A man grills and feeds us delicious fish, complete with a homemade sweet sauce and charred greens. Street food in Myanmar is notoriously dirty, but health concerns can generally be quelled if you go to places with high turnover! Insein Road, Yangon.
A child monk in the village of Man Loi. Especially among impoverished families, it is common in Myanmar for children to be at least partially educated in the local monastery.
Children play in the streets of downtown Yangon.
A rice farmer, five kilometers outside of Hsipaw. We rested in the shade of his house while he offered us homemade rice wine.
It is easy to feel small in the expansive symmetry and disarray of Shwedagon Pagoda, the largest of its kind in Yangon and Myanmar.
21-year-old newlyweds in the village of Tan Sang. They married to save face during a courtship that went awry (they went to nearby Lashio together without the approval of either’s parents; the village began speaking ill about the girl). What’s more, the girl’s family disapproved of this union so deeply that they refused to attend the wedding and told her to never again come home; the groom’s family was unable to pay the egregious dowry demanded by the bride’s parents. Their wedding was the day before this picture was taken.
We stayed with this woman and her family. She’s had fourteen children in her lifetime, seven of which passed away due to malaria and lack of healthcare. They are now doing well, however. They continue to farm rice and host foreigners on the side. New infrastructure in rural Myanmar means there are nearby health clinics and better roads, which they can access easily by motorbike. Related and unrelated: it was the sweetest thing watching her interact with her youngest daughter, eleven-years-old. I could tell they were beyond mother and daughter – they were friends!
A visitor admires one of Bagan’s awe-inspiring temples. Bagan is a strange push-pull experience like that: you are torn between looking up at the history and looking down to avoid stepping on rat shit with bare feet.
The Matriarch of Pam Kam village.
My mountain guide, Win, hopes to catch the wind for a hairy phone call from his friend’s living room.
A group of nun girls pay their respects at the Kyikethanlan Pagoda in Mawlamyine. The crowds were dressed formally in reverence of the full moon.
Art imitates life at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
A girl relaxes on her balcony in downtown Yangon. The city is covered in British colonial buildings, most of which are decrepit and abandoned (for more information on this, look up Yangon Heritage Trust). But there are also many original structures used as regular apartments for locals.
My hostess in the early morning. Man Tan village.
A boy plays with a wooden cart in Saddan Cave, a huge Buddhist shrine 17 miles outside of Hpa An.