There is more to central Myanmar than Bagan, though the former Burmese capital is its main feature. The towns in this region are called 'lost cities of the dry zone' for a good reason: The area is known to be arid and dusty most of the time, specifically from March to May; during this time, the daytime temperatures are at their highest. The ideal time for tourists to come to the region is from November to February.
One of the best places to see in central Myanmar is Popa Daung Kalat, or better known as Mt. Popa. It is regarded as the country's Mt. Olympus. The mountain, which is believed to be the core of an extinct volcano, is a popular pilgrimage site and a significant ‘nat’ worship site in Myanmar. Found at the foot of the mountain is the Mahagiri Shrine which features 37 representations of nats (spirits). On top of Mt. Popa is the Taungkalat Monastery, which is the home of the 37 nats depicted in the shrine below.
Other notable places to see in central Myanmar are the Soon Lu Kyaung monastery, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Wunchataung Pagoda and the Shwemyetman Pagoda.