Category Archives: Asia: Mekong & elsewhere

Dawn at Borobudur


December 2012. The sun struggled to escape the cloud cover as wet season has kicked in.



This Burmese boy has applied a generous amount of thanaka on his face to perhaps protect his skin from sunburn.

Sheltered by the Naga

The central shrine, Nagayon Temple, Bagan.

Light creeps into the central shrine of the Nagayon through the perforated windows.

Through the leafless blossoms…

Wat Chaiwatthanaram through the branches, Ayutthaya.

…is Wat Chaiwatthanaram which, just 8 months before my visit in mid-2012, was reportedly soaked in muddy flood water for over 30 days.

Despite the temple’s inadequate flood protection measures, it survived the event and the site was since closed to the public. Earlier this year, the U.S. Embassy and the Ambassadors Fund awarded an additional US$700,000 to aid the ongoing conservation activities at the temple. World Monuments Fund partners the local authorities to help in this 2-year phase of work.

Soon Wat Chaiwatthanaram will be restored and more importantly, fortified to withstand future flood attacks. And this pleases me because it remains to me the most beautiful of all the Ayutthaya temples.

Time for school

Boarding the pickup truck to get to school.

School kids are hurried onto the pickup truck while we are trying to get out. After an hour drive from Kinpun village with two dozens of us in its bed, the vehicle will soon be on its way back to the foot of Kyaiktiyo hill.

This final terminal is the start of a short but steep hike to the Golden Rock pagoda.

If I could, I would…
…like to have the man in pink raincoat fill the void next to the man in blue. I should have released the shutter perhaps 1-2 seconds sooner.

Light up, Yangon


If Yangonese were to count on one place for luminance, that place would be the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Elsewhere, city dwellers often are unsure whether the lights would be on, or off – at least not until 2030.



The Intha fishermen at work. These men – known for their distinctive leg-rowing technique – are capable of some serious multi-tasking!