Bagan – a photo essay

3rd June 2015

Sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

The city of Bagan is located in Myanmar (formerly Burma), a country not yet fully opened to mass tourism that is changing fast.

Sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Cow in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Inside a temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

In Bagan, footwear and socks are prohibited in all temples. The entrance to several of these temples is littered with shops selling trinkets and counterfeit CK One perfumes, Revlon lippies and what have you. One would wonder which one of disobeying the shoe and sock rule or purchasing counterfeit knick knacks at the door of a holy temple is really sinful. Or if Buddha simply just enjoyed shopping barefoot.

Buddha statue in a temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Inside the temples, women frantically rub each and every Buddha’s hands and knees before touching their faces and necks with their Buddha-impregnated hands. They then proceed to the nearby lipstick counter, happy to spend a few kyats on counterfeit cosmetics after receiving Buddha’s blessing. Buddhism and consumerism do rhyme, after all.

Sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Burmese boy, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Every morning, zombie clad electric bikes glide silently in the dark at 14 km/h, everyone in the search of their own secret temple from which to perch themselves for sunrise. Boys with flashlights keen for a dollar or two lead the way to little known viewpoints where, if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself alone or with just a couple other travelers, more than likely of the French sort. And before you, as the curtain of the night pulls up, low and behold, the most magical spectacle you have seen in a while.

Burmese boy, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Burmese boy, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Burmese boy, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Bagan was pure magic.

Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

7 thoughts on “Bagan – a photo essay

  1. Sam

    These pictures are just stunning, Amelie, and the words are beautiful too. “Bud­dhism and con­sumerism do rhyme, after all.” – this gave me a chuckle!

    Reply
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