When I first traveled to Yangon, there were frequent power outages, a distinct lack of cellphones, and empty roads after 9pm. But things change. There were also crowded tea shops and chaotic street markets and girls wearing thanaka. Not to mention a kind of prevailing overall ramshackle charm. All of which has survived to this day. It’s a bit cliche to say that the country is finally moving into the 21st century, but it’s also difficult to deny the progress being made, especially in Yangon. Social media is making inroads. New bars and restaurants are opening up. Some neighborhoods are becoming more hip than others. There’s a growing arts scene. And so much more. It’s great to see a city coming into its own. Especially a city as beautiful and unique as Yangon. So here are just a few photos from a few days there. Focusing mostly on that retro allure. That certain whatever. That thing that keeps bring me back, over and over again.
I love forgetting about things. I end up shooting a lot of film on my travels, then putting the spent rolls in strange places, losing them for weeks, months, and years at a time. So it’s always an adventure when I find them and have them developed. My most recent finds are from the middle of last year, while I was traveling in China, North Korea, and Myanmar. The above image is from Chaungtha Beach, about five hours from Yangon, in Myanmar. While walking along the sand one day, I came across a group of nuns collecting shells and enjoying the afternoon sun close to a nearby temple. Simple. Peaceful. And a nice thing to find lying around, waiting to be discovered.
So I’ve been without reliable internet for most of the past week. Traveling through Myanmar, from Mandalay to Nyaungshwe to Kengtung and, finally, to Yangon. Where I sit. At the Traders Hotel. Drinking a Bloody Mary and using their internet and generally taking a much needed break from everything. I’m still gathering my thoughts about all the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen and the country in general. But for now, here are some photo outtakes from the past few days. It’s all I can manage.
A fisherman in Amarapura. A gathering of novice monks in Sagaing. A crowded bus and a lone boy in Mandalay. Fried crickets at the market. Ancient temples on mountainsides. Riding a boat into Inle Lake. A market scene in Nyaungshwe. Watermelons at rest. Morning alms in Kengtung. And a man climbing an extremely tall tree. Simple.