Myanmar | Nyaung Ohak

Myanmar | Nyaung Ohak

When you think of lost ruins overrun by jungle, you probably think of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or a lost Aztec city in Central America. But this shot is from Nyaung Ohak in Myanmar – a cluster of temples located on the western edge of Inle Lake. To get here you have to take a boat ride through ever-narrowing channels, eventually reaching Indein village. From here it’s a short walk to the ruins. At the top of the hill is a temple in good condition, but the magic is in the ruins leading up the hill.

Pindaya Caves | Woman Applying Gold Leaf

Pindaya Caves | Woman Applying Gold Leaf

A woman in the Pindaya caves in Myanmar, applying gold leaf to a stupa just inside the cave entrance.

The Pindaya caves hold around 8,000 Buddha statues, the oldest of which date from the 18th century; there are many modern ones though, which have been sponsored by Burmese people or groups around the world.  Some of the inscriptions (in English, French, German, etc.) are very interesting.

Sunlight seeping in from the cave opening illuminates the first rows of golden Buddha statues; as you work your way deeper in to the cave, the sunlight fades and light bulbs take over.  Further in it’s very quiet and peaceful, and the reverential ambiance is very tangible.

A beautiful and seldom visited spot in Myanmar!

Flower Seller at a Train Station in Myanmar

Flower Seller at a Train Station in Myanmar

I haven’t been very good at posting so far this year…!  This is a shot of a woman selling flowers at a train station in a village near Kalaw in central Myanmar.  We were doing a 2 day trek around Kalaw, and near the end of the first day we took a break at this train station.  While we were there a train came through, and the sleepy village suddenly came to life, with people selling flowers and food, and kids playing on the platform.

Blue Hour at Shwedagon Pagoda

Blue Hour at Shwedagon Pagoda

This is a shot of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon during blue hour, on our last day in Myanmar.

From Wikipedia: Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama.  The base of the stupa is made of bricks covered with gold plates. Above the base are terraces that only monks and other males can access. Next is the bell-shaped part of the stupa. Above that is the turban, then the inverted almsbowl, inverted and upright lotus petals, the banana bud and then the umbrella crown. The crown is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. Immediately before the diamond bud is a flag-shaped vane. The very top—the diamond bud—is tipped with a 76 carat (15 g) diamond.

Shot using a Hoya NDX400 filter and a 30 second exposure time.

Yangon Banana Stall

Yangon Banana Stall
On my last day in Myanmar, I went for a walk through downtown Yangon before heading to Shwedagon Pagoda for sunset.  Down one street near the river, I came across this shop selling bananas – every type you could imagine!  Yellow, green, brown, large, small… I’ve never seen such a wide variety of bananas in my life!

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Village

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Village

A final shot from my stay at Ngapali Beach – this is a view from the beach looking towards a fishing village early one morning. I liked the way the sun was filtering through the trees and the smoke from cooking fires.

In the foreground women are at work laying out small fish to dry during the day.

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Nets

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Nets
At the end of my trip through Myanmar, I spent a few days relaxing at Ngapali Beach, a short flight west of Yangon. A brief walk south along the beach was a small fishing village; one morning (before it got too hot to do anything!) I wandered down the beach to take a look.

The men who had been out fishing during the night were busy packing up their nets and equipment, mooring their boats, and preparing everything for the next night of fishing.

Ngapali Beach: Drying Fish

Ngapali Beach: Drying Fish

At the end of my trip through Myanmar, I spent a few days relaxing at Ngapali Beach, a short flight west of Yangon. A brief walk south along the beach was a small fishing village; one morning (before it got too hot to do anything!) I wandered down the beach to take a look.
The villagers were all busy unloading fish from their boats, packing up nets and equipment, and spreading small fish out on the beach to dry in the sun. This woman was one of the ones sorting through all the tiny fish and spreading them out to dry.

Inthein Route

Inthein Route

On my last day at Inle Lake, I hired a boat to take me to Inthein (sometimes also spelled Indein), a village on the western shore of the lake.

Slightly less touristy than the rest of Inle lake, you travel through narrow canals to get to the village. Just behind the village is a small group of ruined stupas, with vegetation growing out of the cracks. Inside you can still find Buddhas statues, and wandering through them in the morning on my own I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones!

Following the covered stairway to the top of the hill, you eventually reach Shwe Inn Thein Paya, which is a temple complex that apparently has over 1,000 additional stupas. Some of these are very new, but there are some more ruined stupas; these are the ones in this picture. It’s very atmospheric, without many people; standing among the stupas at the top with wind chimes gently swaying was a great experience!

This is a shot of the covered walkway leading from the canal up to the temple complex, with vendors lining the sides and a small group of traditional Shan women ahead of me.