The boat from Mawlamyine to Hpa-An has been called one of the most beautiful boat journeys in the world, but that day the monsoon had started and you could see about fifty meters from the boat. When the most cleared once we'd arrived in Hpa-An, some beautiful views emerged. Sadly too late!
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Hpa-An was one of the worst places we visited. The scenery is beautiful, the caves are interesting, but the people seemed to stare a lot and not smile much. We'd probably been spoilt, because people were so friendly and kind in most other places.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Here are some young monks near Mandalay. I was told that most men in Burma spend time as a monk at least twice, once between the age of ten and twenty, and once when they are older. It's common for younger monks to be school-aged, as the education in monasteries is usually better than what they would get at home. The top pictures are monks waiting to be served their lunch, at the bottom they are playing Plants vs Zombies.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
My first sketches of Burma. Here are two monks waiting for the rain to stop in a rare moment of quiet at the Shwedagon Pagoda. Yangon is a big, busy city and the pagoda is one of the most popular tourist stops. After I finished drawing, the monk on the right enjoyed a cheeky cigarette. Burmese monks' robes are usually red, and the deeper the colour, the more senior the monk. Adult monks are usually dark burgundy, so either these were foreign, or they'd been demoted (for illicit smoking?)
This is the view from Mandalay Hill , made famous by the Kipling poem, which hasn't aged well -and is really talking about Mawlamyine. Mandalay is an interesting, laid back city, and it's worth going to for this view alone. Don't listen to the Lonely Planet.
Friday, 27 June 2014
Siem Reap. Beautiful, crawling with tourists (it wasn't high season when we went either) and really, really hot (about 40 degrees and very humid). It was difficult to keep from sweating on the paper. You just ooze at that temperature.
There are tons of kids selling tourist tat at Angkor Wat. They'd watch you draw, and forget to pester you for money for ten minutes. After we talked to them for a bit, I saw them drawing in the dirt with sticks.
I didn't expect to like Cambodia as much as I did, as we'd heard some pretty negative things about it. That isn't denying the troubled past, desperate inequality, swarms of flies, and massive amounts of rubbish but there are also friendly people, wonderful beaches and gorgeous food.