Tag Archives: travel

Long(ing) House

 

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Malaysian Borneo may not be as vast as its Indonesian counterpart, but it is every bit as mysterious. As you go deeper into its interiors, traversing the thick and untamed rainforest, you’ll find cultural treasures like the traditional longhouses of the Kelabit people, which have been well-preserved and protected from our encroaching modern civilization.


婆罗洲地跨马来西亚与印度尼西亚两国。虽然马来西亚管辖的领域不如印尼管辖的领域那样广阔,但它的神秘魅力丝毫不差。当你穿越茂密的原始雨林深入探索,就能发现许多文化瑰宝,譬如加拉必族的传统建筑——长屋,它远离了现代文明世界的影响,得以完好地保存下来。

I’m off to meet the craftswoman Sina Rang at her homestay in Bario, in the heart of Sarawak, one of the two Bornean states of Malaysia. Before I hop on the 14-seater Twin Otter, I’m asked to weigh myself with all my hand luggage. The outcome of this measurement is quickly noted down. I follow the bubbly mix of locals, tourists from West Malaysia, a couple of foreigners… and a few cages of chicken as we’re invited to take our places onboard. I’m the last one to enter and the door shuts directly behind me, cutting off my route of escape. The vehicle reminds more of a stuffy mini-van than a plane. What comes next is an unnerving feeling as the air-van starts moving before I can sit. I eventually clutch at 1A, a seat just behind the pilots – the cockpit has no doors – as one of them quips, “You got the first class ticket! Congratulations.” We take off effortlessly into the clear skies, towards the ominously dark clouds amassing on the horizon.


我出发去巴里奥(Bario)拜访当地的手艺人Sina Rang,约在她的民宿会面。巴里奥位于沙捞越的中心区域,这里是马属婆罗洲领土上的两个行政区域之一。我们搭乘 14 座的双水獭飞机前往巴里奥。在登机之前,我被要求先去称一下自己加上随身行李的重量,他们快速地将测量结果记录在案。然后,我就跟着当地人、几个来自马来西亚西部的游客、几个外国人……还有几笼鸡一起上了飞机。我是最后一个登机的,舱门在我身后直接被关上,切断了我想要逃跑的最后可能。在我看来,这更像一辆拥挤的小型面包车,而不是一架飞机。我开始感到不安,因为在我坐下来之前飞机就开始移动了。我的座位是 1A,就在飞行员后面,驾驶舱是没有门隔着的,其中的一位飞行员还打趣道:“恭喜你拿到了头等舱的机票!” 之后飞机毫不费力地成功起飞,上升至晴朗的天空中,但朝着一团积聚在地平线上的乌云飞去,给人一种不祥的预感。

We fly over grids of never-ending palm plantations, which go on for miles until reaching one of the national parks – the last frontier of modernity. The jungle finally takes over. We pass the two peaks of the Batu Lawi, known as sacred mountain protectors, which seems to angrily react to our presence by conjuring an unforgiving storm around our toy plane. The foreigners scream, and I quickly regret the privileged view I’m getting into the cockpit. I’ve been warned that in the worst-case scenario our tiny aircraft can glide and glide. I’m still quite doubtful but these planes had flown before on not much more than a pair of wings and a prayer, and it seemed like we weren’t lacking in the latter – the Kelabit people of Bario are fervent Christians. “Are you scared?” shouts one of the pilot, with a grin more suitable for the captain of the Flying Dutchman. We finally get behind the curtain of clouds – the pilots must have seen this clearing on their radar – and the rice paddies twinkle just as we’re about to land in the valley etched against the Kelabit Highlands. I smiled in relief at the other foreigners. To us, the outsiders, this journey felt like a rite of passage or a cleansing of sorts, but the locals have been at the mercy of this formidable jungle for centuries. Their relationship is symbiotic, and the Kelabit regard the forest with both understanding and respect.


我们飞过无边无界的棕榈园,在数英里之后到达一个国家公园——这里是现代文明社会的最后边界,再往前就进入了原始丛林。飞机经过了被称为”圣山保护者“的巴杜拉威山(Batu Lawi)。这座高山似乎对我们的到来感到十分愤怒,在我们飞机四周聚集起一股无情的风暴。飞机上的外国人开始惊叫,而我很快就后悔自己有“头等舱”的特权。有人曾告诉我,在最坏的情况下,我们这架小型的飞机会不断滑行。我心里有点忐忑,不过这架飞机之前的确都是靠一双机翼和人们的祷告成功飞行的,而我们显然不缺乏祷告,因为巴里奥的加拉必族人们都是虔诚的基督徒。其中一名飞行员向我喊道:“你害怕吗?”他脸上的笑容让我联想到传说中那一艘永远无法返乡的幽灵船——“飞翔的荷兰人”(Flying Dutchman)的船长。我们最后成功穿越了厚厚的乌云,我想飞行员一定在雷达上就看到了现在眼前这片晴空吧。即将着陆于加拉必族的山谷的时候,我看到了下面一片片熠熠闪烁的稻田。我看着身边其他外国人,如释重负地微笑了。对我们这些外来者来说,这段旅程感觉就像一个仪式或净化之旅,但对当地人来说,数个世纪以来,他们一直受着这片原始丛林的恩惠。他们和自然之间的关系是共生共存的,加拉必族人尊重和敬仰这片丛林。

