The multiplicity of climates in Myanmar favours a wide variety of vegetation. Roads are sometimes lost in the rice fields around Yangon, sometimes in the savannah of Bagan, in the jungle of Chaung Tha or in the plateaus of Lake Inle. The white sandy beaches to the west attract travellers, as do the Himalayan mountains to the north. Two rivers flow through the country from north to south, the Ayeyarwady and the Thanlwin. A whole history has developed on their shores and the transport of bamboo on these waters is becoming a real spectacle.
A great architectural diversity :
The English left many colonial-era buildings in Yangon. Converted into an administrative office, these colourful buildings blend with the decor between pagodas and modern buildings. Built in teak wood, the former Burmese residences, whose top floor is open to the four winds, allow us to imagine the slower life enjoyed by the rich owners. Unusual and surprising, the Bagan and Mrauk-U historic sites also represent a specific architectural feature of the country. In Bagan, the temples follow the same model: square base, roof in st?pa, all in small bricks. This system required the overmoulding of a stucco decoration. Unlike these Burmese Buddhist norms, the Mrauk-U site is coarser, but just as magical. Built in sandstone, a sculpted decoration has been directly integrated. This massive architecture, with its underground cavities, is unique in Southeast Asia.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette