Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Burma- Stepping Back in Time

Knowing Burma's tumultuous past and uncertain present, I wasn't sure what to expect on our trip to Yangon and Bagan. Stepping out of the airport in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)  feels like stepping back in time. The city is a hodgepodge of crumbling buildings built when Myanmar was a British colony, golden Buddhist temples, and vendors selling everything from betel to Justin Bieber CDs. The streets are filled with bicycles, trishaws and taxi's that are held together with a wish and a prayer.

Since Myanmar doesn't have a lot of visitors (only 200,000 per year compared to 12 million visitors to Thailand every year) it is a perfect country to visit if you love attention. The people we passed on the street were very quick to say hello and ask us where we were from. By the end of the day, my cheeks were sore from returning all those smiles. 

Vendor selling books in front of a crumbling building
Walking the sidewalks of Yangon is a toe-stubbing, ankle turning adventure
Sule Paya
Drinking water station inside Sule Paya
Looks like something from a Jim Henson movie
Bananas waiting for offering at Sule Paya
Looking down Mahabandoola Rd. towards Sule Paya
Workers preparing dough for some deep fried goodness
Celebration at a Hindu temple
Burmese lion guarding the Shwedagon Paya
The Shwedagon Paya is the most important Buddhist temple in Myanmar
LED lights add a modern look to Buddha statues in many Burmese Buddhist temples
This statue depicts the Burmese defeating the British, because nothing says England like green dragons
My favorite statue. It's a Sphinx- like protective statue.
Shwedagon Paya at night ( and in the rain)
Cloths drying on the grass next to a busy road

Ice water station. You pour water over the ice and cold water comes out of the bottom
Street side telephone stations are everywhere. They are a perfect way to make a call on the go
Woman selling betel leaves and cigarettes.

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