A Solo Traveler in Burma
Related eventMember Lewis Lorton will present and discuss images from his visit to Burma at our January meeting.
There is no other country in Southeast Asia with the combination of natural beauty and wonderful people as Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The country was closed to much tourism to relatively recently and the greatest proportion of tourists in-country now are, in descending order of quantity, Chinese (they share a common border and are allies and trading partners), day-tourists who come over the border at Mae Sot in Thailand and organized luxury bus tours. The repressive military government has impacted the travel infrastructure which is primitive and in poor repair. Although travelers are not at risk from the government, the terrible roads, ancient public buses and idiosyncratic airplane schedules, make solo travel at once difficult and yet more interesting. Lewis Lorton spent the entire allowable 27 days in Myanmar traveling by bus, boat, train, plane, truck-bus, oxcart and even hitched a ride on a rice truck when a bus broke down. During this 27 days, he met a good selection of Myanmar peoples – Chinese hotel-keepers in league with the government, the genteel daughter of a drug lord, a political dissident who had been exiled to a small town, Ghurka refugees from Nepal without papers, merchants and a whole host of wonderful, real people.
This photo presentation will illustrate the tourist high spots for independent travelers in Myanmar – Yangon (formerly Rangoon), Inle Lake, Mandalay, Kalaw, Mt. Popa and the unmatchable Bagan. The ancient city of Bagan was the capital of several ancient kingdoms and is now composed of hundreds of Buddhist temples scattered across a dry plain on the eastern bank of the Ayeyerwaddy River. It is a center of the Buddhist religion and a incomparably beautiful place.
Besides Myanmar, Lew has traveled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. His latest trip to Asia was in 2007when he spent 5 weeks in Northern Laos, going as far north as Muang Sing on the border of China. He is a devotee of independent travel because it is more fun, more relaxing and much, much cheaper. Lew travels with a Lowepro camera bag and a single small backpack; he hopes to return to SEA soon leading a group of photographers traveling in the independent style.