Myanmar from the Water

Myanmar – Pretty much everyone told me I had to go, and that’s about all it takes to get me to want to go somewhere. No, it’s not the easiest places to get to, but it’s also certainty not the most difficult. A lot of people complain that it doesn’t have a ton of tourist infrastructure, and there isn’t. So if you want to go somewhere where you have 100 options of activities every place you visit, don’t come here. Traveling in Myanmar forces you to slow down a bit. To stop planning, because it’s basically impossible, and to let things happen. And when you do, you’ll find yourself suddenly racing bikes with a five year old who was trying to sell you his drawings a few minutes prior. Or getting a bit lost on a bike ride and following a villager to their home, getting in their boat so they can take you home. Signing up for a cooking class, and ending up spending all day with the family. One of the weirdest ones for me – falling into a “tourist trap” only to realize you don’t really mind because the people are so nice and welcoming. Myanmar does not have the glamorous “experiences” that have been perfected and planned, instead you sort of have to trust that they will happen to you regardless.  For example, when we got to the hotel in Inlé Lake, the owner pointed to a list of three things and said “this is what there is to do here”. Since we were there for 3 days, and each of those activities were only a few hours long, we had to get creative. We spent a lot of time just wandering, watching, eating and of course, taking photos.

For more info on Myanmar, head to this blog post where I drone on forever about observations and generalizations. As for the photos above, they were all taken from the water. Some things to notice: The different methods of rowing and fishing. In Mandalay, fisherman stood completely emerged in the water but in Inlé, they rowed their boats with one foot and held large nets with their hands. I also loved watching the intricate “transportation dance” that was preformed in order to bring goods and people between villages. You saw just about everything imaginable pilled onto the boats, and people of all ages road their boats to get to school, work, etc. Lastly, you’ll notices the teak bridges and bamboo homes that hover preciously above the water, somehow standing the test of time. Follow the photos first from sunset in Mandalay, and then in Inlé, where we start at a floating village and make our way through the open waters.

Anyways, enjoy the snaps, riding along the boats and snapping photos of the scenes around me was one of the highlights of my trip.

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