Bario has only one phone provider and it’s not the network I’m on – I’m cut off from the rest of world. The Kelabits, however, are immensely hospitable, generous and life-loving, instantly making me feel like I’m at home. The communal spirit still dominates the Bario Asal (asal in Malay means “original”) longhouse where I stay at. The concept of open home, where neighbours freely mingle with each other is refreshing to a city dweller like me. The Kelabit people embraced Christianity and reconciled old traditions with the new ones. They adjusted, hopeful that their ways of life will survive, but the youngsters flock where the jobs are, often leaving the remote Bario village behind in search of opportunity.


巴里奥只有一个通讯运营商,而我的手机不属于这一网络,所以我彻底与外面的世界断绝了联系。然而,加拉必族人非常好客,他们既慷慨又热爱生活,瞬间让我感觉非常自在。我住进了名为Bario Asal (Asal 在马来语中是指“原始”) 的长屋,在这里,集体主义精神仍占主导地位。这里的居住环境是开放式的,邻居们可以自由地来往,像我这样的城市居民对于这种概念感动十分新奇。加拉必族人信奉基督教,他们调和着古老的传统文化与现代的文化。这里的人希望通过这种调整,让他们的生活方式流传下来。现在的年轻人都涌出去找工作,为了获得工作机会,他们往往要离开这个偏远的巴里奥村庄。

I listen to the olden-day stories from the residents of Bario Asal who retired and came back, such as Gerawat Nulun, a well-travelled man who studied on an exchange program at Harvard in the past. My host, Sina Rang, also lived outside of the village for a period of time. Now, she’s trying to bring more tourists to Bario, inspire other residents to start homestays, and revive their traditional crafts. And she’s not alone in this dream. There’s hope that their efforts will create jobs and bring the young people back. With the current reality of Bario Asal, the longhouse feels like it’s named quite appropriately, as there is much the Kelabit long for: a longing to sustain their way of life, a longing to see their cultural heritage preserved, and a longing for those who have left to not forget their roots.


我从一些退休后回归的Bario Asal居民那里听了很多从前的故事,包括Gerawat Nulun,他是一个去过很多地方旅游的人,之前也曾参加一个哈佛大学的交流项目。我的屋主Sina Rang也曾在村庄外面生活过一段时间。现在,她正在努力吸引更多的游客来到巴里奥,她鼓励其他居民开始经营民宿,复兴他们的传统工艺。她并不是唯一一个这样想的人,大家都希望这一努力能创造就业机会,吸引年轻人回到这里。看着目前Bario Asal的境况,“长屋”(longhouse)的名字仿佛承载了当地人长久以来的许多渴望(longing):渴望维持他们的生活方式,渴望见证他们的文化遗产得以完好保留,以及渴望那些离开了的人不会忘记自己的根。

Contributor, Photographer & Videographer: Gloria Kurnik


供稿人,图片摄影师与视频摄影师: Gloria Kurnik

Ghost Town Ni Naru

French-Canadian photographer Jasmin Gendron began learning his way around photography from the dark rooms of his local high school. As of 2010, he began to shoot predominantly in digital, whilst occasionally shooting 35mm film for personal projects.


法裔加拿大摄影师Jasmin Gendron开始接触摄影是在家乡高中学校的暗房里。在 2010 年之后,他多数用数码相机拍摄,不过有时在创作个人作品的时候也会用到35毫米胶片相机。

“I try to use street photography to immortalize energy and emotions from magnificent, human and sometimes comical scenes, with a poetic, subtle and unobtrusive approach.” Jasmin describes himself as an autodidact, with the inspiration behind his photography style stemming from Japanese culture. He spent a full year immersing himself into Japan and actively absorbing his new surroundings. “I like how the environment impacts human actions and decision in peoples’ everyday lives.”


“我希望能通过街头摄影,以一种诗意、微妙而不显眼的方式定格壮观、人性甚至是滑稽的场面。”Jasmin形容自己是一名自学者,他的摄影风格受日本文化影响。他在日本生活了整整一年,深入探索和了解这个全新的环境。”周围的环境会如何影响到一个人在生活中的行为和决定,我对这个话题还蛮感兴趣的。“

Jasmin’s photo series Ghost Town Ni Naru was captured over a two-year period in his wife’s hometown of Nikko in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture. Jasmin had been subconsciously observing the city for the past decade, and describes it as his perception of a “grotesque scene,” in the sense that Nikko was slowly becoming a ghost town. This project is an active reminder that no place is unchanging and the sense of loss is acutely expressed throughout each image.


