Myanmar – Tom Budzeń

Over the summer I travelled with my mom to Myanmar. I too, had no idea where it was up until the point of planning the trip. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a not-so-small country in Southeast Asia, to the left of Thailand. In Myanmar I visited four different regions: Yangon (the capital until the 2006 military coup), Mandalay (the last royal capital), Bagan (a site with over 3000 pagodas from the 11-13thcenturies), and Inle Lake (large shallow lake where people live on houses build on the water). Rather than bore you with stories of the trip as a whole, let me share some of my favorite moments:

  • Running across a domestic airport runway to get on a plane that was waiting for the two of us.
  • Spending half a day at a Buddhist Monastic school, interacting with the monks-to-be.
  • Waking up at 5am to see the sunrise at the biggest pagoda in Yangon.
  • Riding electric motorcycles around Bagan and going to every possible pagoda.
  • Hiking across Myanmar’s countryside for two days, among rice fields, water buffalos, and not much shade.
  • Attempting to persuade our guide to let me touch a water buffalo for two days, which ultimately ended unsuccessfully as apparently they are very aggressive creatures.
  • Trying kun-ya, a betel nut wrapped in a leaf, which is very popular among locals and is supposed to get you buzzed if you keep it in your mouth. Did not really work for me, but part of the process is spitting everywhere so that was fun.
  • Flying a drone in remote areas of Myanmar where 20+ people crowded around me to see the screen.
  • One of the guides showing me on a map where the Golden Triangle and telling me how I should go about getting there (unfortunately I’ll have to save that for another trip).
  • Climbing a sacred mountain, that had 777 steps to the top, during a festival with thousands of locals.
  • Trying Durian at a night market in Yangon while trying to distract my mom so she would not see the rats around us.
  • Smiling at everyone and everyone smiling back at me

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Huge thanks to Tom for these absolutely incredible photos from his trip!!! You can check out some more of his work from a previous post he made showing some long exposure photos he took.

As always, stay tuned…

 

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