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.
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!
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.
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.
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!