Saturday, 10 January 2015

Burmese Days

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a good start into the new year. Our Christmas was low key as it was just the four of us. We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange afterwards (as we do in Switzerland) and on Christmas day we went to our favorite hotel for brunch. On Boxing Day we left early for the airport to fly to Burma, or Myanmar as it's called now . What a beautiful country and people. After many years of brutal military dictatorship it looks like there are at long last some democratic reforms, although opinions differ whether the transition to democracy is really underway. I guess time will tell.

I will just let the pictures tell the story:

The famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which  is undergoing substantial renovations at the moment, hence the covers and scaffolding  

 Bagan - a truly magical place -  located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. It is home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world with many dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. 

 and at sun set

I love visiting fresh produce markets

and couldn't resist buying a big bag full of dried chilies.

 Traditional arts and crafts:
tapestry with gold threads and semi precious stones

 Hotel pool with ancient temples in the background  

Sun set on the Irrawaddy River

Another golden temple

Manaday, Kuthodaw Pagoda

U Bein bridge,
the iconic teak wood bridge, the oldest and longest in the world  

Next we visit Amarapura, an 18th century capital city, to see the monks lining up to receive their food and gifts from donors at the Mahagandhayon Monastery. Monks only eat twice a day, lunch being the last meal of the day. 

From Mandalay we flew to the Inle Lake and enjoyed being taken on several tours in one of those narrow motor boats.

Fishermen "ballet" 

 Houses on stilts

Kids coming home from school, on boats of course

floating gardens, where tomatoes, bitter gourds, flowers and more grow

rickety stairways and walkways, not so easy to navigate for people like us (or me I should say)

Visits to the hill tribes 

 We had a few amazing days on and around the lake and I would probably say, that it was the best part of our holiday. 

The last night we spend at the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon colonial life as its finest.

I congratulate you if you are still reading, but it was hard to choose only a few pictures out of the 600 we took.

Happy weekend.
Vreni xx


Lynda said...

What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I think I could have looked at all 600. We have some friends who went there a few years ago and came back saying it was such a beautiful place to visit.

Julimond said...

Du brauchst keine Angst zu haben, daß niemand bis zum Schluß liest. So wunderbare Fotos kann man sich doch nicht entgehen lassen. Für die meisten von uns ist das ein Stück Welt, welches wir niemals zu sehen bekommen. Meinetwegen könnten da noch 20 Fotos mehr sein. Ich liebe sowas. Ein wundervoller Rundgang, liebe Vreni.Dankeschön dafür.

Und ja, dir auch noch ein gutes neues Jahr.
liebe Grüße

Astrid said...

An amazing country! Beautiful and interesting photos, thanks for sharing!

conny's quilts said...

Wow, I loved all your pics and stories. Great trip you made! Thanks for sharing.

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

Of course we're still reading! They are beautiful photos. Such blue sky, and such bright, vibrant colours on the land. I haven't seen much of Myanmar, so these photos were very interesting. The temples look amazing. It certainly looks like you had a great time and saw many interesting things.

CarlaHR said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos. What a wonderful way to start the new year.

Janet said...

What a fantastic holiday, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of your photos. Even their scaffolding is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip.

Heather said...

What lovely pictures. Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful place.

Flickenstichlerin said...

Liebe Vreni,
ganz atemberaubende Bilder, was für ein toller Urlaub, eine ganz andere Welt.
Liebe Grüßle,

chrisi said...

so schön, das wäre auch noch eines meiner Ziele, vielleicht schaffe ich es doch nochmals in diesen Teil der Welt, liebe Grüsse

HeatherSSewingRoom said...

It looks like a fascinating place to visit and your photos certainly do it justice. What a great experience and I really enjoyed looking at ALL of your photos.

Hilde said...

Amazing pictures from an amazing trip! Are some of the pictures taken during a hot air balloon flight? Maybe Christmas at home was simple, but your trip was spectacular!

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here:
Dear Vreni, thank you for sharing your after Christmas Holiday adventure. These photos are incredible. You should work for Nat Geo if you took these pictures.
What a different life these people live. Did you find any sewing machines? lol
That first Hotel swimming pool was really invitiing. Did you swim and play in it?
Again, I am very happy to learn about this area through your eyes. Thank you!
History is life. Happy New Year

Estella Star of the East said...

It all looks so beautiful and calm. Thank you for sharing.

Ailsa (Cape Pincushion) said...

Wow, awesome photos. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

Sue said...

lovely photos! They bring back loads of memories.

Wendy said...

oh wow. I don't usually look at holiday snaps on blogs, but when I saw you'd been to Burma, I had to look. What an amazing country, someday I hope to visit.

Jodi said...

Gorgeous! I kept reading because I was curious to see if you went home with any fabric or textiles :-)

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Vreni -- that's fascinating! Your photos are beautiful! I'd be interested in how you chose Myanmar as a destination.

The landscape looks an awful lot like what we have here (but without the mountains in the distance). Which might explain our immigrants -- maybe they feel more at home. Our little city has the largest population of Burmese immigrants in the US.

Chookyblue...... said...

thanks for sharing all your them........

tlcala4me said...

That was a joy to scroll through. I particularly enjoyed the produce market, the girl with the loom, and the floating gardens... oh, how I wish I knew more about those.

barcord said...

What lovely photos. I enjoyed every one. This must have been such a great holiday. Thankyou for sharing with us.xx

Angela said...

Dear Vreni, it has all been said. So impressive including the photographer's eye. Thank you. And not a tiny, tiny piece of textile slipped into the suitcase? Really? Tc, Angela

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Lovely pictures. My aunt and uncle lived in Thailand, back in the 1960's. I have a temple rubbing, and my mother has one of the dolls.

FlourishingPalms said...

Oh my gosh... what a holiday you had! You went to such a different place, culturally. Your pictures are marvelous! I can't imagine how it felt being in these places where life is so different than in the West. I would have returned home not quite the same person. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm sure this will be a trip you remember for a long time. Will you make a photo-movie? Or photo scrapbook?

Rose-Anne de Haan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose-Anne de Haan said...

colorfull, inspirational. Good to look at during the gray days in the Netherlands.......

Barbara said...

Du hast mit deinen wunderbaren Fotos unvergessliche Momente und Erinnerungen an unseren Aufenthalt Ende 2013 in Myanmar aufkommen lassen. Ich hatte das Gefühl, an verschiedenen Orten am gleichen Platz "meine" Fotos aufgenommen zu haben. Gerne hätte ich auch noch mehr Bilder von dir gesehen....denn das Land ist wirklich faszinierend! Liebe Grüsse, Barbara