Highlights of Myanmar (Burma)

I’ve just returned from a 12 day trip to Myanmar (Burma), it was truly a great experience and I came back with a lot to share. The trip was organized by Within the Frame, and I really want to thank our amazing guide, Nay Win Oo (Shine) for his dedication to the group and for sharing his passion and love for the country with us. Shine exceeded my expectations and I am pretty sure that without him the group wouldn’t have been able to get so many wonderful locations and opportunities for photos.

During the trip I visited Yangon, the biggest city of the country and former capital, Bagan, an ancient city with over 2,000 temples and pagodas,  Mandalay, the second largest city, and Inle Lake, a freshwater lake surrounded by small villages along the lake’s shore and within the lake itself. 

Myanmar is going through a wake of political and economic reforms, and many places were off limits or totally banned for foreigners to visit just a couple of years back. Even today there are some places out of reach, but all that is rapidly changing. One of the most fascinating aspects of visiting is that in a lot of ways you feel like the clock has turned back. In Burma there are no such thing as chain stores, ATMs or mobile phones (mine didn’t even work there!) and internet is scarce and very slow, especially when you go out to the countryside, where people still use horse cart to get around, buffalo’s are used to plow the fields, and despite some kids trying to sell you all kind of crafts and souvenirs every visited place feels authentic, even the most “touristy” ones.

Photographically speaking my goal was not only to capture the places and landscape but primarily the people, the culture, a subject always difficult for me, specially when approaching people, but I couldn’t have chosen a better destination. The people of  Burma love to be photographed, just a simple smile and the word “Mingalaba” (a form of greeting and good blessing at the same time) is all you need.

I would honestly highly recommend traveling to this place. Anyone interested in getting to know and experience South-Eastern  Asia’s people and culture should. To a street, documentary, or landscape photographer Burma is heaven. From the street markets in the bustling Yangon, ancient temples in the plains of Bagan, and captivating villages around Inle Lake…nothing can compare. Most importantly its amazing people and communities that are always ready to smile back.

For this trip I took my Nikon D4 with the 28-300 and 14-24, and the Fuji X-E2 with the kit lens 18-55 and some primes, I ended up using both cameras fairly evenly but I am really loving the Fuji for traveling, I just need to be more used to the EVF, but I am really thinking of adding a long lens and second body and just travel with the Fuji moving forward, the quality of the images is superb, and you can´t beat the compact system.

The photos on this post are some of my favorites from around the country, but I’ll keep posting as I manage to edit other ones from more specific locations and places in future posts.

YANGON, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: View of the Maha Bandula Road and the Sule Pagoda in Yangon. (Daniel Korzeniewski)

YANGON, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Woman lighting incense in the Shwedagon Pagoda, a famous landmark in Yangon (Daniel Korzeniewski)

YANGON, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Portrait of a happy man in the streets of Yangon (Daniel Korzeniewski)

Sunrise over the famous temples and pagodas in Bagan in Myanmar (Daniel Korzeniewski)

BAGAN, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Farmers driving cattle back to their villages in the afternoon near Bagan in Myanmar (Daniel Korzeniewski)

BAGAN, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Pilgrim paying tribute to Buda in the Pahto Thamya Temple in Bagan (Daniel Korzeniewski)

BAGAN, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Old Burmese woman smoking a cigar in the Nyaung U market close to Bagan in Myanmar (Daniel Korzeniewski)

BAGAN, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Burmese woman with a bowl full or rice (Daniel Korzeniewski)

BAGAN, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Young monk peaking through a window in the village of Shwe Kun Cha Hpaya close to Bagan in Myanmar. (Daniel Korzeniewski)

MANDALAY, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Farmers plowing a field by buffalo in the countryside close to Amarpura in Myanmar (Daniel Korzeniewski)

MANDALAY, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Novice closing a door in a monastery  in Amarpura (Daniel Korzeniewski)

MANDALAY, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Happy Burmese children playing in the streets of Amarpura in Myanmar (Daniel Korzeniewski)

MANDALAY, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Woman crossing the U Pain Bridge in Amarpura (Daniel Korzeniewski)

INLE LAKE, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Fishermen taking a rest and smoking in Inle Lake (Daniel Korzeniewski)

SHAN PROVINCE, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Young farmer carrying harvested sticky rice in the countryside. (Daniel Korzeniewski)

INLE LAKE, MYANMAR - CIRCA DECEMBER 2013: Men collecting mud from the bottom of the lake to build floating islands in Inle Lake. (Daniel Korzeniewski)

More coming soon…..

For licensing information and prints just click the photos….

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5 Responses to “Highlights of Myanmar (Burma)”

  1. Rusty Tripod says:

    Such a fanciful and exotic location.

  2. […] I think that moving forward I will just travel with the Fuji, I’ll probably get a second body, if you look at my first post for this trip, can you really see a quality difference from the different photos without looking the […]

  3. Great picturest! I really enjoyed my time in Bagan in 2012 – such a tranquil place. I posted a review of my time on mightytravels dot com. I hope it won’t be overrun soon and I can come back soon!

  4. Mardee Ryan says:

    I was very impressed with your photographs from the countryside. There is such a more relaxed feel to them, as would be expected.

    Thank you for the link.

    I, too, had a D4 and have moved to Fuji.

    Mardee

    • Daniel Korzeniewski says:

      Thank you for comments Mardee, I really appreciate it. I still have the D4 and all Nikon lenses, I am not sure of get rid of it, such an amazing camera!!! Maybe I still attached to it, but I know I wont travel with it anymore unless I know I´ll go to a place with extreme weather conditions….

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