Friday, March 23, 2012

Temples of Bagan

Welcome to the ancient city of Bagan, which features 4,400 temples spread over a 24-mile plain.  These temples range between 800 and 1,000 years old, which made me feel almost young by comparison.  Click the link to see the photos of our visit to the temples of Bagan, Myanmar (aka Burma).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Burma's Shwedagon Pagoda Festival: Eight Hairs and Six Million Friends

Burma (also known as Myanmar) is filled with beautiful Buddhist temples.  We were fortunate enough to visit during the most important festival in the country, at the largest temple in the country and the oldest pagoda in the world, the Shwedagon Pagoda.  The festival marks the anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment (2,600 years ago this year), and this is the first time the government has allowed the festival in 20 years.  Reportedly, there were six million visitors at the Shwedagon Pagoda during the two-week festival.  We were among those visitors.  Click the link to see the videos and photos.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Burma Awakening

In the early 1900's, Rangoon, Burma's capital, had an infrastructure on par with London at the time.  Now, Burma (or Myanmar) has roughly the same population of Thailand, but only 6% of Thailand's electrical capacity.  However, after decades of economic and social progress being stunted by a repressive military junta, Burma is awaking from its long slumber.  As we saw during our visit, changes are coming fast to Burma--for better and for worse.  Click the link to read more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Faces of Burma

During our week in Burma (or Myanmar), I was asked repeatedly to take a stranger's photo with my camera, or to pose with a stranger for photos with both of our cameras.  It's like Burma--one of the more isolated countries in the world --is a nation of aspiring fashion models.  However, the Burmese have a lot to learn if they want to be true fashion models: they were far too friendly, and no one ever asked us for money!  Of course, we were more than happy to oblige the photo requests, and to request a few of our own.  Click the link to see a sampling of the portraits.