Myanmar is a truly captivating place. Warm smiles, open hearts, ancient landscapes and food as colorful as it is tasty. The newest addition to the Backyard Travel team, Bruno Mammone, traveled to Myanmar, visiting Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay. Along the way, he captured some beautifully nostalgic scenes, giving a new perspective to local life in some of the country’s most popular destinations. From markets to temples to a vibrantly colored Myanmar feast, Bruno’s shots remind us that it’s the little details that make a place unforgettable.
The temples of Bagan are such an amazing sight, and – justifiably – many travelers there point their cameras up towards the spires. While exploring the area, I noticed this little girl with thanaka powder on her face. Thanaka is worn by women throughout Myanmar in various decorative patterns and what really struck me here was the juxtaposition of the very traditional (thanaka use is referenced as early as the 14th century) and the very contemporary (Myanmar’s next generation wearing an Angry Birds jacket.)
Who doesn’t love a gratuitous food picture? Living in Asia, food photography is almost obligatory – especially when it’s this good. This particular meal was inhaled at a toddy palm farm in Bagan. Mild pumpkin curry, morning glory and fish curry are some of the dishes you can see there; and, of course, the ever-present white rice.
There’s nothing quite like seeing the sights by horse and cart. The bumps, the jolts, the scent of earth and grass (and horse a little bit!) – it’s a complete sensory journey. This guy was quite a character, it was actually sad saying goodbye to him.
This rusted old pick-up had so much character I would have taken a picture of it even if it hadn’t been blaring traditional tunes at a million decibels. The lady up the top is dancing – i wish I knew why. The Chinese script on the side makes this situation even more ambiguous.
Many children in Myanmar attend monastic schools. Here they’re greeting their teacher. The colors of the boys’ robes and the girl’s tunic against that raw wooden floor to me makes a fantastic image.
It’s difficult to depict all the vivid colors at Mandalay Market, but here’s my attempt. Those strangely shaped vegetables at the front are okra – ladies’ fingers – a popular vegetable in Myanmar.
The markets are an endless source of inspiration to me – there’s just so much to look at, most of it stuff you’d never find back home. The vendors themselves are just as interesting. This lady very graciously allowed me to take her picture. She was probably quite amused.
Puppet theatre – yoke thay – in Myanmar dates back to 18th century. Performances are usually in opera form, comprising a troupe of at least 19 puppets, each with its own character and role. The art form unfortunately waned during British colonial rule, but there are still some troupes around Yangon keeping traditional yoke thay alive.
As clouds started to gather, the light completely changed, cutting out the glare. The lone figure to me gives this shot a surreal, slightly foreboding, quality.
This woman’s brightly jeweled jacket was amazingly detailed. She’s just been performing at the temple, hence the theatricality of the outfit – just one of many types of ethnic costume you’ll see around Myanmar.
It’s the quintessential shot in a Buddhist country – a monk’s robes (typically maroon in Myanmar), contrasted against a bucolic rural landscape. I couldn’t resist!
If you’d like to explore Bagan by horse buggy or scour the Mandalay markets or sample some delicious Myanmar cuisine, check out our Myanmar tour page and speak to one of our Travel Specialists.