Images of Myanmar

July 10, 2015 • Asia, Myanmar, South-East Asia, Through The Lens, World

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Myanmar is no stranger to violence and repression. The South-East Asian nation has been economically, politically and culturally isolated since 1962 – turning one of the regions richest nations into one of the poorest. The country has suffered from decades of civil war between the myriad of ethnic and political factions leaving traces of war everywhere.

The ruling military junta finally ceded power in 2011 after losing the first democratically held elections in generations – opening up the country to foreign investment and global trade. Aung San Suu Kyi, the oft-house interred Nobel Peace Prize Winner, is seen as the┬ámoral figurehead of the country.

These photographs are provided by Ashley Yu (twitter: @ashleyayu), who works for Tag International Development. They are currently funding The Plan Bee project, which was started in 2013 with funding from the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust (LIFT) in the hopes of increasing the incomes of vulnerable people in Shan State of Myanmar.

With operations in 18 villages, Tag established community based enterprises and trained them in beekeeping, candle making, balm making, and business development with the help of partners from around the globe.

 

Myanmar is no stranger to violence; graffiti covers the walls near the Secretariat Building where General Aung San was assassinated

A worker is surrounded by graffiti that covers the walls near the Secretariat Building where General Aung San was assassinated

 

Secretariat building where General Aung San was assassinated in July 1947, only 6 months before independence from Britain.

Secretariat building where General Aung San was assassinated in July 1947, only 6 months before independence from Britain.

 

Inle Lake, Shan State. The lake is Myanmar's first designated place of World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Inle Lake, Shan State. The lake is Myanmar’s first designated place of World Network of Biosphere Reserves

 

The historical centerpiece of Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda sits atop a hill and dominates the city's skyline and is thought to be some 2,600 years old.

The historical centerpiece of Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda sits atop a hill and dominates the city’s skyline and is thought to be some 2,600 years old.

 

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Hten San Cave in Shan State. During World War 2 Japanese soldiers eluded the Allies by traversing the caves and escaping through a back exit.

 

Hten San Cave

Hten San Cave was said to have been discovered by a 10 year old novice named Shin Borida who kept it secret and used it for meditation

 

Beekeeper in Shan State wearing the traditional Myanmar sarong (longyi)

Beekeeper in Shan State wearing the traditional Myanmar sarong (longyi)

 

A view over Shan State countryside, showing how ultra fertile Myanmar's lands are.

A view over Shan State countryside, showing how ultra fertile Myanmar’s lands are.

 

Kalaw was originally founded as a hill station for British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. Populations of Nepalis and Indians whose ancestors built the rail road still reside in the area.

Kalaw was originally founded as a hill station for British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. Populations of Nepalis and Indians whose ancestors built the rail road still reside in the area.

 

Pindaya Lake in Shan State.

Pindaya Lake in Shan State.

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