After a long, bumpy, semi freezing, ten hour overnight bus ride with JJ Express, we finally arrived in Bagan around 5am (it was still pitch black outside). Luckily, neither of us needed to hug the porcelain god along the way, which is always a positive, especially given there wasn't a bathroom on board.
The subterfuges of the military, religious "leaders," and others seeking to influence the election, stand in stark contrast to Zaw's story. His efforts recount a simple tale of a fight for environmental justice against exploitation, with the goal of protecting a national treasure -- the Irrawaddy River.
In complete silence, we watched the sun set over a few dozen of the 2,200 temples built in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries by the kings of Bagan -- before the Mongols and earthquakes destroyed many of them. Later we went to dinner in one of the dirt-floor restaurants in this one-street sleepy town.
We wanted to take the best photograph ever taken in Myanmar. My guide, MM, and I were tired of the same stale images being photographed of his country over and over. We felt we could do something better and if not better at least more original. Of course we are as guilty as all the other photographers that took the same tried and true photographs, great images initially but ones that were starting to bore us.