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copyright 1998, james waldron design,  
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Myanmar (Burma):
Stories and images 
by Jim Waldron
My impression before going to Myanmar was that I would be stepping back in time to 1940. For the most part I was not disappointed, but far more interesting was stepping back to the 11th century when I made it to Bagan. 


Stories

Trainbound in Burma
Seventeen hours through the desert 
in the "luxury coach."
 

The Land of 3 million Buddhas
Imagine the volume of sweat required 
to build these monuments in the Eleventh Century


Photographs

Some favorites


 
See them all at once
Look at thumbnails of all the photographs from this country. 
Each picture was made with the Agfa ePhoto 1280 digital camera. 
 

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Yangon is Myanmar's largest and capital city. Burma is perhaps the least Westernized country in Southeast Asia, closed off to the outside world until 1962, with only limited access to foriegners today. The country is rich, however, with ancient religious culture, as evidenced throughout the city and country by thousands of Buddhist temples. 

Schwedagon Paya - The largest temple in Yangon, and most revered. 
Shwedagon Paya peaks - Nearly 82 buildings form the complex. 
Shwedagon Plaza - There are visitors to the temple at all hours. 
Shwedagon Guilded Arches - The temple is covered in gold leaf and plates. 
Shwedagon Abstract
Bus Grille - Yangon's public Transport is old, this bus is from the 40's. 
Bus People
Empty Bus
My Room, 6 p.m. - Backpacker travel isn't always glamorous. 

Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)
Mandalay is Myanmar's second largest city. The city sprawls around the banks of the Irrawaddy river, and is an active mecca for teak log shipping, stone and brass sculpture and the day-to-day business of eating, drinking and tending to the kids. Not much technology in Mandalay, even the electricity is rationed, available every other day only. 
 

Read a story of my trip to Mandalay: 
Trainbound in Burma

Teak Logs - Floated down the river, Teak is collected in Mandalay. 
Ox at work - Two-ox power gets the logs onto the river bank. 
Can Cart - On the way to the market, the well-packed can cart. 
Zegyo Market - Not many supermarkets in Mandalay, open-air markets instead. 
Fresh meat - But is it Cat or Rabbit?
Hand Work - Gold leaf production for application to Buddhas. 
Mahamuni Buddha - Applying gold leaf to Buddha. 
Buddha Face
Monk - My guide to Mahamuni temple. 
White Lion - Stone carving near Mahamuni temple. 
Gold Lion - Stone carving near Mahamuni temple. 
White Lion - Stone carving near Mahamuni temple. 
Tourist Chair Abstract

Sagaing, Amarapura and Ava, Myanmar (Burma)
A few kilometers south of Mandalay is a collection of religious sites and ruined castles from the 11th through 13th centuries. 

Hilltop temples - Sunset from the top of Sagaing Hill. 
Buddha line - Images of Buddha donated to Sagaing hilltop temple. 
Monk mealtime - 800 monks dine at once every day at the Maha Aungmye Bonznan monastery. 
Laundry Abstract - Cement area for washing at the monastery. 

Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Down the Ayeyarwady River take the fast boat (10 hours) or the slow boat (13 hours) south from Mandalay, and in the middle of nowhere sprouts the deserted city of Bagan. Starting around the 11th century a kingdom evolved here and centered itself on the worship of the ways of Buddha. There are over 2300 temples here, and an estimated 3 million Buddha images. Heavily damages in 1975 by an earthquake, many of the temples have since been restored. 
 

Read a story of my exploration of Bagan: 
The Land of 3 million buddhas

Shwesandaw Paya - One of the highest temples in Bagan. 
Restoration - Work continues today repairing the temples. 
Ananda Pahto - One of the last of the Bagan temples to be completed, 13th century. 
DhammaYangyi - Late afternoon brings out the red brick construction. 
DhammaYangyi Abstract - Late afternoon brings out the red brick construction. 
My Guide and me - Entrepreneurs start early here. 25 Kyat to help me find the stairway up to the top. Age 9 
Buddha - One of the 3 million Buddhas in Old Bagan 
View from Shwesandaw - Every way you look are clusters of temples. 
View from Shwesandaw
Sunrise in the Desert - Nice light for early risers. 
View from Shwesandaw
Mt. Popa Abstract - Nearby Mt. Popa is a center for the worship of Nats. 
Mt. Popa Abstract 2 - Color on the Stupas. 
 
 
 

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© (1998) James Waldron Design -- Waldron@interport.net