G reetings from Yangon. We’ve just arrived from Inle lake. The main tour is just ending today and the optional extension starts tomorrow morning, yet this is the first opportunity that I’ve had to blog about this trip! I have over 100 images from the trip to share with you, so I better get some uploaded now before I head down to the restaurant for our farewell dinner.
Myanmar is modernizing rapidly and the internet network apparently can’t keep up with the huge increase in people using cellphones and computers to access the internet. Yangon is the only place on our itinerary where the internet has been fast enough to upload photos to the blog.
I’ll be dividing them up over perhaps 4 blog posts, so be on the lookout for a flurry of posts over the next week or so. Here goes blog post number one with 24 photographs, enjoy.
Rudyard Kipling once described Burma (Myanmar) as: “quite unlike any land you know about.” Myanmar, the “Golden Land”, is perhaps the least discovered country in Southeast Asia. Our itinerary includes Yangon’s Schwedagon Pagoda, the ancient city of Bagan where the landscape is dotted with more than one thousand temples, Inle Lake, where we will photograph local fishermen, bustling local markets and lakeside life seemingly unchanged for centuries. In Mandalay we will photograph monks crossing U Bien’s bridge, a 1.2 Km teak footbridge. The major points of interest on this trip include Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and the Inle Lake. Each location affords us a wide variety of photographic opportunities including street photography, landscape photography, environmental portraiture and still life. Burma is truly one of the few “authentic” destinations remaining in this modern, ever-homogenizing world.
Yangon, or Rangoon as it was once called, is the largest city in Burma and contains the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda. The origin of the Shwedagon Pagoda dates back over 2500 years. Gautama Buddha presented eight strands of sacred hairs to two merchants, who offered it to King Okkalapa on their return. The king built a pagoda on a hilltop overlooking the port city of Okkalapa, in which the sacred hairs were enshrined. Successive monarchs enlarged the pagoda by building outer structures over the original. The present stupa reaching a height of 326 feet was completed in the mid 1450s by Queeen Shin-Sawpu. The last renovation of the Shwehtidaw (literally meaning the “Golden Umbrella” and comprising the Diamond Bud, the vane and the shaft) was successfuly undertaken by King Mindon in 1871