Marion |

〰️ Travel Photographer & Blogger based in Vienna 〰️ On the road with @lionheaded 〰️ 〰️ New travel story out now:

Condemned to decay: The unfinished pagoda of #Mingun . • When King Bodawpaya heard the prophecy that he would die and loose his kingdom once the pagoda was finished he stopped all construction work and what should’ve become world’s largest pagoda was never completed. • Allegedly it’s still the largest pile of bricks in the world - so there’s somewhat of an accomplishment 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 Until the halt of the construction thousands of war prisoners and slaves had worked on the building. So the legend goes that the prophecy was only made to use the king’s superstition and actually help the prisoners be freed from their forced labour on the pagoda. • Turns out the king died anyways (yet only about 30 years later), but was survived by his 62 sons and 58 daughters. One of his grandsons would become the next big king of the empire - yet with a tragic ending. But that’s another story. • Today the unfinished pagoda still stands tall in Mingun, but was heavily damaged by multiple earthquakes, so it’s hard to know how long it will survive. • #MyanmarBeEnchanted #visitmyanmar #mingunpagoda #mingunpahtodawgyi @visit.myanmar
A Buddhist shrine in Inle lake. • In the middle of Inle Lake there’s a wooden shrine housing a statue of a monk looking up into the sky. The legend says he was only allowed to eat when the sun was shining, so he would always look at the sky for the sun to finally rise and shine. • Today locals still donate food at the shrine to accumulate merit. The Buddhist traditions in Myanmar are diverse and come with many regional differences. Animist believes have been incorporated into the Buddha’s teachings and many other traditions have been woven into the religion. • But one thing they all have in common is their firm belief that good will create good and actions have consequences. Therefore the country’s people have a kindness, that can be encountered everywhere in daily life. • #MyanmarBeEnchanted #visitmyanmar @visit.myanmar
Bathing this 35-year old retired work elephant lady was definitely a moment to remember! • At @green_hill_valley elephants who used to work in the timber logging industry get a new home. Currently there are 8 elephants at the camp and each has their own Mahout (an elephant caretaker & trainer). • In #Myanmar elephants are domesticated to work in the timber industry since generations. There are only about 1.500 wild elephants left in the country, but over 4.000 working elephants! • When they get too old or sick to work they are usually sold to the highest bidder (which most likely means their skin gets sold at the black market to serve as medicine in China). But some get lucky and are bought by Green Hill to live a retired life at the camp. • As visitor of Green Hill you get to feed the elephants, but you aren't allowed to ride them (like in other camps). The camp has strict rules and wants to provide the elephants with as much freedom as possible - although they have been domesticated. • The highlight of the visit is when you get to help the Mahout with the daily bath. This routine helps form the bond between the elephant and the Mahout. But the best part is that the elephants are released to the wild every night to forage on their own and sleep in the jungle. So they at least get a little bit of freedom at the end of their life! • Every morning the Mahout go to the jungle to find their elephant again. Sometimes they are close by, but sometimes it takes a couple of hours to find them. The incentive to come back to the camp is the food - while they eat mostly leafs in the jungle they get sweet pumpkin back at the camp. • Unfortunately they will never be able to be completely released into the wild again, therefore it’s important to protect the last remaining wild elephants in Myanmar by securing their habitats. • In the last few days I’ve worked together with @wwf_austria to visit their office in Dawei and learn about their environmental projects in the country. Make sure to follow their account for more infos about their efforts in Myanmar! • #ladyvenom_wwfaustria #greenhillvalleyelephantcamp #greenhillvalley
Getting „the“ shot in #Myanmar . • The famous all white Mya Thein Tan Pagoda (also called Hsinbyume Pagoda) in Mingun is a one hour boat ride away from Mandalay. Many visitors take the detour just to get the one photo of themselves balancing over the pagoda‘s walls. • I couldn’t resist to take a behind the scenes photo of two girls getting the shot 😉 Apart from this the pagoda is still worth a visit, especially since Mingun has something else in store (which I’ll show you in a later post). • #MyanmarBeEnchanted #Mingun #Mandalay #visitmyanmar @visit.myanmar
