within the National Park, Mindat, hosts communities from the Upu, Dai, and Ya tribes—travelers make their way here to meet locals and shop at the Mindat market as they gawk at the town’s spectacular location on the edge of a mountain ridge.