Myanmar... absolutely not what I expected!
I was apprehensive about travelling to Myanmar in November 2017 given the awful news coverage that had hit the UK media during summer 2017. However, having lived through the Revolution in Egypt, I had seen first hand how those working in (and relying upon) tourism had been affected by falling tourist numbers so I decided to take the plunge and visit this mysterious country, formerly known as Burma.
I arrived into Yangon - a city in the south - and had a few days exploring. Due to time constraints, I didn't get to Lake Inle or Mandalay as I would have liked. But again, I have more reasons to re-visit at a later date. Yangon is quite a small city and if you're into exploring, it's quite easy to reach all of the main attractions in just one day. Take your time and spend two so you can really get to see everything from the hipster quarters to the shiny golden pagodas.
From Yangon, I travelled by night bus with JJ Travel to Bagan. With no idea what to expect other than temples and balloons, I paid my US$34 for the return ticket and set off. I couldn't have imagined the wonder that awaited.
With over 10,000 pagodas, temples and stupas dotted around over 100 square kilometres there's plenty of exploring to be done. It really is one of the most fascinating places I've been. And with little shade around, it's also one of the places where I've gotten most sunburnt whilst riding a bike.
I think I managed to cover almost 60km on my first day and I'd seen hardly anything! With Buddha statues, fine carvings and locals galore, it really was a photographer's dream to be in Bagan.