“Despite this sumptuous name given by the first British colonizers, Myanmar (formerly Burma) is one of the poorest regions in the world. Around 53 million people live in this largest country of Southeast Asia that is just opening up to the rest of the world and that is currently living a remarkable democratization process. There are (still) no big touristic infrastructures and one does not spot many occidental tourists wandering the streets of Yangon. But it’s just a matter of time, since the Golden Land is, with no doubt, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Myanmar people are welcoming, they always have a smile on their face and they dress with colourful traditional clothes. However, because of the lack of opportunities in the country, many young men and women decide to emigrate to the neighbour country, Thailand, to work for ridiculous salaries that they will then send back home. Life is not easy in Myanmar, where wounds of the world’s longest-running civil war are still too fresh.”
Photos 1, 2 and 3 – Life in the streets
I was impressed by the thousands of small food stands that fill in the streets of Yangon. Fresh fruit like papaya, bananas or watermelon and also tea places and all kinds of noodles or rice with vegetables and chicken can be found in every corner of the city. It’s also not strange to see young kids working in shops and restaurants.
Photos 4 and 5 – Observing the stranger
Something that also shocked me was how many locals approached me – basically with smiles and signs, since they barely speak English – asking to take pictures with me. For them it is still rare to see pale blond people like me, with jeans and sandals.
One morning I was sitting in a central park of Yangon, just resting a bit and protecting myself from that burning sun, when these kids came to me. They where first a bit shy but after a couple of minutes we were laughing and taking tones of pictures.