Myanmar in 50 Pictures

From the moment I stepped off the airplane in Mandalay, I knew this country would be special. There were no sidewalks to walk on, the palace¬†looked like it was falling apart, and the bus, didn’t drop us where it was supposed to (of course). Nevertheless, the long walk to our hotel was met with dozens of friendly smiles as I was taught my first Burmese word, “mingalaba” (hello). The warmth of the Burmese people is in every corner of the country from the ultra popular Bagan to the seldom traveled Kayah State.

I could go on and on about how much I love Myanmar, but thought it would be best to let pictures tell the story. This is a compilation of my 50 favorite pics of the trip to make up for the terribly inconsistency of this blog as of late (sorry guys). As a sign of my apologies, there is a small giveaway at the bottom of this post too so keep reading.

Mandalay

Pointing Buddha Mandalay
The Giant Pointing Buddha on Mandalay Hill.
Sunset Mandalay Hill
Sunset on Mandalay Hill.

Mandalay Woman
Dozens of ladies (and sometimes men) balance large loads on their heads.
Mandalay market
The textile market in Mandalay has all the longyi’s you could want for around $2.50.
Mandalay market 2
I don’t always get the latest fashion trends.
Burmese board game
A group of guys tried to get me to play, but I didn’t understand the rules. They rolled shells into the bowl in the middle of a checkered board.
Mandalay Palace
Mandalay Palace
Mahamuni Buddha
The Mahamuni Buddha is one of the most sacred in Myanmar. People have come from all over the country to add on golden leaves for over a century.
Burmese girl praying
A little girl prays to the Mahamuni Buddha with her mother.
Mahar Gandar Yone Monastary
Monks preparing the day’s rice in Mahar Gandar Yone Monastery, the largest in the country. It is said to house over a thousand monks.
Mahar Gandar Yone Monastary School
The library in the primary school of Mahar Gandar Yone Monastery. The children don’t have many books, but sure like the cartoons in the newspapers.
Burmese Children Playing
Sidney recognized this game which is also played in Korea. Apparently, this kid was pretty good.
Burmese woman praying
Woman prays in the ancient city of Sagaing.
Innwa horse carriage
The only form of transportation in Innwa.
Monk children
We didn’t come across these boys just going about their day. They were actually here with professional photographers making new postcards. Nonetheless, they were really sweet and cute.
Innwa Palace
Some of the temples in Innwa feel like labyrinths underneath.
Surprised Lion
We named this a “QUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Lion.”
Innwa Palace
Palace in Innwa.
Loading motorcycle on a boat Myanmar
This guy loaded his whole motorcycle on to our tiny boat. I didn’t even think that was possible.
New and old in Myanmar
Old meets new.
Sunset in Ubein Bridge
The rainy season might be undesirable to come in SE Asia, but it also leads to photos like this. Taken from ‘Ubein Bridge.’
Ubein Bridge
Ubein Bridge, the longest Teak Wood bridge in the world.
Ubein Bridge Sunset
One final one from the Ubein Bridge

Bagan

Bagan panoramic
Thousands of temples in Bagan
Man praying in Bagan
“Myanmar is Buddhist, Buddhism is Myanmar.” I heard a Burmese professor say this in a monastery and thought of it when I saw this man. No matter how their day is going, Burmese people always have time to pray.
Sand paintings in Bagan
While I rarely buy souvenirs, I did find this one incredible impressive. You can crumple it as much as you want and the image remains perfect. While I didn’t buy from this particular guy, he was kind enough to let me take a picture.
Bagan temples
One of the largest temples in Bagan.
Paintings in Bagan temples
These paintings are over 800 years old and still remain till this day.
Bagan temples 2
The detail is quite impressive
Red bug Bagan
This strange red bug was everywhere in Bagan, but I didn’t see it anywhere else (indigenous maybe). I thought it was cool but Sidney hates bugs.
Bells in Bagan
Many temples have 7 bells corresponding to each day of the week. You are supposed to make a tribute and ring the bell of the day you were born. Mine is Tuesday and so is Sidney.
Bagan sunset 2
Sunset in Bagan was always stunning.
Bagan
Despite being the largest temple in Bagan, getting there is not straightforward.
Shwebo students in Bagan
We were almost celebrities as many people asked to take pictures with us. These guys are students from the town of Shwebo, near Mandalay.
Elephant sculptures Bagan
Despite being one of the most interesting temple areas, very few people visit these elephant sculptures. Nearby was also an isolated view point to see the sunset.
Bagan sunset 3
Another Bagan sunset

Inle Lake

Inle Lake fishermen
Fishermen in Inle Lake
Kayan Family Inle Lake
This Kayan family lives and has a shop in Inle Lake. While I find their culture fascinating, most people are completely ruthless with flash photography in their faces. Meeting them inspired me to visit their origin in Kayah State, the least visited and least developed in Myanmar.
Inle cigar shop
Women making cigars in a shop. While they are quite good, you can find the same cigars for half the price elsewhere in Inle.
Inle Lake souvenirs
One of the cutest souvenirs
Inle Lake house building
The Inle Lake community is expanding
Inle Lake boats
Women rowing in Inle Lake
Inle Lake Boat
The view from the boat.

Kayah State

Poi Pet
This is the entrance to Poi Pet, one of the Kayan villages. I made an effort to just take it in with my mind more than with my camera, but did manage this pic on my way out.

Pyay

UNESCO Site of Sri Ksetra
An archaeologist dream
Sri Ksetra
The recently nominated UNESCO site of Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra 2
Villagers in the ancient city

Yangon / Rangoon

Loop train Yangon
Some stunning views from the loop train
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon claims to date from the time of the Buddha himself. It is said to enshrine 8 locks of hair from the Buddha along with other relics from previous Buddhas. Archaeologists beg to differ on the exact age, but the legend is fascinating nonetheless.

I’m sure some people just scrolled down for the giveaway, which was a big mistake as the pictures are tied to it.

One of the things I dislike about my own blog the most is that my ability to share photos is limited by bandwidth considerations. The more pics I load (and of better quality), the slower the website loads. It is quite a shame as some of the photos above look much much better in full resolution. For that reason and as a thank you for your continuous support, you can have them if you want them. Just email me at maximuz04@gmail.com and I can email you back¬†any pic you’d like in hi-res. I am currently figuring out how to make a button to just download them all in one go, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

 

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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