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Burma

 

The Golden Land, known in the West as Burma or Birmanie, is a country of many contrasts, its past following a long trait of oppression. Its fairly recent history dealt with the colonial occupation by the British, a time of contradictory instances, where spoliation of the country was knitted with some economic development. 
The Independence crafted in 1947 by General Aung San, brought lots of hopes but his assassination that followed and the opposition of the hill-tribes distrustful of the Bamar majority brought the country close to disintegration.
The fragile democracy was overthrown in 1962 in a coup, by a bunch of generals behaving like thugs, that run ineptly the country since then. And the experiments were abundant. First a “road to socialism” that created a typical economic crisis with endemic poverty, its main target being the nationalization of the Indian and Chinese businesses, followed by a juggling with the national currency that intended to pauper most of the population and later, when people revolted, a switch to market capitalism run in the same inept way.
Meanwhile the oppression reached paramount levels, people being jailed for expressing their opinions, forced labor being rampart and many people being taken out of their homes to be free porters for the army. 
In 1990, in spite of the obvious, the junta decided that it was confident in people's support and allowed free elections. It was a major disappointment for them, the NLD led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of General Aung San, won by a landslide.
The “democratic response” of the generals was to nullify the elections and to put everybody from the opposition in jail, Aung San Suu Kyi being placed under house arrest and released on and off since then. 
Because of this harsh situation the tourism in Burma is sparse, the travelers and tourists alike, pondering with the question :"to go or not to go". But if you decide to go, you’ll encounter one of the nicest people you will have the chance to meet in SE Asia. They continuously smile and are eager to help with no intention of a reward and you will get a straight and honest answer to your questions. They will be eager to talk to you about the political situation as long as is nobody around. In the back of the motorbike or deep in their horse cart they may tell you how much they hate their government and how much they love Aung San Suu Kyi. They may tell you about the trumped charges against the recently deposed prime minister who wanted to change the country for better, arrested by the generals, afraid that they would lose the control. They will show their hopes that a new constitution will be drafted and free elections allowed, but even in this scenario they don't think the generals will just vanish.
Myanmar is one of the most photogenic countries in SE Asia. The Land of Golden Spires smiles to you from every corner and the religious fervor that goes all the way to the ruthless generals makes it shine. Everybody is building gilded stupas hoping, a Buddhist belief, to gain merit and improve their accumulated bad karma.

We visited the temple spotted plane in Bagan built in about 200 years, representing the peak of the Burmese kingdom. Latter, we moved east to Shan State and visited the villages, markets and religious places of the hill-tribes the populate the region around Innle Lake, an area full of traditions where you have the feeling that time stood still. We continued to Mandalay, a 19th century capital city surrounded by the ancient capital cities of Sagaing, Inwa, Amarapura and Mingun. From there we stop in Bago and went to Mt. Kyaiktiyo, the most important pilgrimage place in the country, to visit and pray at the Golden Rock. We ended our tour admiring in awe Shwedagon Paya, the most important religious place in the country, located in the present capital, Yangon (Rangoon).

Watch our video and you’ll never forget these places.

 

DVD Release

Golden Land

"Golden Land"

Burma, a mysterious country of many stark contradictions; a brutal military regime, the most welcoming people in Asia, a charismatic leader under house arrest for years, a deeply religious national spirit and a land covered in golden spires
A country thrust into the 21st Century, yet cities that seem frozen in time

Latest News

Jul 18: Back from a two week shoot in Alaska and another week in Vancouver and Washington State's Cascades Loop and Seattle.

Apr 30: We finally returned from a longer shoot in Utah and California. We went twice and shot extensively in various parts of LA and its surroundings and in most of the Utah canyons.

Jan 23: We finalized a long due project about the Tibet culture and tradition by editing the last two videos of a 9 DVD series, about the pilgrimage around Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and Everest.

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Burma Stock

8.5 hours of HD stock footage from these locations:

Bagan, Mt. Popa, Kalaw, Pindaya, Keito Market, Innle Lake, Maing Thauk, Nyaungshwe, sagaing, Inwa, Amarapura, Mingun, Mandalay, Kyaiktiko, bago, Yangon, Rangoon, Swedagon paya

Burma DVDs