The Past Two Weeks in Photos
This monster post takes us through another two weeks in Burma, stopping along the way in the royal capital Mandalay, hill station retreat Kalaw and aquatic breadbasket Inle Lake.
Watch this space for a flurry of pent-up posts coming later this week after we’re back in Singapore.
Crushed areca nut doused with limestone extract and wrapped in betel leaves. A mild narcotic when chewed, the nut rots the teeth of regular users to stubs and leaves a nasty residue on the streets. Chewing betel is popular across most of southeast Asia.
A streetside chapati assembly line. Strollers and locals gather around multicoloured kiddie furniture every afternoon to scarf down this tasty fried bread. A flat frisbee-sized piece with accompanying vegetable and meat curries runs for 150 kyat — or 12 cents — on the streets of Mandalay.
Three on the grill with saturation cranked.
Afternoon siesta at the monastery.
Dead crickets and swarming flies.
Clean ‘n scrub duty on a Mandalay high-rise.
Local kids kick around a deflated football in an alleyway.
Needless to say, Will and I often end up with the same photos. The photograph he’s seen taking here can be viewed on his blog (link on sidebar).
Backs to the window.
A thannaka-streaked boy peeks out of a train window.
A platform market. Although cheap to ride, the government-run trains in Burma are among the slowest in Asia and crawl across the countryside at about the speed of a morning jog. Most rolling stock and rails are still leftovers from the early-20th century British colonial era and derailings are common.
Two porcelain toilets look out from the space where a wall once was in an abandoned colonial-era building in Kalaw.
Morning traffic in a village outside Kalaw, one of our first stops on a three-day, fifty-kilometre trek to Inle Lake.
Lost in the landscape. Photo essay coming soon.
Checkerboard hills, in close-up and from a distance.
Our trekking guide, Alex, surveys the neon landscape.
Welcome to Inle Lake. Some 70,000 people live in the eighteen villages and towns built on stilts across this long, shallow lake. All trade and transportation, from the growing of crops to the staging of the markets that sell them, gets carried out on its waterways.
Three teachers paddle to school. Note the earbuds.
Fishing in the sticks.
Storm clouds gather behind a sunlit pagoda. Photo credit Will van Engen.
A rainbow breaks a storm on Inle Lake. One of our first “postcard” pictures; I spotted, Will snapped. Go team.
A woman spins cotton and lotus thread at a textile shop on the lake.
Women assemble cigars from locally-grown tobacco.
Nuns-in-training in the town of Nyaungshwe, near Inle Lake.
Traffic on the canal. Photo credit Will van Engen.
Bows. Photo credit Will van Engen.