After 200 steps, we must remove our shoes and climb barefoot, dodging poo and lentils dropped by mangy macaques that threaten to steal sunglasses and hats from passersby; fortunately, most of the cheeky primates are having a siesta.
Finally, we emerge sweating on the pagoda’s scalding tiles, hip-hopping to a shady patch to photograph the astounding 360-degree views of the valley, shimmering Irrawaddy and spires of distant Bagan, where our cruise ship, Scenic Aura, is docked.
Later, over a Burmese-style feast at Mount Popa Resort, we gaze back at the gilded monastery, chuffed and a little astounded by our climb to the top.
As we depart the resort, I bend down to pick up a plastic water bottle, discarding it in one of the few bins I've seen in Myanmar.
After all, I have a promise to uphold, and this is evidence of my commitment. Watch this space to see if Mae Wunna rewards my diligence.