Home away from home. • While traveling I’m not in the mood for adventures - but only when it comes to the places I stay (outside of hotels I really like adventures 😉). • I guess I’m simply too old for hostels and the likes by now 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 I don’t sleep well without a good mattress, cozy duvet and noise-canceling walls between me and the neighbors 😂🤷🏻‍♀️ And here in #myanmar a decent AC and WiFi are also very well appreciated 😉 • I know that after a hectic day of exploring a destination I need some kind of a break for my senses, a place to calm down and unwind - and sort my experiences from that day. And therefore I have to thank @savoyhotelygn for providing this much needed quiet and relaxation in busy #Yangon in their small oasis. • #savoyhotelygn (Invitation | Press stay)
The last remains of the famous leg rowers from Inle Lake. • In fact there are no leg rowers left that really catch fish the way the elders did. So the guy in this photo is actually making his money by posing for tourists. • The real fishermen nowadays still row with their legs, but use different nets and techniques to catch the fish. And they also wear different outfits 😉 • When taking travel photos I think it’s important to disclose the realities behind the pictures - especially when something is staged rather than just a glimpse of reality. What do you think about that? Would you rather know or keep up the illusion? Blue or red pill? 😉 • #visitmyanmar #myanmar #MyanmarBeEnchanted @visit.myanmar
In #Myanmar it’s hard not to fall in love with the people. An abundance of smiles awaits you wherever you go. • I talked to this lovely lady at the Aung Ban Railway Station. She was visiting her eldest daughter who had moved to the city from the mountain village she grew up in. Now they don’t get to see each other very often, but when they do her face lights up - just like in this photo I took of her after she told us about her daughter. Such kind eyes! • This trip I’ve been inspired by the work of Pie for @because.people.matter. I’ve always been too shy to ask people for their portrait, but I’m beginning to warm up to the idea! When she saw her photo she giggled like a little girl - so I guess she was happy with the result as well ☺️ • #MyanmarBeEnchanted @visit.myanmar
A Buddhist monk crossing the world‘s oldest Teak wood bridge south of #Mandalay . • When we walked over the famous U Bein bridge it was crowded with visitors and wedding photoshoots took place. • But then we took a boat ride in the sunset and it became all quiet and calm and we could sense the history. The bridge was built from 1849 to 1851 by using the wooden pillars from the former royal palace in Awa, which were once covered in gold. • #visitmyanmar #ubeinbridge @visit.myanmar
A dreamy retreat in #Mandalay . • We‘re currently staying in a wonderful private villa at the @mercurehotels ’ Mandalay Hill Resort. • And although there’s free drinks here at night we‘re abstaining from alcohol because we don’t want to go swimming with the Kois - and yes, that’s the official walkway to our villa! 😂 • If you want to get a peak of the incredible interior of our room make sure to check out my Insta Story! #mercuremandalayhillresort #mandalayhillresort
The pagodas of #Bagan . • Since 3 days we‘re roaming the vast area of the 3.000 temples and pagodas of Bagan - some dating back to the 10th century. • It’s hard to describe how it feels to wander around centuries of history that is so intertwined with everyday life here. Cow herders and farmers live among the temples - it’s all an incredible unity of heritage and present day life. • #beenchanted #visitmyanmar
The heritage of Bangkok! • During our stay in the Thai capital we decided to do things differently - as it was our second time around. While the city is ever-growing and highrise buildings pop up at every corner - so do modern skyscraper hotels with rooftop bars and pools. • But we went for the opposite. The @baannai_the_reminiscence hotel has only four rooms and is located in a quiet residential neighborhood. The old colonial-style house belonged to three lovely ladies, who then passed it on to their grand niece Doungsawart. • She’s an interior designer by trade and you can sense that in the house, which she transformed into a real oasis amidst the city jungle of #Bangkok . • Thanks for having us as your guests! #baannaithereminiscence
First impressions from #Myanmar . • The land of pagodas, temples and monks will be our home for the next couple of weeks and I can’t even begin to comprehend this journey yet. • Stay tuned on stories for our day to day experiences. Thanks to @visit.myanmar for the support! #beenchanted #visitmyanmar
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