/ Myanmar (Burma) [All images]
Pictures by QT Luong
On my first visit in 2000, I found Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to be the most fascinating of the South-East Asian countries. Shwedagon, the most sacred and beautiful pagoda in the world, the plain of Bagan with its thousands temples, mythical Mandalay, the gleaming and precarious Golden Rock are just some of Myanmar's buddhist sites with a magical quality not found anywhere else, justifying amply Myanmar's appelation "Golden Land". Because of its long political isolation, which came to an end only in the 2010s, Myanmar remains one of the least westernized countries in the world. The local culture is original and vibrant, people are exceptionally friendly, and traditional lifestyles such as those practiced on their floating villages by the Intha Fishermen of Lake Inle are unique.