Faces of Burma

I’ve never been to a country where more people wanted me to take their picture than in Burma. I rarely came across anyone who spoke English. Snapping someone’s photo and sharing a little giggle while they looked at the resulting picture seemed to be the perfect way to engage with people and cross the language divide between us.

Luckily for me, they’re an incredibly photogenic nation of people. The degrees of ethnic diversity amongst the Burmese make one face quite different from the next. The ever present Thanakha, a chalky cosmetic plastered on the faces of women and children, adds an extra hint of the exotic.

Even before I became a mother I loved interacting with children on my travels. Some brazen and chatty, others cheeky and shy, all curious and innocent. They make for great companions while wandering the temples of Bagan, poking through a market in Yangon or exploring the banks of the Irrawaddy.

You can see the warmth in every face. The story behind every pair of eyes. The pride in a mother showing off her child. In these, the faces of Burma.

I’ll be posting more about my journey to Burma in the coming weeks. If you think the faces of Burma are fantastic, wait until you see what this country’s temples are like!

Which photo is your favourite?

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  • Hannah

    I always love photos of people! And these are some amazing photos :) They make me nostalgic for the days when I used to work in refugee resettlement in the US. About half of the refugees we resettled were from Burma. I could always pick them out at bus stops or on the street because of their distinctive dress.

    I would love to go to Burma someday! Great post.
    Hannah recently posted..Around Iceland’s Ring Road in 7 Days (Part One)My Profile

  • Reply

    I love to hear that so many people wanted their picture taken! Looking forward to hearing more about your time in burma. It’s a country that I have always been fascinated with but have assumed was off limits … glad to see it opening up more!
    The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) recently posted..3 days in paradise: Malaysia’s Perhentian IslandsMy Profile

  • Tom - Active Backpacker

    So many great and cute people shots in here, Bethaney! We are going to Myanmar in February and really looking forward to it, so I’m loving posts like this at the moment :)
    Tom – Active Backpacker recently posted..Travel Cinemagraph Series: Amsterdam, Part I – The Map ManMy Profile

  • lissie

    It’s amazing isn’t it? They wanted photos of us as well – well particularly me for some reason – I think the blond hair had something to do with that!
    lissie recently posted..Train Travel in Burma: Should A Tourist Take the Train in Myanmar?My Profile

    • Bethaney

      Absolutely! One of the most fascinating countries I’ve been to.

  • Freya

    Love your pics! The people seemed to be very willing to be photographed. Did you ask them in advance if you could take a photo? Their poses seem so natural. My favorite is the one with the yawning baby. So cute!
    Freya recently posted..Inca Trail Day 2 – Dead Woman’s PassMy Profile

    • Bethaney Davies

      Thanks Freya. Most of them were begging me to take photos of them and their children!

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