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Posts Tagged ‘tourist attractions’

Boat on a River

This picture was taken from a boat on the Mekong River in Myanmar. You can take a boat on the Mekong to go see the sunset, and I’ve got to say, it’s really beautiful. I like boats, and taking the boat trip gave me a slightly different perspective of the area than walking around did. The view is really cool, and it’s also pretty interesting to see people in different types of boats doing different things. These men were fishing with a net, which was interesting to watch. We also saw passenger boats carrying tourists, Buddhist monks, and locals who were just getting from one side of the river to the other. Also visible from the boat are the many pagodas in the area, their mountain-like shapes and spires make for a really cool horizon. You can also see people on the banks, just going about everyday life; planting or harvesting, collecting shells, kids play and bathing in the shallows near the rivers banks, it’s a good way to get a better idea of what life is really like here. If you are interested in arranging a boat trip for an hour or two, you can probably do so at your hotel, or you can just head over to the banks and see if there are any boats taking tourists/ travelers out.

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Monks Outside a Temple

This picture was taken at one of the many Pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar. These monks were in charge of a group that seemed like it was on a field trip, they had lots of very curious little monks along with them, and they were just as interested in us as we were in them. It was an interesting exchange, my sister and I were taking pictures of the monks, and one of the older monks took out his cell phone and took a picture of us. I love it when both tourists and locals get something out of an experience! In our experience everyone in Myanmar was really friendly, and no one seemed to have a problem with pictures. Bagan is a fantastic city, and if you are visiting Myanmar I highly recommend a visit to Bagan!

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Little Monks

This picture was taken in Bagan, Myanmar. Bagan isn’t a very large town, but it seems to have a fairly large population of Buddhist monks. Bagan is home to an array of architecturally stunning archaeological sites. The city itself is actually an archaeological zone, where you can visit over a thousand ancient pagodas. Personally, I have always found buddhist monks to be really interesting, there’s something about the affect that just makes them seem so serene. This even holds true for the kids that are training to become monks. Often in the mornings you see these children walking from building to building to receive alms. You have to get up pretty early to see this, but i’m not sure what the exact time is, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss it ask the front desk of wherever you are staying. I don’t know the specific rules for Myanmar (they may be different) but in Laos you are permitted to take pictures of the alms as long as you don’t break the line or use flash. This picture was taken with a telephoto lens from a car, so I know I wasn’t being disruptive. If you are going to take pictures, just make sure you are being respectful!

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Fish for Sale

This picture was taken on a busy street in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is a hectic, and at times, seemingly chaotic city. It has a weird balance with lots of peaceful spots hidden on crowded streets. I love Bangkok because it has a lively energy, unlike anywhere else i’ve ever been. One of the really cool things about Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is the food. Thailand has fantastic food, and a high availability of street food, which is cheap, and usually pretty good (as long as you’re careful street food shouldn’t be a problem, just don’t eat anything you wouldn’t eat when you’re at home). I’m not a fish person, but I loved the way this picture came out. This is just one in a series of pictures I took of food vendors on the streets in Bangkok, more to come soon!

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Mummy Lady

This lovely lady is a 3,000 year old egyptian mummy on display at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California. This mummy is female, she was a priestess, and she was about 28 years old when she died, though cause of death is unknown. The Museum is built in an Egyptian style, and houses the largest collection of Egyptian Artifacts on the West coast of North America. This is one of four human mummies in their collection, which also includes a large number of animal mummies. The Museum is opened Wednesday through Sunday from 9am-5pm. It’s definitely an interesting museum, and worth a visit if you are in the area.

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This picture was taken inside one of the many Pagodas found in Bagan, Myanmar (formerly Burma). There are over a thousand Pagodas in the area, and each one has something interesting to offer. Some are more ornate on the inside, others have more to offer in terms of architectural design. Many have intricate paintings, some of which, have faded away, or have been lost over time. In this picture you can see, on the wall behind the Buddha statue, as well as in the hall, the remnants of some of these fantastic paintings. Personally, I like the combination of the bricks and the paintings, it really allows you to see multiple aspects of the Pagoda, in terms of it’s construction, and the way it has changed over time. Many of the pagodas are still in use, for religious purposes, as well as for visiting tourists. Often you will see buddhist monks, like this one, praying in front of these statues. If you see this, try not to be disruptive. Walk around rather than in front, and make sure that you do not take any pictures with your back facing the Buddha. Also when visiting these pagodas be respectful in the way you dress, many have signs posted outside to indicate what is/ is not appropriate dress, and make sure you take of your shoes, and socks. I can’t recommend visiting these sites highly enough, they are truly amazing, and pictures (even good ones) don’t really do them justice. If you are visiting Bagan it’s not likely that you will have time to see all of the Pagodas in the area, we were there for four days and we saw twenty-one, so do your research! Get a guide book, or a guide/ driver if you are more comfortable with that, and figure out which of the temples you want to see the most. No matter what you see when you are here, they all have something to offer, and each one is unique and beautiful. If you are in Myanmar try to find time to visit Bagan, it is absolutely worth the trip!

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This picture was taken at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma). The pagoda, which I mentioned in a previous post, is a very popular attraction for both native and foreign tourists. It draws lots of visitors, some are visiting to just take a look around, others come with the intention of practicing their religion. Among those visiting are large numbers of buddhist monks. If you look closely you can see, near the glass case in the center of the shrine, a monk has his head down in prayer. While lots of people come here to pray it also seems like a lot of people are just there to hang out, and relax with their families and friends.It’s a really cool site, and I really enjoyed walking around the (rather extensive) grounds. As always, if you are visiting a religious site remember to be respectful of the dress code and any other rules presented to you. There should be signs near where you purchase tickets telling you what is and is not allowed. As far as dressing appropriately, it’s always a good idea to have a sarong or some kind of wrap to cover up your legs (especially if you don’t want to wear it all day, a wrap/ sarong is easy to put on over shorts and take off when you no longer need to be conservatively covered), also make sure to cover your shoulders, and remove your shoes!

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