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Photographs from Wi’s recent Burma tour

Great set of photographs taken by Wi on her recent All Points East small group tour to Burma.

The ruined, but still huge chedi at Mingun, near Mandalay
The ruined, but still huge, chedi at Mingun, near Mandalay

The ancient sites at Mingun aren’t usually on the itinerary but since the boat company had seen fit to cancel the Mandalay to Bagan service, siting low numbers during low season, Wi organized an alternative boat trip up the Irrawaddy to visit the riverside site of Mingun near Mandalay.

Local transport in Maymo or Pyin U Lwin
Local transport in Maymo or Pyin U Lwin

A day trip to the nearby hill-station of Pyin U Lwin or Maymo involved a run around town using the local transport.  Despite what you may imagine these awesome stagecoaches, (more photos here), are not aimed at tourists but are indeed the traditional means of getting around, to and from the market for instance, for the local inhabitants and a request by visitors for a ride still gets a few raised eyebrows. (How long before they catch on?)

Colonial period house in Maymo
Colonial period house in Maymo

Above is one of the numerous British period houses still to be found in town. Wonderfully incongruous and to us it would look far more at home in the home counties; – say a Surrey village cricket team clubhouse for example?

Pa-O woman and oxcart - on the road to Pindaya
Pa-O woman and oxcart – on the road to Pindaya

Up on to the Shan Plateau for our next pic and a great one snapped by Wi out of the bus window whilst en-route from Kalaw to Pindaya. All the varied destinations on the trip are spectacular spots but often the travelling time in between also offers some fascinating views and great photo opportunities.

Ice cream vendor  - at U Bein?
Ice cream vendor

…and some rather colourful ice creams on offer. Not quite sure where and Wi’s gone shopping so can’t ask! (Ah Mingun apparently!)

'I'm a little madame'
‘I’m a little madame’
Palaung woman near Kalaw
Palaung woman near Kalaw

Lovely photo of a Palaung woman taken on our trek through the hills around Kalaw.

Beer snacks!
Beer snacks!

As well as having plenty of great dishes the Burmese are also very into their snacks and every coffee shop or beer station you stop at will have piles of tempting offerings. Not a good country to lose weight in!

Bagan
Bagan

That’s; Theo, Wi, Zoe, Nadine, Alice at Bagan.

Monk at Mount Popa
Monk at Mount Popa
Inle Lake with floating gardens
Inle Lake with floating gardens

Another nice shot of two Intha women on Lake Inle wearing the distinctive Burmese traditional hats rowing past some of the lake’s famous floating gardens.

Pa-O girls at an Inle market
Pa-O women at an Inle market

And the distinctive checked headscarves favoured by the region’s Pa-O ethnic group. These women were stocking up on snacks at a lakeside market.

Another great market shot Wi.
Another great market shot Wi.

Wi’s photography technique is simple; take so many shots, some of them are bound to come out well and at the end of the day that’s a strategy used by many professional photographers too. (That’s one of the great advantages of digital cameras!) If you didn’t get your apertures, exposures and shutter speeds quite right then a lot can be achieved by photo editing programmes on your computer and you might want to check out this article on how to edit your vacation photos that we scooped recently?

Otherwise our upcoming photography tour specials include:  ‘Images of Burma‘, 13th Nov. with Nathan Horton, ‘Images of Cambodia‘; 26th Dec., ‘Images of Burma’, 12th Jan. with Gary Latham, and a new north Thailand photography tour on 1st Feb.

Cheers and thanks to Wi for the photos!