Joel’s Favourite Images from Myanmar 2017

During the Jan-Feb winter vacation in 2017, Catherine and I returned to Asia and spent two weeks circling the tourist circuit in Myanmar. Starting in Yangon, we bused overnight to Bagan and spent a few days capturing sunrises and sunsets from the tops of ancient temples and driving an electric scooter through the sandy countryside. Then we continued on to Mandalay, wandering the streets and trying as much food as the heat and our stomachs would allow. Finally, we bused onward to scenic Inle Lake and spent a couple days boating around and recovering from our culinary adventures in Mandalay. An amazing trip, overall, and it felt great for us both to be back in Asia. While it is a complicated country that we can’t hope to understand in such a short time and on such curated explorations, Myanmar left a lasting impression through the kindness of the people we met. I don’t think we’ve ever been treated with more care in a South East Asian country. Hopefully, the spirit we encountered can survive both the current political turmoil and a seemingly inevitable future of tourism expansion. These are my favourite images that I captured on our trip.

Yangon rush hour. All the cars backed up on one side, and a lone bicycle on the other.
A small figurine at Botahtaung Pagoda, Yangon.
A scene from dusk at Yangon’s Botahtaung Pagoda.
A man carrying goods around Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon.
Catherine walking along the scenic boardwalk of the Kandawgyi Lake in central Yangon.
We were lucky to be in Yangon for the Chinese New Year. These dragon dancers were going shop to shop, soliciting donations.
One of Yangon’s snack vendors among her goods.
Catherine with the central reclining Buddha in the Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, Yangon.
A row of Buddhas in the Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, Yangon.
A meditating Buddha statue in the Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, Yangon.
The massive central figure in the Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda, Yangon.
Monks transitioning to Nirvana (maybe?) at the Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda, Yangon.
Yangon street scene – I love a bicycle!
An amazing view of Yangon’s largest pagoda at dusk.
A woman cleans her icon in Sule Pagoda, Yangon.
Travel in Bagan basically means getting up before dawn each day to take pictures of balloons rising with the sun over a field of temples before ripping around the sandy countryside on scooters. Not a bad way to spend a few days!
Bagan means balloons.
And more balloons.
And more balloons.
Every day. Ride. Rinse. Repeat.
Daily life in Bagan for the few locals still living in the area takes place in the shadows of these monuments of history.
A woman praying in one of Bagan’s Temples.
Two travelers stop for a midday snack in one of Bagan’s many temples.
Catherine enjoys some early morning scenery in Bagan.
Catherine tries out our electric scooter in Bagan.
A cyclist crosses the countryside in Bagan.
A woman cleans the steps of one of the many temples spread through the Bagan countryside.
Sunrises in Bagan are epic, but sunsets aren’t so bad either!
One of the guard towers surrounding the central fortress area of Mandalay.
A dragon dance troupe soliciting donations from businesses in Mandalay.
A textile vendor shows her wares in Mandalay’s Zay Cho market.
Scooters parked along the side of the Zay Cho market, Mandalay.
Crowded parking outside Mandalay’s central Zay Cho market.
U Bein Bridge is the world’s oldest and longest teakwood bridge, and it was very popular with photographers.
A monk crossing U Bein Bridge in the early morning light.
A cyclist walking his bike along U Bein Bridge near Mandalay.
A fisherman sets out on Taung Tha Man Lake near Mandalay.
A fisherman walking his net along the side of U Bein Bridge outside of Mandalay.
A different take on U Bein bridge.
A standard trophy shot of U Bein Bridge.
Not much of a skyline in Mandalay, but what a sky!
One of the iconic fishermen of Inle Lake prepares his net in the early morning.
Fuji A youth zipping across Inle Lake in the early morning.
One of the many weavers working in the tourist-oriented factories around Inle Lake.
Capturing light trails and the Sule Pagoda from a pedestrian overpass in central Yangon.

 

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