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Patrick Love Photography bio picture

Simply put,

I love carrying around a camera, and trying to get people to look into the lens.

Category Archives: Myanmar

Faces and Places – Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, retains many of  its colonial-era buildings and wide streets.  A wonderful place for a few days of exploring.  (below) If they have to call it modern, it’s probably not.yangon _DSC9997 _DSC9989 _DSC9987 _DSC9983 _DSC9980(Below) Street food for the strong-of-stomach.  _DSC9975 _DSC9965 _DSC9959 _DSC9957 (below) Deep-fried goodness. Eating low on the food chain is good for your, right? _DSC9948 _DSC9945(below) Telephones, especially cell phones, are rare in Myanmar. Impromptu payphones are set up on the street, so people can make calls.  They are disappearing quickly, as the government has lifted restrictions and insanely high taxes on SIM cards.  _DSC9896 _DSC9890 _DSC9888 _DSC9873 _DSC9868 _DSC9866 _DSC9865(below) Local butcher.  _DSC9861(below) At the night market, Anne and I bought some amazing spices from this gentleman. _DSC9855

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda / Golden Rock, Myanmar

A grapefruit shaped boulder, balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff. Wait, it’s actually not balancing, it’s floating! You heared me right, I said defying-the-laws-of-physics-floating-like-a-Jedi-warrior, floating. Word on the street is that you can easily pass a rope under the rock, from one side to the other. Legend has it that back in the day, when people weren’t sinning so much and making Buddha mad/sad, the boulder would float higher, and chickens could easily walk underneath it. Do you believe in miracles? Monks do.

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_DSC9761   (above) off-camera flash camera right, balancing the sunset light._DSC9724  _DSC9709   

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(below) A pilgrim who had probably been praying at the rock for most of the day.  As other pilgrims put sheets of gold on the rock, flecks would fall down and collect in his hair.

Festival of Lights – Thadingyut

To mark the end of Buddhist Lent, people light millions of candles throughout temples and houses in Myanmar.  Many people told me that it is their most significant holiday of the year.

   An elephant paraded through the street and dance to some fantastic music.  It was so much fun to see it.     

 Elephant Dancing Music (youtube link)

When darkness fell, everyone went to the temple.

Trekking – Lake Inle, Myanmar

It was a real joy to hike for a couple of days in the hills above Lake Inle.  The trekking itself was not all that amazing.  However the places we visited were quite unique and interesting.  I expected the trail to be ‘well-worn’ by the all the travelers who had gone before us, but instead I found out that this was not so.  People would come up to us, kind of puzzled, and ask how we had gotten there, and where we were going to sleep.  We hiked with a guide from Two Thumbs Up Travel Services.  They can be found across the street from the Mingalar Inn, or reached at kankaung2008@gmail.com.  Good prices too.

Below – rice paper, I think. 

Below – We stayed the night with a family our guide was friends with.  She cooked on an open fire that was inside of the home.  There was no electricity or running water, but things were actually comfortable and clean.

Once we got back to the lake, we took a boat back to where we started.  There are entire villages on Lake Inle that are put up on stilts.

Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

Nyaung Shwe is an interesting place.  It is the main city on the edge of Lake Inle, so most visitors to the lake spend some time here.  Now on our second visit, Anne and I knew that we could expect to enjoy a great market and our favorite tea shop in Myanmar.  Neither one let us down.  We stayed at the PYI Guesthouse and Restaurant, which would definitely be our first choice, if we go again.  Book early, because if fills up fast.

The market is always a great place to meet new people, and find some amazing deals.   (below) Donuts, Myanmar style.  They are quite good.

(below) Tomatoes are the main crop in this area.  They are grown hydroponically on Lake Inle.  On the lake, fishermen use cone shaped nets.

Phaung Daw U Festival, Lake Inle, Myanmar

We visited Lake Inle during the Phaung Daw U festival.  Basically, it’s an 18-day festival where golden Buddha statues are taken around the lake in a special boat, which is pulled by teams of men who row with their legs instead of their arms.  It’s all really nice, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again.

(Above) One of the boats that pulls the Buddha statues. (Above) This is the special boat that carries the Buddha statues.

 

(Above) During each day of the festival, the Buddha statues are brought to a different Pagoda on Lake Inle.  Men continually wrap small robes, or put pieces of gold leaf on the Buddha statues.  They take the small robes back for the Buddha shrines they have in their own homes.  The gold leaf builds up over time, until the statues are unrecognizable.

brian - seriously gorgeous! dude! wow. BrianDecember 16, 2012 - 10:04 pm

At the Market, Yangon, Myanmar

Almost every neighborhood in Yangon has a local market.  The markets are a great place to meet new people and get a feel for local life.

