London based freelance photographer Maxine Bulloch recently travelled to the mysterious and controversial South East Asian country formally known as Burma. The decade long tourism boycott that persuaded many potential visitors to steer clear of the country has been lifted and now the country is no longer shrouded in secrecy. Here are Maxine’s highlights of time-warped, colourful Myanmar…
Myanmar is a place I’ve been wanting to explore for many years. It has a magical pull to me, and I was not disappointed when I made it over to this beautiful country last month. The people are extraordinarily friendly, humble, kind and welcoming despite the poverty that they mostly live in; the colours are bright and bold. The cities are busy, polluted and structurally chaotic, whilst the countryside has the freshest air you’d imagine, with much of the land given over to farming products like rice, potatoes, garlic and chilli. My favourite time there was spending days in the country areas walking across red soil. The number of golden pagodas dedicated to Buddhism across the country is quite staggering – you won’t go more than five minutes on the bus without seeing one, and there are a large number of monks and nuns.
Of course it’s important to educate yourself on the political situation before you go there so you can make the right choices and support local businesses. Many places in the country are still closed up to tourism so you won’t see everything. By chatting (or making hand motions even) I ended up being taken to places I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I even saw my first wild water buffaloes and spent an afternoon with wild monkeys too! The people of Myanmar have a special place in my heart and I hope to go back soon to discover more.
All words and photos by Maxine Bulloch. Maxine is based in London, England and works in PR during the day. She loves exploring the world during her spare time and hopes to one day have a map filled with little ‘I’ve had adventures here’ markers. See more photos and read about Maxine’s travels in Myanmar on her photography website/blog: www.maxinebulloch.com/blog