Jun 012016
 
When we entered Myanmar, we didn’t know yet if we would spend the coming month cycling northward to the most famous places of the country or southward to some more remote and untouched places (the southern part was closed to foreigners until 2013). We spent the first couple of days totally soaked, as locals in every village poured whole buckets of water on us to celebrate the Buddhist new year. Even in the tiniest villages, locals seemed tireless and kept partying non-stop. This made our arrival in Myanmar an unforgettable and totally crazy cycling experience =)

Happy New Year !

-After five days of water festival, we decided to head south to Dawei and we didn’t regret our decision We often took the hard and unpaved roads where we sometimes passed buffalo-driven carts, went to villages where people looked at us like we come from another planet, crossed the jungle where locals live in huts made of panels of dried tree leaves, seen hundreds, thousands of smiling kids by the road, kids who ran after our bikes or raced with us in the village streets. Few times we found some deserted beaches that stretched for kilometres, we swam in the waves, alone… we also visited mesmerizing temples with golden stupas and enormous Buddha statues.

Buddhist stupa in Sedan Cave near Hpa An

Myanmar was hard, the heat in April (the hottest month of the year) was simply unbearable, the air was hot and full of humidity, so we were most of the time sweaty, sticky, dusty, and itchy from bites of mosquitoes, bees and other insects… We ate every day in small villages where cooks never heard about the basics of hygiene, so despite our one year training, our stomach was quite often upset if not upside-down. Camping is strictly forbidden throughout the country so every time we camped we had to hide like fugitives, keeping lights off all night, and we had to wake up at dawn every morning, most of the time exhausted after a short and sweating night. One night the hill where we pitched our tent caught fire so we were up at 2:30am, like zombies waiting for the sunrise on some remote unpaved road. We also went to hotels, but hotels were overpriced and the cheapest ones were usually dirty and full of bugs… but ok, all this was more than compensated by the landscapes, the adventure, and especially by the beautiful Burmese people. Justine agrees with me that we were given in Myanmar the most beautiful smiles we ever received, I literally fell in love with these smiles, and people in Myanmar were not only beautiful, they were also incredibly kind hearted and honest.

Girl going to help farming in the fields


Of all countries I’ve crossed, my favourite portraits are from Myanmar. I hope my photos convey a little bit of the amazing beauty of southern Myanmar.

View all photos of Southern Myanmar

On the road in Southern Myanmar

PS: At time of writing, I haven’t finished uploading all photos. If thing goes well, everything will be online in a week time.
 Posted by at 8:02 pm

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