Myanmar, formerly Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand. Here are a few photos of my 2007 trip, featuring my trek across the country from Kalaw to Naungschwe and Inle Lake. I also spent a month exploring the temples of Bagan, Hsipaw in the Shan State, the lacquerware artisans, the traditional feeding of the monks, the Golden Rock, and the markets and sites around Yangon and Mandalay. The people are practicing Buddhists, deeply spiritual, and have proven their ability to survive and remain hopeful during very difficult times.
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Taung Yo, our cook. Farmer met along a bumpy country road
Wandering up and down dale
A lazy day in the village
We met lots of children along the way. Notice the sunscreen….
They found us quite a curious lot….
We camped at a Buddhist monastery along the way. Was fascinated listening to the youngest monks learning their chants
Taung Yo’s makeshift kitchen. The food was a wonderful vegetarian cuisine. Each of us enjoyed a whole avocado daily!
Fishermen on Inle Lake.
A coveted job…digging rich soil from the lake bottom. Notice how one foot is used to paddle and steer the boat
Floating flower and vegetable gardens made from the fresh loam
More fisherman plumb the depths of the lake
Bridges and pedestrian walkways abound on the lake
A typical house on stilts on the lakeshore
Many temples along the lake
Morning chores in Nyaungshwe
Heading for work
In front of the gate of one of many temples
A haircut right in your own backyard, before school….
A Myanmar super highway out of town, circa 2008. For the few who own cars, gas is sold in quart bottles
School girls in Nyaungshwe on Inle Lake
Doing the laundry in Nyaungshwe
We took the bus!
We rode this “fancy” bus to the base of the Golden Rock , then walked up
Some goodies for the trip….
Walk to the Golden Rock
The Golden Rock
Don’t you love it? No ladies allowed at the Rock…
…and he’s there just to make sure!
Head of reclining Buddha, Bago
Feet of reclining Buddha, Bago
Kyaik Pun Pagoda, Bago
A man on a motorcycle who became my guide….
Monks leaving meditation
Inside the temple
Plenty of wood for the winter
The only statue I saw of Aung San Suu Kyi’s martyred father
Another temple in Bago
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
More of Shwedagon Pagoda
Myriad smaller temples at Shwedagon
Feeding the monks in Amapura
U Bein Bridge, Amapura, Myanmar. The longest teakwood bridge in the world, built in 1850.
Getting around Mandalay!
Market in Mandalay
Monk at temple near Mandalay
Get your dress made on the spot!
The remains of 2200 temples in Bagan on the banks of the Irrawaddy River
It’s not all THAT boring!
Inside one of many, many chapels
Musicians go way back
Inscriptions of life in ancient Burma