Asia Travel Travel Tips

Burma – a photoblog

I met this truck of friendly locals at a temple

‘This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about’ Rudyard Kipling

The famous quote by the well-travelled Mr Kipling sums up Burma (now known as Myanmar) pretty well – it really is unlike any other part of the world I’ve visited. It sits relatively far behind a lot of the rest of Asia in terms of tourism, with plenty of the country still closed off to foreign visitors, and whilst I saw tourists during my month of travelling around this fascinating country, the numbers were much fewer than elsewhere on the continent.

Burma still holds onto many of its ancient traditions which is unusual for almost anywhere else in the world these days. These photos were taken on my travels in 2016 and I hope they help tell a story about this magical land and inspire others to travel there.

Dusty Road Burma

Burma is covered in red dust – it sticks to your skin and clothes everywhere you go!

The friendly locals happily invite travellers to their homes - this man is wearing the traditional Burmese outfit of a longyi (a wrap-around 'skirt' worn by both men and women)

The friendly locals happily invite travellers to their homes – this man is wearing the traditional Burmese outfit of a longyi (a wrap-around ‘skirt’ worn by both men and women)

Visiting any Burmese village you will come across all sorts of traditional crafts - this lady is weaving door mats

Visiting any Burmese village you will come across all sorts of traditional crafts – this lady is weaving door mats

Burma weaving

This girl works alongside her family at a rubber factory in their village, making elastic bands

This girl works alongside her family at a rubber factory in their village, making elastic bands

A visit to a weaving factory - these beautiful fabrics are made into longyis

A visit to a weaving factory – these beautiful fabrics are made into longyis

Everywhere you travel in Burma the locals will smile and wave

Everywhere you travel in Burma the locals will smile and wave

I met this truck of friendly locals at a temple

I met this truck of friendly locals at a temple

These stunning ancient carvings are inside a cave temple

These stunning ancient carvings are inside a cave temple

The beautiful landscape of Hpa An is dotted with small mountains

The beautiful landscape of Hpa An is dotted with small mountains

The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (or Golden Rock as it is commonly known) is built on to of a mountain in Mon State. The pagoda is covered in golden leaves and is a major pilgrimage site.

The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (or Golden Rock as it is commonly known) is built on to of a mountain in Mon State. The pagoda is covered in golden leaves and is a major pilgrimage site.

The buildings in Yangon are colourful, if a little run-down.

The buildings in Yangon are colourful, if a little run-down.

I fell in love with these kittens hanging out at my guesthouse in Yangon. Sadly there are stray cats and dogs all over Burma.

I fell in love with these kittens hanging out at my guesthouse in Yangon. Sadly there are stray cats and dogs all over Burma.

The ancient temples of Bagan are one of the main tourist sites in Burma - a must-do is a visit there for sunrise/sunset.

The ancient temples of Bagan are one of the main tourist sites in Burma – a must-do is a visit there for sunrise/sunset.

I met this farmer on a hike between Kalaw and Inle Lake - he even let me carry his heavy straw bales for a short while

I met this farmer on a hike between Kalaw and Inle Lake – he even let me carry his heavy straw bales for a short while

Reflections on the gorgeous Inle Lake

Reflections on the gorgeous Inle Lake

A boat trip around the fishing villages on Inle Lake is a must-do

A boat trip around the fishing villages on Inle Lake is a must-do

The Intha fishermen have an unusual technique for catching fish on Inle Lake

The Intha fishermen have an unusual technique for catching fish on Inle Lake

Sunset over Lake Taungthaman, U Bein Bridge in Mandalay. This area is very popular with tourists - it's reportedly the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Sunset over Lake Taungthaman, U Bein Bridge in Mandalay. This area is very popular with tourists – it’s reportedly the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Travelling over the Goteik Viaduct, Shan State. Train travel is a must-do for any visitor to Burma - I took the train from Hsipaw to Pyin Oo Lwin. At the time of construction, the Gokteik Viaduct was the largest railway bridge in the world.

Travelling over the Goteik Viaduct, Shan State. Train travel is a must-do for any visitor to Burma – I took the train from Hsipaw to Pyin Oo Lwin. At the time of construction, the Gokteik Viaduct was the largest railway bridge in the world.

Travelling by train across the Shan State provides views over the countryside

Travelling by train across the Shan State provides views over the countryside

I love the contrast in Burma between modern and traditional - a monk travelling on a modern motorbike

I love the contrast in Burma between modern and traditional – a monk travelling on a modern motorbike

Thanaka is a cosmetic paste made from wood that is worn to protect skin from the sun. This lady and her child were waiting at a railway station.

Thanaka is a cosmetic paste made from wood that is worn to protect skin from the sun. This lady and her child were waiting at a railway station.

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