Shared transportation anywhere from Bagan can be easily arranged, regardless if you wish to go to the Mount Popa National Park or to the Popa Taungkalat Monastery.
There are seven of us in the shared van, almost everyone, including me chose the Popa Taungkalat instead of the national park, to see the exotic monastery atop of a cliff on tourist brochures and travel guides is primarily the reason.
The ride from Bagan to Mount Popa offers a plenty of view of the rural areas outside the archaeological zone, with small towns in between and a portion where nothing to see but dry land. Occasionally, there are Burmese villagers waiting at the roadside, some are families and children asking passing vehicle for anything including bottles of mineral water. It is hard not to imagine how water is quite scarce and important for this dry region of Myanmar.
The climb upstairs is not too difficult, it is mostly sheltered walkway shared among vendors, monks, devotees, and plenty of monkeys. Each section is assigned and divided to different individual cleaner who swept and kept the floors clean, then ask for donations in return.