Burma – part IV

I’m skimping a bit on the words in this post – I attended a Leica seminar earlier today and have to admit my mind is elsewhere.

Currently I shoot with Nikon equipment but, those Germans, they just know how to make things right.

They know how to charge for it too – but that’s a whole other discussion I won’t bore you with here.

Back to the images in part IV, where we reach the end of our hike at Inle Lake, and say goodbye to our guide Alex (which was a bit emotional).

The final night of the trek was spent in a monastery. I’ll never forget being woken in the morning by the chanting of the junior monks as the rising sun began to gradually overpower the candlelight. It was an alarm clock I wish I could take everywhere.

The next few days were spent on and around Inle Lake, a large body of freshwater in the Shan Hills, home to a myriad of fish and bird life and about 70,000 Burmese.

Small villages are dotted along the shore and in some cases are built entirely over the water. Unsurprisingly, fishing is the main industry.

The shallow water and large amount of reeds has led local fisherman to develop a distinctive rowing style. They stand at the stern of their small boats on one leg and wrap the other around an oar to steer, freeing up both hands to handle nets and giving them a better outlook.

The amount of traffic on the lake, variance in light and backdrop of the Shan Hills means there is no shortage of photo opportunities – as you may notice in the gallery.

From Inle Lake, Otto and Taryn headed back to Kalaw by pick up, while Gaz and I moved on to Mandalay (another emotional parting).

Mandalay is the main economic hub of Upper Burma and the cultural heart of the country. It is a bustling city of just over 1million people (most of whom seem to own a motorbike) with a rich history, much of which tells of the influence of colonial rule.

We took a lead from the locals and hired motorbikes to get around – which was initially frightening – but ultimately proved an excellent decision.

To view the Facebook gallery of images from part IV click here.

In Part V we discover the challenges of train travel in Burma, encounter the incredible temples of Bagan and head back to Yangon for one last hurrah.

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