I’ve taken so many photos since leaving Singapore on Saturday, and the internet here in Burma is so slow, that I’ve broken this week’s photo post into three sections. This entry takes us through Monday morning.
Welcome to Rangoon/Yangon. I won’t get into the name debate here, it’s been touched on enough elsewhere, but for the sake of consistency I’ll use the colonial name Rangoon, favoured by many locals and the international media but not by the ruling military junta.
…as Will poses with fistfuls of virtually-worthless 1000 kyat notes. All the paper in his hands is equivalent to roughly $300 USD, or the annual income of many of the faces seen in the photos below.
Faded colonial splendour barred off and closed up.
Shadows brave the rains at a night market in Rangoon’s Chinatown.
Sopping wet but still hopeful, a wandering street kid seeks spare change.
Old cars imported from Japan.
Fixing a streetside hydrant. Power and water supplies in the nation’s largest city are spotty, more so since 2006 when the administrative capital was moved without warning from Rangoon to new city Naypyidaw in the north.
Drinking water at a monastery
A father and son repair the tiles of a footpath after dusk.
Sandals for sale.
Streetside garment mending.
Sandals act as goalposts in a barefoot game of alleyway football.
Announcing a stop on the back of a local open-air bus. 140 kyat — about a penny — will take you to anywhere you want to go in central Rangoon.
On the bus…
Silhouettes look out to the main stupa at Shwedagon pagoda, the largest religious structure in Rangoon. Nearly forty tonnes of solid gold was used in its construction.
Novice monks rest on a plaster cast of Buddha’s toe at the Shwedagon pagoda.
The faithful pay their respects.
A kid awaits his turn to look through a high-powered telescope stationed opposite the largest stupa at Shwedagon.
A lion watches guard…
Pigeons close in on an enterprising birdseed vendor. Photo credit Will van Engen.
…as others stake out their territory directly above her.