MYANMAR : BAGAN, MINNANTHU
Sunrise over Bagan temples
There are some places that you hear about for a long time and when you finally get there you find it overrated. Bagan is not that kind of place. One specific photo always made me want to come here: the famous view of the temples at dusk with the hot air ballons floating around the Bagan plain. Despite the fact that it was the most touristic place in Myanmar and having to share your spot to get shots of sunrise and sunset, it was still magical and breathtaking. Bagan has the largest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world dating from the 11th and 12th century. The best way I found to explore some of the 3000 temples was to hire an ebike (electricly powered) and go around freely. The most famous temples and pagoda being: Ananda Temple, Shwesandaw Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Dhamma Yangyi Temple, Thatbyinnyu Temple.
View of Bagan at sunrise
Dhamma Yangyi Temple at sunrise
After a couple of busy days exploring the temples I headed to Minnanthu, to the east of Bagan, which is an agriculture village specializing in peanut oil making, cigar rolling, cotton weaving, sand painting as well as making local artifacts. This place was to me one of the best introduction to the Burmese culture and lifestyle I could get. For once in Bagan, I was away from most of the tourists and I felt that this village was still somewhat traditional, opening up to tourism only slowly. I got a full tour of the village and understood more about the Shan community who lives here.
Here are some of the shots of the village and people who live there:
Drying plums in front of a traditional house
Woman smoking a traditional corn cigar