Eco Design Using Bamboo in Rural Burmese Houses

Posted on August 14th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. No Comments

Bamboo is used as building material in villages in Myanmar. There are 963 bamboo forests and 96 different species.

Bamboo belongs to the grass family and it is the fastest-growing plant on earth, growing between 60 and 100 cm per day. The husk, that you can see in the picture, is used for making hats as in this workshop in Mawlamyine (Moulmein).

Villagers use machetes, like the one on this man’s back, to cut down the bamboo.

This man is cutting and flattening bamboo canes so that it can be used to make the walls for a house.

This is the result of the flattened bamboo woven together. In rural villages houses are made completely from bamboo, even the windows and roofs.

Close up view of woven bamboo wall with a little friend.

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Best Shopping in Yangon: Bogyoke Market

Posted on August 2nd, by Juan in Activities, Handicrafts & Workshops. 4 comments

Bogyoke Market is the most popular market in Yangon with more than 2,000 shops and a big selection of handicrafts, souvenirs, clothes, jewellery & gems, antiques and art galleries.

Bogyoke Market, formerly known as Scott’s Market, is located in central Yangon and was built in 1926 under the British rule, and is therefore an example of colonial architecture.

If you find your way out of the narrow passageways that make up the market, at the back you will find some cafes and restaurants.

Larger shops can be found on the outer streets of the market.

One of the most popular items for sale at the market are the traditional ‘longyi’ skirt worn by women.

Inside the market you will find many stalls like this one filled with the different styles and ethnic designs.

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The Art of Fishing and One Leg Paddling, Inle Lake

Posted on July 21st, by Juan in Activities. 13 comments

The fishermen at Inle Lake are a must see on your trip to Myanmar. One leg paddling, team work, nature, peace… it’s a unique combination in Shan State.

Inle Lake fishermen have a curious and unique rowing style, which consists of standing on one leg on the extreme of the boat and wrapping their other leg around the the oar.

The reason for this way of paddling is because there are many reeds and water plants in the lake, and if they row sitting down in the boat they can’t see them.

Standing on the end of the boat they have a great view and can lead the way better. Also, they have their hands free to collect the net whilst propelling the boat.

The fishing boats are traditionally carved teak.

The fishing … Read More »

8 Innovative Uses for Bamboo in Myanmar

Posted on July 15th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 2 comments

Bamboo is a versatile and widely used material in Myanmar. It’s common to see innovative solutions, like this bridge, created out of this sustainable resource around the country.

In this photo you can see that they use bamboo not only as the material to build their houses in the countryside, but also the stairs.

This stairs are 100% made of bamboo and very useful in this type of hut.

Look how they did each step with 2 bamboo canes to make the steps more comfortable to climb and the steps are fixed to the main structure with another piece of bamboo.

This bamboo plant pot caught my attention because of it’s simplicity and eco design.

Other countryside bamboo innovations include this useful device: they tie the cows up to a bamboo cane with … Read More »

Bamboo Hat Workshop on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein)

Posted on June 12th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 1 Comment

These typical burmese hats are handmade from bamboo husk in workshops like this one on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein). They are very light and are great protection from the sun and from the rain. The peak at the top of the hat on the left is made from a piece of plastic from an old bag of potato chips. Let’s see the process of making it in the following pictures.

The bamboo husk comes from very thick bamboo canes and is cut to form the pattern to the right of the lady. She is arranging the husks and securing them together with bamboo pins.

The next step is to join the bamboo husks together using thin bamboo strings.

A stack of hats waiting for the next step in production line with some weights on top … Read More »

Floating Gardens on Inle Lake

Posted on June 9th, by Juan in Activities, Monuments & Sights. 3 comments

These are the floating gardens on Inle Lake which tourists can visit on boat trips to the lake.

The surrounding mountains form a dramatic backdrop to this stunning lake.

Farmers move between their crops by boat through these narrow channels.

The villagers who live in these huts have developed a unique way to power their boats. They pedal with their feet, leaving their hands free for other things such as pulling up fishing nets or harvesting tomatoes.

The houses are made of bamboo and sit on top of long bamboo canes that hold them above the lake. The space under their houses is used to store their boats, as well as being a good place to do the laundry.

Local woman travelling though the floating village by boat.

Woman tending to her … Read More »

Pottery Workshop in Twante, near Yangon

Posted on March 7th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 3 comments

Potter sieving the clay to separate out the good quality fine powder. The bigger pieces that remain in the basket will be crushed using the wooden instrument in the background. Someone bounces on the left end, whilst holding the bamboo railing, to breakup the clay rocks at the other end.

The fine clay powder is mixed with water.

The potter turns the wheel manually, shaping the clay with her hands. You can see what she is making in the next two pictures.

She uses her fingers to skillfully shape the clay into a small dish.

Final step: the dish is cut away from the rest of the clay using a thin wire. These small dishes are used in monasteries to hold candles made using paraffin and a wick.

Recently made samples. Amazingly, all … Read More »

Ngapali Beach

Posted on January 16th, by Juan in Beaches. 4 comments

As the only beach destination with an airport, Ngapali is the most popular beach in Myanmar amongst foreign tourists. Another unspoilt beach which is closer to Yangon is Ngwe Saung, but it takes 6 hours by bus or car to get there.

The beaches on the Bay of Bengal in the Rakhine State are known for their white sand and clear blue water.

Ngapali has several unspoilt beaches, which are lined with palm trees providing natural shade.

Hotels and resorts have bamboo bungalows on the beach like this.

The houses in Ngapali are built in the traditional style, like this wooden house surrounded by palm trees.

Ngapali has a small fishing harbour, here you can see the boats before going out to sea.

Light bulbs suspended from bamboo for fishing at night. … Read More »

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