Monks, pagodas and sunsets in Burma

I recently went on a trip to beautiful Burma and have these incredible photos to share from my adventure. The laid-back vibe practically seeps out of these shots of stunning pagodas, locals going about their business and beautiful sunsets over the water.

1. Streets of Yangon

Mingalaba! Welcome to Yangon. The former capital of Myanmar (as Burma is now known), Yangon offers an insight into the former British occupation with beautiful colonial architecture mixed with the Burmese way of life. With no motorbikes allowed on the streets of Yangon, there is a unexpected calm and order unlike any other Asian cities. The wide tree lined streets are well tended as are the numerous parks and lakes.

2. Kandawgyi Lake

Kandawgyi Lake, on the outskirts of the city centre, is the location of many of Yangon’s top hotel, many with lake view rooms. Photo taken from the Chatrium Hotel.

3. The Shwezigon Pagoda

The Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan gold gilded stupa glistens in the afternoon sunlight. It is said that the pagoda has one of four replicas of the Buddha tooth found in Kandy in Sri Lanka, making it one of this most visited sites in Burma. The three other replicas are found in smaller pagodas throughout Burma and length has it that if all pagodas are visited in one day, this will bring you prosperity and good luck.

4. Maha Muni Pagoda

In stark contrast to the order of Yangon, Mandalay reminded me a huge outdoor market, the streets are lined with stalls and tea shops which the locals start their day with breakfast and a chat. Located on the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay was the last Royal capital Burma and is home to the Maha Muni Pagoda, which is home to a Buddha image like no other - it has been cover with so much gold leaf, the only original shape is the head and shoulder.

5. Embroidery Workshop

An embroidery workshop in the Shwe-gyi-do Quarter in Mandalay. The pieces are lovingly handmade with tiny beads, sequins and fine threads, some taking up to 3 months to complete. Also in the same area you will find stone and wood carving, and gold leaf beating workshops which is used to cover the Buddha at the Maha Muni Pagoda.

6. U Bein Bridge

Just outside Mandalay is Amarapura, home to the most famous site in Burma, the U Bein Bridge, where monks come at sunset to stroll, meditate and occasionally chat with lucky tourists.

7. Sunset over U Bein Bridge

8. Lunch at Mahagandayon Monastery

Young monks join the queue of 1200 monks for their lunch at the Mahagandayon Monastery, Amarapura.

9. Bagan

No image I saw before my departure to Myanmar prepared me for the landscape of Bagan. In every direction, as far as the eye can, see you will catch glimpses so some of the 2200 temples, stupas and pagodas in all different shapes and sizes. Sunrise and sunset provides the perfect back drop for tourist who travel in horse drawn carts.

10. Traditional Kayan dress

The Kayan people which brass neck rings, which is part of their cultural dress and identity.

11. Fisherman at Inle Lake

Inle Lake: Stepping off the plane at Heho airport, I smile at the welcome respite in the repressive heat on the low, dry plains of Mandalay and Bagan. Inle Lake is home to the Intha people, who’s leg rowing fishermen are always willing to strike of pose for a passing tourist (for a small fee).

12. Sunset over Inle Lake

Huge crops are grown on floating gardens around the lake and each morning are transported to the famous floating market, right in the centre of the lake.

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