Lake Inle, Myanmar Travel Photography

Oh how I love to get me some good market! Lake Inle has a great market.  Local hill people come down for the market and sell their things.  Thailand has got nothing on this place.

We stayed at the Mingalar Inn in Nyaungshwe.  It was amazing!  Best breakfasts we had the whole time.  I still remember the thin banana pancakes.  The people who own the place couldn’t have been any more accommodating or helpful.  They even arranged plane tickets for us.

One of (many of) Myanmar’s quirks is that steering wheels are on the right and cars drive on the right.  That means that when passengers exit a bus or any other vehicle, it’s always in the middle of the road in the worst traffic.

We bought a bag of some amazing green tea from this lady.  I would describe it as woody and buttery.  So good.

Our guide around the lake.  Great guy.

This is the only place in the world where fishermen stand up, paddle with one foot, throw a net cage into the water, and then spear the fish.  How else would you fish in a 5 foot deep grass filled marsh?

When the water is up they can use nets too.

U Bein Bridge – Mandalay Bay, Myanmar Travel Photography

To start, I’ve been waiting to take pictures at the U Bein Bridge for well over 8 years, so this was a major accomplishment for me.  U Bein bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world.  Who cares?  It turns out that it is also one of the best travel photography locations that I have ever experienced shooting.  I would rank it up there with the old town in Sanliurfa, Turkey.    Of course, when you get there it’s never just how you imagine it to be, but I’m used to that.  For instance, based on my research, I was expecting the sun to rise on the other side of the bridge!  Turns out that I should have tried to come to the bridge at sunset, instead of sunrise.  I’ll just have to go back and try again.  In fact, last night, there was a large AirAsia sale, and I purchased tickets to return to Myanmar for Nov. 2012.  Can’t wait.

Ideally, the sun would be rising behind the bridge and I would be shooting dark silhouettes in front of a blazing orange sky with perhaps some mist on the water to add to the ambiance.

I ended up spending a long time talking with the monk above.  He was really intelligent, curious and kind.  After talking for well over an hour, he invited us to come back to his monastery with him.

In Myanmar it is common for people to carry around cages of birds that you can pay a fee to release.  It has something to do with a spiritual belief that it brings good Karma or something (obviously I don’t know specifics).  What they neglect to tell you is that the birds are trained to return to their homes, so that they can be gathered up and sold again the next day.

mariah - I fucking love thes picsMarch 5, 2014 - 7:52 am

Sean - Hi I love your pics I am heading out to Burma in October ,just hope together pics half as good as yours CheersJuly 6, 2015 - 9:16 am

Bagan, Myanmar Travel Photography

Temple, Buddha, temple, Buddha, temple, Buddha.  That’s kind of what we did for three days in Bagan.  Basically, everyone rents bicycles and rides around the almost 2200 temples, which are packed into a 4 X 4 mile square.

We stayed at the Kumudara hotel, which is located in New Bagan.  Location was a big deal for me, because I knew that I would have to get up well before the sunrise and ride a bicycle to specific temples for sunrise pictures.  The best places for sunrise pictures are near Old Bagan, but they all cost well over $100 per night, and cater to bus-riding package tourists.  For me Kumudara fell right into the middle of the intersection of location, value and comfort.  As with most places in Myanmar, the staff were amazing, and would happily go out of their way to answer any question you might have, or make a phone call to book you a place in the next town.  We also rented a horse and carriage for one day.  The driver was a lot of fun, and took us around until well after sunset.  It was a great value, and I was happy for the chance to invest in him and his family.

Hot air ballooning is popular in Bagan.  It looked fun, but it would have cost Anne and I almost $700 to go for an approx 1-hr flight.  Too rich for my blood.

Some of the Buddhas were massive.  I’d guess that this one is over 40 feet tall.

Kind of a weird sunbeam thing.  I’m guessing it’s because I’m shooting with a cheapo 70-300 f4-5.6 lens.  I leave my pro telephoto lenses at home when I travel, because they are way too heavy for me.

If you look carefully, you’ll notice small photographers up on the temple shooting the sunrise.

Kevin Wrenn Photography - I am so stunned by your work these days Patrick!March 3, 2012 - 12:57 am