Friday, September 21, 2012

Bagan: Temples of Ancient Burma

Bagan, Burma
August 11-25, 2012

The area of Bagan is an ancient and magical place. Comparative to Cambodia's Angkor Wat, but not quite as impressive, Bagan lies along the Irawaddy river to the southwest of Mandalay and consists of thousands of Buddhist and pagan temples made of stone and brick. The above and below temple is the Dhamma-Yazaka Pagoda.

These temples vary in size and shape but all have the worship of Lord Buddha and the nats or spirits, as their primary purpose. The area has had its rise and fall and seen much destruction since its creation in the 9th century. Starting with the Mongol conquors and may wars there after, today many of the temples have been restored. The above temple, Thatbyinnya Temple, is the largest.

Another example of Jenny's inspiration in her rustic design work. Check out Jenny's website to see how she has incorporated something like this into her modern designs.

Perfect light spilled into this temple lighting up the Buddha perfectly. I love this time of day, the Golden Hour... it is the best time for photography and gives everything and everyone that warm beautiful glow.

We definitely had to take advantage of getting some photos of us in and around these beautiful temples and in the beautiful light of the sunset. Jenny did a great job of using my camera and I actually got some photos of me for once! Thanks Jenny ;)

The above image is an HDR image and one of my favorites. It is the exact vision I had of the exotic Burma of the olden days with its temples in the misty horizon. 


After seeing all the famous, large and impressive temples, Jenny and I rented a bike and went off the beaten path. We found a small temple and sat for about 3 hours. Each of us chose our doorway, each with a different Buddha, and we sat and let the warm wind of Bagan blow through us. It was one of my favorite things we did in Burma. Sitting and feeling the ancient wisdom of religion, ancestors and feeling a general calm and peace, it was perfect.


  1. Hi Heather!

    Would you be kind enough to share with me on what len(s) did you use throughout your trip in Myanmar? I am planning a backpacking trip to Myanmar soon and I am having mixed feeling on whether or not to bring a zoom. *travelingstress*

  2. Hi there Marcus. Firstly I shoot Nikon so all my lenses are Nikkor... For this trip I shot my D300s and used a 12-24mm f3.5 and my favorite lens in the world, the 50mm f1.4... love love love. I am a professional photographer and tend to leave my expensive lenses at home while travelling and just taking what I might need with me, stuff that if it went missing would not financially cripple me. Best of luck over there in Myanmar, it is amazing.