Myanmar // Documentary Street Photographer
This year, I took a month to travel around SE Asia. 2 weeks in Laos and Thailand followed by an epic 2 weeks in Myanmar with 3 friends / brothers Kristian Leven, Ross Harvey and Matt Tyler. The trip was organised by Kristian and when he asked me if I was interested in going to Myanmar (Burma), there was no way I was going to say no!
Documenting the streets, taking portraits, getting to know more about completely different cultures while pushing myself to learn new things and to grow. I love it. It’s great to explore, be somewhere where (almost) everything is new, to see light in a different way, to be challenged.
The 4 of us share a passion for street photography, travel, adventure (and Arsenal). And this common thread brought us together. What I never imagined was how well we would each get along. This was truly a unique group to be a part of, all vibing on the same frequency.
Myanmar is a truly remarkable place. I had an idea of what it would be liked based on conversations with friends who had recently been, books I had read and articles on the news. Huge change is taking place and the doors are open to travellers and tourists. Now was definitely the perfect time to go.
The people of Myanmar are special. And they will be missed the most. Smiles and greetings would always be received returned, usually with a sweet ‘‘Mingalaba!”. I never once felt I wasn’t welcome or out of place (even though I obviously was). Having little access to the outside world, it would be fair to assume that they would have some fear of outsiders but this was not true at all.
A few things from the time in Myanmar with the lads that I won’t soon forget .. Mingalaba’s, red betel splattered everywhere, buying longyi’s and heading to Shwedagon Pagoda, meditating in temples, listening to monks chanting, riding in a hot air balloon at sunrise over Bagan, renting scooters, greasy rice, greasy noodles, fried something and more grease, grease, grease.. cycling across small villages and being instantly welcomed, running through fields to get ‘that’ picture of a goat herder, finding hidden temples full of novice monks studying, then playing football with said novice monks, shooting around building sites, blackouts in Kalaw, boat journeys, cruising past villages with homes on stilts, finally finding and drinking a great cup of coffee, hot springs that weren’t so hot, bumpy car journeys, sharing a taxi for 8 hours with 2 random Burmese women that shared one seat, watching Arsenal matches on terrible internet connection and loving it, sunrise at U-Bein, watching fishermen and plenty of Myanmar beers at sunset.
Massive thanks again to Ross, Matt and Kristian for being awesome and inspiring. I can’t wait for the next trip brothers.
I could write even more about this trip but I’d rather share with you the images below which is a mixture of everything I love about travelling. I hope you enjoy it.
[ Gear used // Canon 5D Mark 3, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 24mm 1.4 + Olympus OMD-EM5 w/ 17mm 1.8 ]
First stop // Thailand (Bangkok) & Laos (Luang Prabang)
Onto Myanmar. First few days in the bustling city of Yangon.
Then to the ancient city of Bagan.
Making out way to Kalaw, a hill town in the Shan State of Myanmar.
Next on the journey was Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake
Final stop, Mandalay with a day in U-Bein and Mingun
Thanks for taking the time to see this post! Definitely one of my biggest.
// www.sachinkhona.com //
Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Vancouver