Also known as the Golden Land, Myanmar is one of Southeast Asia's largest and probably least well explored country. Culturally rich and vibrant, it is the only country in our region where the traditional sarong is still worn daily as a modern attire. Due to its relative isolation and insulation from the modern world, Myanmar retains much of its heritage, traditional practices and charming way of life. It is definitely a charming cultural destination worthy of a visit by those who yearn for a unique and enriching experience.
Here's a photo essay of my observations during a trip there in end January this year. Apologies that this took two months to conceive!
Aung San Bogyoke Market, a famous shopping area at Yangon full of crafts, jewellery, textiles and other traditional wares.
Myanmar cuisine is less strongly flavoured than those of its neighbours, and tend to be less spicy.
Textile weaving - a trade long gone in Singapore - is a living tradition that is still alive and well in the land of thousand pagodas.
Just like the art of adorning various tapestries with ornate gold, silver and colourful sequins.
Wooden crafts and lacquerware are abundant here, like this container by monks to contain food offerings during their morning walks.
Artworks like oil paintings are abundant in the many art galleries across town. Many are inspired by religious or pastoral themes like monks, temples, markets and idyllic rural scenes.
One of the iconic temples at Bagan, an almost surrealistic landscape dotted with a thousand pagodas and temples in a grasslike Savanna setting. Believe this could be the largest temple there?
Two of the most iconic pagodas in Myanmar. First, the Shwezigon Pagoda located in Bagan, covered by gold leaves and glimmering in the day...
...followed by the world famous Shwedagon in Yangon, a 98 metre tall structure considered the holiest place in Myanmar purportedly containing four relics from Buddha. Claimed to be 2,500 years old according to legend, historians believe that it is more likely to be built from the 6th to 10th centuries.
We enjoyed this marionette performance at Mandalay, orchestrated by one of Myanmar's living masters of puppetry. Deft and skillful, the puppeteers showed what it takes to make the wooden dolls come alive.
Myanmar dance is similar yet different to that of other Southeast Asian cultural dances. Its grace is epitomised by the sinewy movements of these undergraduates here from the Yangon University of Culture.
Who couldn't resist snapping a shot of these kids in Myanmar, peddling their wares at a tender young age. Notice their yellow painted thanaka lined faces.
Another shot capturing the innocence, charm and poverty of Myanmar children.
Finally, a beautiful sunset captured from my hotel at Sedona Yangon.
Labels: culture, Heritage, myanmar, travel, work trip