BURMA TRAVEL SUMMARY

[:en]I was looking forward to visit Burma sine long time ago. I was thinking about it since my trip to Kurdistan, southern Turkey, where I met three lovely travelers who claimed that there, in Burma, was where they’ve met the most friendly and nicest people in the world. And, to be honest, it was totally true.
 
Therefore, last September (2013), we traveled there. Me and my girlfriend, Diana – thanks to her company and sense, I think I’m still alive -. We flew directly to Bangkok and from there to Yangon, the most important city of Myanmar. The first thing that took our attention was when we picked up a taxi. They drive in the right lane, but in addition they have the steering wheel on the right side of the car thanks to the British influence for many years. So you can imagine what happen when they want to overtake another car. The driver has to put half of the car in the other lane to see if someone comes in the opposite direction. Thankfully, the experience is a degree and it seems they use to do this kind of “Kamikazee actions” always. Yangon, is a large, old, dirty , collapsed, pollute city … nothing much different than any other large city in Southeast Asia. But what is totally true and you can realize very fast everyone smiles at you, greets you and share a complicit look to you all the time. Yes, it is the people of this country. And this is what I like.
 
But hey, this is a photography website so let’s talk about photography. The country, in this sense, is awesome. If you like landscape photography, you have mountains, rivers, lakes … lots of options. If you like architectural photography, not might get bored of how many different options you have about Buddhist temples, religious buildings, farmhouses … And if you like, as me, social photography, this country is ideal because of how wonderful the people are. There are a lot of different ethnic groups and tribes across the entire country. Not easy to locate, and also access to remote regions is quite difficult due to the civil war they even have in some parts of the country. Also, we have to include the large number of Buddhist temples, both male and female, who are in almost every place within both the countryside or town.
 
The photography part of our trip was focused on those areas that are a bit away from the main tourist route. I will never be tired of repeating, but within touristic areas is almost impossible to take decent pictures while enjoying the place and its people. These are so familiarized to tourism, therefore you migth pay for almost everything (photos included) and it is very difficult to engage in some interesting conversation and get a good story to go back home and a wonderful memories. So, we decided to visit the ethnic groups are located in the mountains around Inle Lake, in which we intended to visit Ethnicity Pa-O, mainly distinguished for their black robes and head scarves of different colors. Another attraction of Inle Lake Highlands are the work they do, which is mainly the re-collection of leaves of trees (whose name escapes me right now) which are then used for the production of cigarettes.
 

Above: Time to eat local food as guest.
 
The first night was spent in a Buddhist monastery, which was inhabited by the monk in charge and for a number of novices who were there temporarily carrying out their respective religious studies. I was fortunate to have their cooperation to take some pictures.
 

Above: Monks who live within the monastery.
 
The location of this Buddhist monastery is really amazing. If you love landscape photography then you could spend hours doing photos here, enjoying the sunrise and the sunset. Once we left the monastery we continue our trekking through different villages within the area. I will not tell you the bad experience we had because of rain and mud that we had to bear. Doing so, I could write here tons of words therefore naming it just for the memories is more than enough. Throughout the journey we were lucky to met with farmers and villagers doing their daily work. A nice chance to be able to visit such a remote place.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above left: Working the ground. Above right: Making cigarretes.
 
To spend the night, our guide, took us to the house of some friends, within one of the mountain villages. We were taking some pictures, that were not my personal favorites, but it is true that all those images showing some privacy and intimacy, generate quite impact.
 

Above. Having dinner with a Burmese family.
 
Another area we visited within Shan state, was the region of Kyaukme. This mountainous area of the country is inhabited by “Palaung” Ethnicity whose traditions also resides on women colorful clothes, mainly purple and black colored skirts. Poverty and underdevelopment remains striking here. Their main income source comes from the re-collection of Green Tea and Opium (this one not officialy). To explore this area we had to get two motorcycles which allowed us to explore widely across the region. One of the motorbikes was driven by me and the this experience I recognize was amazing. I never took a bike beofre and Southeast Asia was not the best place to start. However, I must admit that I enjoyed a lot. The trick is to close your eyes and do not stop.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above. Palaung women with the tipical dresses.
 
During our second day, we were informed that in one of the nearby villages was celebrating an annual festival. Here, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages use to bring food to the monastery sharing this with all the people. In addition, a series of offerings to Buddha and a musical drums championship that face Palaung and Shan ethnic groups. A nice show that worth to be enjoyed. I always say the same (and I will) “The chance is the best guide to Travel”.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My two favorite pictures from this trip were taken during these days. The first child is a bird hunter. As he told us (his words were translated by our guide), his parents consider that going to school is a waste of time. Therefore, he hunts birds to take food home every day. The other picture is a girl with her​ brother in the back. As we could know, she constantly look after his little brother, like her​ older brother did with her as well. It is a completely natural way of life in Burma.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above left: Girl taking care of his brother. Above right. Birds hunter.
 
And with this I finish the summary of our trip, or at least the part of the trip where we stayed and spent more time with local people, living with them. Of course, we have also visited the areas and most typical sights of the country, and below you have some additional photos to give you an idea of what you can see, if you decide to visit this wonderful and authentic country. But, hurry up.
 

Birmania_oct 06 20130715
Birmania_oct 10 20130802
Birmania_oct 10 20130808
Birmania_oct 10 20130813
 
[ninja-inline id=54174][:es]I was looking forward to visit Burma sine long time ago. I was thinking about it since my trip to Kurdistan, southern Turkey, where I met three lovely travelers who claimed that there, in Burma, was where they’ve met the most friendly and nicest people in the world. And, to be honest, it was totally true.
 
