One of our trips inside Burma took us to Shan State in the country’s north. Starting off in Pyin Oo Lwin – or Maymyo as the British called the city – we made our way towards the princely town of Hsipaw. We took the train to get a change of scenery.
I briefly passed by Seven Sisters this weekend to catch the Victoria Line. The Wards Corner Building below is a former department store that has been slated for demolition for some while. A regeneration project is bound to transform the whole area.
Most guidebooks list their three must-see tourist attractions in Burma as the Shwedagon Pagoda, the temples of Bagan, and Inle Lake. The latter was the last stop on our whirlwind tour through the country. As we visited off-season, water levels in this freshwater lake were low. The views from the boat were nonetheless extremely pretty.
Nga Phe Chaung post office on stilts
The ancient temples of Bagan are another highlight on Myanmar’s tourist trail. While not as known internationally as say Angkor Wat, the 2,000-odd temples that litter this 26-mile plateau in central Burma are no less impressive. Most of them date back to the 11-13th centuries AD and frequent earthquakes and general decay left many of them in a state of disrepair. Until Burma’s junta embarked on its controversial beautification project. Continue reading
In preparation of my stay in Burma, I have been reading three books, mainly on the country’s politics and history. This post is meant both as a reminder to myself as well as a primer to those facing a similar task – how to get up to speed with this most fascinating place.
It’s been a while that I wrote about my book project on some of Tokyo’s iconic 60s/70s buildings. Work has been ongoing over the last couple of months and the project has been growing in scope and depth. There is now four confirmed chapters written by four different authors. Architectural photographer Manuel Oka has started taking shots of the buildings. Here are some of his photos:
Yangon has plenty of dilapidated but more or less intact colonial-era architecture. Decades of international isolation saved the city from masses of overzealous real estate developers. As Burma is opening up, people have begun to wonder whether this heritage can be kept alive.