Also see: my photography tour to Myanmar.
It was a pleasant October evening, but an unusual moment when I arrived in Mandalay. Our boat docked after a long journey upstream on Ayeyarwady, throwing us immediately into chaos that we weren’t prepared for. The road from jetty to the city was clogged with people in a celebratory mood. Loud speakers–giant black boxes decked on mini-trucks–blared loud and shrieking music on a road filled with revelers dancing wildly. Chaos, crowds and cacophony had conquered the road in a way I had never seen anywhere during my journeys across Myanmar.
In the last leg of our week-long trip in Myanmar that had taken us through the depths of a spiritual, graceful and congenial country, we had suddenly landed into an unexpected contrast. It was the last day of Durga Puja, and much of the Indian-descents in the city had gathered by the riverside for a procession and idol immersion. We got off the car, which we had barely boarded after alighting the boat that had ferried us from Bagan, and walked into the gathered crowd. Cameras strapped around our neck, we stood out as tourists in the completely-local crowd, and caught the attention of a few revelers in no time. click to read more »