People in Myanmar are shy, polite, proud and friendly.
And very photogenic.
They didn’t mind my making their photographs. It seemed a pleasant experience for those photographed. Showing them the result when possible always produced smiles.
On more than one occasion I was asked to have my photo taken with a local. Not because of my good looks, but more because I am a Western tourist. It was always an enjoyable experience with lots of smiles and laughs exchanged.
And oh yes, it seems everyone has a smartphone.
A great deal of agriculture takes place on the banks of the river.
Note the absence of mechanized equipment. In 10 days travelling on the river there were no tractors seen working the fields. All the work appeared to be done by hand, using oxen for the heavier tasks.
Motorbikes outnumber private cars by a very large margin in Myanmar. The car has a red plate, which identifies it as a taxi.
Private individuals get around by motorbike (many are Chinese made), bicycle, on foot or in the back of a pick-up truck fitted with benches, licensed as a taxi. (Red plate)
Those people riding on the roof of the truck are said to be travelling “Upper Class” by the locals.
Using local clay pulled from the Irrawaddy River bed, the village of Yandabo makes pots by the thousands.
The terra cotta pots are used for storage of water or food and are distributed throughout the Mandalay Region of Myanmar.
For firing the pots, “kilns” are formed by piling the pots, covering them with rice stalks and setting it on fire. The pile smolders for three days or so and then the pots are retrieved from the pile.
Everything is done by hand in many yards of many houses in the town.
This is literally “Cottage Industry” using methods going back hundreds of years.
Morning balloon rides are very popular in Bagan, site of over 2500 Buddhist temples. Seeing this array of religious sites at sunrise from a balloon is a highlight to be checked off your bucket list.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar . From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar.
During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
Temples everywhere you look. And then some…
Seen at the Scott Market in Yangon Myanmar.
Our cruise on the Irrawaddy River began at Pyay where we woke and watched morning come to the river. Activity began early, before the heat of the day.
The ever-present haze presages another very hot day, but for now the relative cool of the night will continue for another couple of hours.
There is a quiet calm in this country at dawn, a brief respite before the busy activity of chasing the necessities of life. The river is never as busy as the towns, even though it is an aquatic highway leading to the heart of the country.
Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda in Bago, Myanmar, has been around for some time.
The opportunity to make photographs of sunrise and sunset happens every day on a river cruise. To resist is futile.
For the past three weeks we visited Myanmar, formerly Burma. Photographs from that wonderful experience will make up a major portion of postings for the next little while.
These portraits were made at a weekly market in a small town up one of the canals that radiate from Inle Lake in Shan State.
The lady in the orange sweater was very kind and allowed me to photograph her when I asked permission.