Sunday, November 3, 2019

Myanmar 2001 - The Country Side

Out of the city and escape into the countryside. There's so much to catch the attention of the camera lens.

A small hut, pots of cool drinking water, cups and ladle ready, a sight I find all over Myanmar. A respite from the heat, a place for the thirsty, to rest the weary feet and perhaps to catch forty winks before toiling on in the fields or push on with one's journey. 

A smaller version

In 2001, it's common to see people walk every where. The work day here starts early as it gets hot by late morning. These ladies are ready for the day, long sleeves, hats and lunch in tiffin carriers.

Balancing act using the head - bales of grass for the cows

Using the kandar stick to balance baskets 

Another kandar stick user

Might as well enjoy a bovine-go-round ride while milling rice.

Common transport in villages and small towns in 2001 : walk, cycle, horse cart or bullock cart

I love these little village shops. Choc-a-bloc with stuff. A veritable mini mini-mart

See the roll of cloth coiled into a flat shape to help with balancing - still an amazing skill!

Tanaka, Myanmar's beauty secret. It must be nature's answer to pimples and a natural sunblock. I never saw anyone with pimples or bad facial pigmentation. It's not very scientific data but I may be right.

A man selling water from a pushcart. Such a scene probably is a thing of the past. 

A village school

The ubiquitous toddy palm

Toddy palm is to Myanmar what coconut palm is to India

Silhouettes, silhouettes
Toddy silhouettes to behold

Ladder to the tap the toddy flowers. The owner of this tree will bring the rest of the ladder here when he taps the flowers. This is to prevent passers-by from helping themselves to the pots of sap

Pots to collect the toddy sap

Quite cool in this shed aided by the cool toddy sap drink. 

Jaggery from toddy sap, roofing and baskets from the fronds

 Freshly tapped toddy sap on a hot afternoon is so good.

River of life, life by the river


There's lots more we want to share so got to move on.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Myanmar 2001 - Life in the city

18 years ago, we set foot on Myanmar soil for the first time, made a friend for life and enriched our lives forever. Let me share our journey in retrospect.

Our first view of Yangon, through these Buddha images. Such images set the tone of our travel around Myanmar, the land of a thousand pagodas.

Crispy water-boatmen anyone?

We soon learn nuns and monks with begging bowls are a common sight. The generosity of the people of Myanmar cannot be overstated.

Malaysians love hawker food, right? How to resist when this stall is surrounded by customers. Always a sure bet the food is good

  Look what we found? Burmese cendol. Yummm.....

Looking lost in Bogyoke market

The Shwe Dagon, an awesome sight!

Hole in the wall bookshop. Hidden treasures, perhaps

That's all I have of the city. Did not spend much time in Yangon and it appears did not take too many shots either.

Friday, October 14, 2016


The Mallee country

It's been a while since our last overnight trip to Terrick-Terrick National Park in March 2016. We were keen to visit new territory, with the possibility of new species. We decided to drive to Little Desert and Wyperfeld national parks in NW Victoria, the former 375 km from Melbourne and the latter, about 100  km further north.

Little Desert National Park, Nhill (6 & 7 Sept 2016)

Study in perspective....canola fields brighten the way 
Excitement as we drove into Little Desert National Park.....Malleefowl, our target bird!
The park is not really desert but mainly semi-arid heathland
The featureless mallee where one can easily get lost. Mallee refers
to a group of mainly Eucalyptus plants with multiple stems 
growing out of the ground 
Sanctuary Picnic Ground, our favourite nature walk
Red Gum woodland 
Open habitat but still hard to see the birds!

Shrubby woodland understorey with tiny yellow flowers
Not many flowers about as it was still early spring
Yellow appear to be the dominant colour, perhaps
due to the soil type?

Wyperfeld National Park (8 & 9 Sept 2016)

I was all for full-on camping for the whole trip to really be up close to nature and to experience the outback. However, Yian would not have it and a compromise was agreed upon. So after 2 nights of relative luxury at the Acacia Motel in Nhill, we moved to Casuarina Camp in Wyperfeld.

Enroute to Wyperfeld, we spooked a flock of Little Corellas from a roadside field
Welcome view of Wyperfeld. Took a short cut and nearly got bogged down in very sandy ground. It was very stressful driving slowly over the sandy track, all the time worried about getting stuck but luckily the 4WD saved the day!

Casuarina camp ground - well-earned rest after succeeding in pitching the tent in gusty wind 

 Yian, overjoyed to have survived the first night camping in the bush

The great outdoors, kopi-o and biscuits....this is the life!
We were the only souls in Casuarina, with browsing roos,
wandering emus,
Greater Bluebonnets
and the ubiquitous Galah for company
With a name like Snowdrift, we just have to go take a look
The massive, snow-white sand dune smack in the middle of flatlands 
Doing the tourist thing.....huffing and puffing up Snowdrift sand dune

Successful ascent!

Trekking along flower-lined track...not only hot but...

also bothersome, shooing away the hundreds of flies that followed us!

Wildflowers along the track.....small but beautiful

Happy to finally connect with the rare Major Mitchell's Cockatoo on our very last day

Pretty signages at the entrance of country towns welcome visitors  

One of the many country towns, name soon forgotten, on the drive back to Melbourne

One town remembered, Brim, for its giant murals on grain silos