"Golden Land" Gallery

This gallery contains a collection of photos from my trip to Burma. If you've read my latest book, Across a Golden Land, you can see some photos from the places that I have described here!

looking out over Yangon

I've put together this gallery of images to help the reader to further enjoy my book. I hope that it adds to the story.

Yangon:

Everyone wore a longyi. It's the national outfit of Burma, and it's not at all unusual to see men, women, and children wrapped in the dress-like longyi.

driving along the streets of Yangon
streets on Yangon
Walking around the old town, we first passed the Rangoon City Hall, which combines Victorian architecture with Burmese-style elements.

Yangon city hall
city hall
As the rain fell, we walked around the main city square, looking at all the old colonial-era architecture. In the background, you can see the red clock tower of the High Court.

city center of Yangon with old colonial era buildings
the main square
In the very center of the city sits the 2000 year-old Sule Pagoda!

golden spire of Yangon Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda
Mahabandula Garden, the park surrounded by downtown city blocks. The obelisk is an independence monument that replaced a large statue of Victoria, Empress of India after Burmese independence from the British Raj. The park, which had been the site of a number of protests, was surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire.

park in yangon surrounded by barbed wire
Mahabandoola Gardens
One of my favorite parts of Yangon was the "Book Street", where people set up open-air shops selling hundreds of second-hand books in Burmese and English. Many were missing their covers, and held together by makeshift brown paper covers with the names scrawled on in black marker. I love this! A book is a book, whatever its condition, and the worse the condition, the more read it must have been!

book sellers in Yangon, Burma
Book Street


The Strand Hotel was a refuge from the rain pouring outside.

inside five star strand hotel Yangon, Burma
The Strand Hotel
 Burmese noodles at a teahouse: we enjoyed a cheap and flavorful lunch, finished off by a cup of hot and sweet Burmese milk tea.

noodles and milk tea in a Burmese tea house
lunch
Everything was called "Golden This" or "Golden That". The adjective "golden", had been latched onto by the country's nascent tourist industry. Nothing, though was more golden than Shwedagon Pagoda, the great golden pagoda of Rangoon.

golden pagoda at night, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Shwedagon Pagoda

Mt. Kyaiktiyo

Because of the heavy fog, it was nearly impossible to see anything on top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. There, balanced precisely on the side of the mountain, is the Golden Rock, the legendary shrine said to balance on the hair of the Buddha.

The fog up there was insane!

golden rock mt kyaiktiyo in mist
The legendary Golden Rock

Mandalay

 Our private first-class compartment on the train from Yangon to Mandalay was a little... disappointing.

inside a burmese night train
inside the train

 Mandalay Palace, a modern re-construction of the ancient palace of the Mandalay Kingdom.

the white and red gates of Mandalay Palace
Mandalay Palace
The rain was pouring again as we visited the Golden Palace Monastery, an original surviving building from the Mandalay Palace complex. The entire temple was hand-carved from dark teak wood, and was incredibly beautiful.

teak wood monastery, Burma
Golden Palace Monastery
 Kuthodaw Temple, the site of the world's largest book! Each of these short pagodas contains scripture from the Pali Cannon of Buddhism.

white chedis hold the Pali Cannon of Buddhism
world's biggest book

Bagan

There is no better way to travel than by slowly sailing up the Irrawaddy River. As we cruised to Bagan, the green hills along the riverbank were dotted with hundreds of glittering golden pagodas.

We never saw any dolphins though.

river boat along the Irrawaddy river past green hills and golden temples
an Irrawaddy riverboat
Mr. Bobo and his trusty horse Nanda. This was our ride during our stay in Bagan! Bagan was more of a rural village than a town. Sure, there were a few cars for hire, but what better way to get around than by the iconic horse carts?

horse cart for hire in Bagan, Burma
our ride for the day
Looking over Bagan was a magical sight. As far as the eye could see, thousands of ancient stone pagodas stretched out across the landscape.

green field with ancient temples, Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan
Our last sunset on a hidden, white-sand beach on the Irrawaddy River, It was beautiful, a moment that I will never forget. Finally, after waiting all week, and after struggling through the terrible weather, we saw our one, stunning sunset.

purple and pink sunset, Irrawaddy River, Bagan, Myanmar
The Last Sunset

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and that they added something to the book! If you have any thoughts about the book or about this gallery, I encourage you to leave a comment below!

You can also watch our video about our trip through Burma HERE!!!

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