Backpacking Asia

Sagaing (Gallery)

Many pagodas line Sagaing hill and the streets below echo with laughing novice monks and nuns. There are so many temples that the valley is solely filled with monasteries. Barges carry teak wood down from northern Myanmar. It seems to be the most common building material in Myanmar.

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Trekking to Kalaw (Gallery)

A 2 day hike to Kalaw leads us through Burmese farmland and small villages. Farmers wash their buffalo in the river. Children run out from local schools to say hello. A sugar cane factory turns raw harvested cane to hard sugar for selling in the local market. 1kg of unrefined sugar fetches 50p. We stop…

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Taunggyi Balloon Festival (Gallery)

Falling at the end of Buddhist lent, this festival sees highly decorated handmade paper balloons floated into the sky. They either carry hundreds of candles forming a picture or firecrackers which rain down over the cheering crowds. The odd balloon rips and comes crashing to the ground as the crowds run from the fireworks! Dangerous…

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The World’s Largest Book (Gallery)

The Kuthodaw Pagoda is surrounded by 730 ‘relic cave’ structures. Every one holds a 5 inch thick stone tablet, each side a page of the book. Each page has carved onto it 100 lines of Burmese script which make up the Pali Canon, the scriptures of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

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Marble Buddas

Local craftsmen painstakingly carve and polish Buddhas from large blocks of marble. Of course no safety equipment in sight!

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