Therefore, last September (2013), we traveled there. Me and my girlfriend, Diana – thanks to her company and sense, I think I’m still alive -. We flew directly to Bangkok and from there to Yangon, the most important city of Myanmar. The first thing that took our attention was when we picked up a taxi. They drive in the right lane, but in addition they have the steering wheel on the right side of the car thanks to the British influence for many years. So you can imagine what happen when they want to overtake another car. The driver has to put half of the car in the other lane to see if someone comes in the opposite direction. Thankfully, the experience is a degree and it seems they use to do this kind of “Kamikazee actions” always. Yangon, is a large, old, dirty , collapsed, pollute city … nothing much different than any other large city in Southeast Asia. But what is totally true and you can realize very fast everyone smiles at you, greets you and share a complicit look to you all the time. Yes, it is the people of this country. And this is what I like.
 
But hey, this is a photography website so let’s talk about photography. The country, in this sense, is awesome. If you like landscape photography, you have mountains, rivers, lakes … lots of options. If you like architectural photography, not might get bored of how many different options you have about Buddhist temples, religious buildings, farmhouses … And if you like, as me, social photography, this country is ideal because of how wonderful the people are. There are a lot of different ethnic groups and tribes across the entire country. Not easy to locate, and also access to remote regions is quite difficult due to the civil war they even have in some parts of the country. Also, we have to include the large number of Buddhist temples, both male and female, who are in almost every place within both the countryside or town.
 
The photography part of our trip was focused on those areas that are a bit away from the main tourist route. I will never be tired of repeating, but within touristic areas is almost impossible to take decent pictures while enjoying the place and its people. These are so familiarized to tourism, therefore you migth pay for almost everything (photos included) and it is very difficult to engage in some interesting conversation and get a good story to go back home and a wonderful memories. So, we decided to visit the ethnic groups are located in the mountains around Inle Lake, in which we intended to visit Ethnicity Pa-O, mainly distinguished for their black robes and head scarves of different colors. Another attraction of Inle Lake Highlands are the work they do, which is mainly the re-collection of leaves of trees (whose name escapes me right now) which are then used for the production of cigarettes.
 

Above: Time to eat local food as guest.
 
The first night was spent in a Buddhist monastery, which was inhabited by the monk in charge and for a number of novices who were there temporarily carrying out their respective religious studies. I was fortunate to have their cooperation to take some pictures.
 

Above: Monks who live within the monastery.
 
The location of this Buddhist monastery is really amazing. If you love landscape photography then you could spend hours doing photos here, enjoying the sunrise and the sunset. Once we left the monastery we continue our trekking through different villages within the area. I will not tell you the bad experience we had because of rain and mud that we had to bear. Doing so, I could write here tons of words therefore naming it just for the memories is more than enough. Throughout the journey we were lucky to met with farmers and villagers doing their daily work. A nice chance to be able to visit such a remote place.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above left: Working the ground. Above right: Making cigarretes.
 
To spend the night, our guide, took us to the house of some friends, within one of the mountain villages. We were taking some pictures, that were not my personal favorites, but it is true that all those images showing some privacy and intimacy, generate quite impact.
 

Above. Having dinner with a Burmese family.
 
Another area we visited within Shan state, was the region of Kyaukme. This mountainous area of the country is inhabited by “Palaung” Ethnicity whose traditions also resides on women colorful clothes, mainly purple and black colored skirts. Poverty and underdevelopment remains striking here. Their main income source comes from the re-collection of Green Tea and Opium (this one not officialy). To explore this area we had to get two motorcycles which allowed us to explore widely across the region. One of the motorbikes was driven by me and the this experience I recognize was amazing. I never took a bike beofre and Southeast Asia was not the best place to start. However, I must admit that I enjoyed a lot. The trick is to close your eyes and do not stop.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above. Palaung women with the tipical dresses.
 
During our second day, we were informed that in one of the nearby villages was celebrating an annual festival. Here, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages use to bring food to the monastery sharing this with all the people. In addition, a series of offerings to Buddha and a musical drums championship that face Palaung and Shan ethnic groups. A nice show that worth to be enjoyed. I always say the same (and I will) “The chance is the best guide to Travel”.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My two favorite pictures from this trip were taken during these days. The first child is a bird hunter. As he told us (his words were translated by our guide), his parents consider that going to school is a waste of time. Therefore, he hunts birds to take food home every day. The other picture is a girl with her​ brother in the back. As we could know, she constantly look after his little brother, like her​ older brother did with her as well. It is a completely natural way of life in Burma.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above left: Girl taking care of his brother. Above right. Birds hunter.
 
And with this I finish the summary of our trip, or at least the part of the trip where we stayed and spent more time with local people, living with them. Of course, we have also visited the areas and most typical sights of the country, and below you have some additional photos to give you an idea of what you can see, if you decide to visit this wonderful and authentic country. But, hurry up.
 

Birmania_oct 06 20130715
Birmania_oct 10 20130802
Birmania_oct 10 20130808
Birmania_oct 10 20130813
 

[ninja-inline id=54074][:]

Sobre el autor Victor Gonzalo

Soy Victor Gonzalo y me dedico profesionalmente a la fotografia de viajes, comercial y retratos. Además, imparto talleres fotográficos por todo el mundo. Mi pasión por la fotografia y los viajes me ha llevado a experimentar emocionantes aventuras y creacion de grandes proyectos para compartir. Actualmente resido en la ciudad de Munich, sin embargo, podrías encontrarme en cualquier parte del mundo.

Deja volar tu imaginación ¡Exprésate!

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