It’s been a while since I flicked through my digital photos. Actually, it’s a while since I’ve looked at any album – digital or otherwise. I forgot about these photos and came across them while looking for something else. I realised I’ve not blogged any of my Myanmar photos since I visited the country back in 2014.
Short on time, I went on a 15-day organised tour which took in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw and Inle Lake.
Yangon was like any Asian city – noisy, dusty and chaotic – however always in the background was one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites – the Shwedagon Paya. At 99 meters high and covered in gold, it can be seen from almost anywhere in Yangon. It helps is also sits on a hill. The centrepiece of the Shwedagon Paya is dome topped with a stupa that is encrusted with rubies, sapphires, topaz and over 7000 diamonds. We visited at sundown and saw the pagoda glow under the lights.
Before setting sail along the Ayeyarwaddy River to Mandalay, we took a quick trip to the ancient city of Bagan and I fell in love with the place. It was the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of Yangon. We cycled around Bagan and visited a few of the 2230 temples that rose out of the landscape. It is believed there was once around 4450 of them built between 1057 and 1287.
I decided (quite late) to go on a ballon ride. Sadly, this was not to be. As I was about to get into the basket, the ride was called off. The wind was too strong. I was gutted.
We overnighted in Mandalay before hitting the road to the small town of Kalaw where we hiked through the pine forests. Kalaw was once a hill station for the fleeing British trying to get away from the searing heat of the plains.
Our final stop was Inle Lake where we are able to take photos of Myanmar’s most iconic images – the fishermen. These fishermen have a unique way of rowing – they tie a paddle to one leg, and while standing up are able to row. The reason for this is because the reeds beneath the water make it hard see while sitting.
Myanmar has been one of the top destinations for visit before tourism truly takes hold. Starbucks is now being sold and now KFC is planning to open in downtown Yangon. This trip didn’t even scratch the surface of Myanmar and I would love to go back and do it independently.