Jasmin的摄影作品系列《Ghost Town Ni Naru》是他在妻子的故乡——栃木县日光市生活的两年期间所捕捉的影像。Jasmin一直下意识地在观察这个城市在过去的十年的发展,研究日光市是如何渐渐变成今日的一座鬼城,而他称这种变化为一种“奇景”。视觉上,这系列作品提醒着人们,没有一个地方是永恒不变的。他的照片中总透露着一种失落的情绪。

Whilst Nikko may be well known for its beautiful traditional shrines and temples, this project seeks to present an aspect of Japanese culture that does not conform to the stereotypical idea of Japan. “This is a sad series. I tried to capture how it must feel for my wife, for her family members and friends, when they take a deeper look at the places where most of their memories come from.”


虽然日光市可能一向以其美丽的古老神社和寺庙而闻名,但这系列作品想展现的是日本文化不为人知的一面,是有别于人们对日本的传统印象的。“这是一个略带感伤的作品,我试着记录我的妻子和她的家人朋友们,在面对这个充满回忆的地方时,心中涌现的感情。”

Websitejasmingendron.com
Instagram@jasgendron

 

Contributor: Whitney Ng


网站jasmingendron.com
Instagram: @jasgendron

 

供稿人: Whitney Ng

Vietnam, Land of the Dragon People

 

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In November of last year, Belgium-based filmmaker Sjoerd Samuel Tanghe spent a month travelling Vietnam and filming all that he saw along the way. With over 60 hours of footage at the end of his trip, he put together Vietnam, Land of the Dragon People, a stunning four-minute long short film.


去年十一月,比利时电影制片人Sjoerd Samuel Tanghe花了一个月的时间在越南旅行,一共拍摄了超过60小时的影像素材;他将这些影像剪辑在一起,制作成一部时长4分钟的迷人短片——《Vietnam, Land of the Dragon People》。

Compared to his personal and commercial work in the past, Vietnam, Land of the Dragon People is quite different. “Because of social media, the ongoing trend now is that everything must be summarized in less than a minute,” he lamented. “Some of my other projects might be flashier, bombastic, and full of energy. But for this project, the pacing is much slower. I wanted to show all the things I saw in an authentic way.”


相较于他过去个人与商业的作品,《Vietnam, Land of the Dragon People》有着截然不同的风格。他感叹:“由于社交媒体的发展,现在的趋势是一切都必须被概括在不到一分钟的时间里。我以往的作品可能更为华丽、夸张,且更有活力。但是,这部短片的整个节奏会更慢一些。我希望能以真实的方式呈现出我所目睹的一切。”

Being as it was his first time in Vietnam, Tanghe decided to travel through the entire country, starting first from the south and working his way up into the north. His journey was mostly improvised, barring a few specific destinations. Tanghe was most interested in exploring an authentic side of Vietnam, away from the tourist-ridden locations, and to discover for himself the way of life there. With an open-mind, he sought to travel off the beaten path and experience all that the country has to offer; this included trying out balut, a local Vietnamese delicacy, that Tange says to have been the most memorable part of his trip. He adds: “If you don’t know what it is… please don’t Google it.”


因为这是他第一次去越南,Tanghe决定在这趟旅程中穿越整个国家,从越南南部开始,一路往北走。除了一些特定的目的地,他的旅程大都是即兴决定的。Tanghe最感兴趣的是探索越南真实的一面,离开那些热闹旅游景点,亲自发现当地的生活。带着这种开放的心态,他专门寻找那些鲜有人知的冷门地方,以体验真正的越南,包括尝试越南当地的美食“Balut(毛蛋)”,Tanghe表示,这是他此行最难忘的回忆。他补充说:“如果你不知道这是什么……千万不要事先上网搜索。”

Website: sjoerdtanghe.be
Vimeo: ~/sjoerdtanghe

 

Contributor: David Yen
Video & Images Courtesy of Sjoerd Samuel Tanghe


网站: sjoerdtanghe.be
Vimeo: ~/sjoerdtanghe

 

供稿人: David Yen
视频与图片由Sjoerd Samuel Tanghe提供

The People of Yangon

Earlier this year, Neocha’s founder and creative director Adam J. Schokora spent a week exploring Myanmar. For him, Yangon, the largest and most-populated city of the country, was one of the most unforgettable legs of the trip, a city that’s rich with life and colors. Below, he presents a visual diary of his travels.


今年早些时候,Neocha创始人兼创意总监Adam J. Schokora用了一个星期的时间来探索缅甸。对于他来说,他在缅甸最大和人口最多的仰光的经历是整段旅行中最为难忘的部分,这是一座充满了蓬勃活力和缤纷色彩的城市。下面是他在这段旅行中记录的视觉日记。

“When I travel, I’m not particularly interested in visiting scenic spots or the ‘must-sees.’ For me, the charm of any destination is found in its people and that’s what I try to capture when I’m out shooting. I shot the following pictures during a trip to Yangon, Myanmar earlier this year. The pictures show a glimpse of the wonderfully photogenic, friendly, and colorful people of the city.”


旅行的时候,我对于风景名胜区或所谓的“必看”景点不怎么感兴趣。对我来说,任何一个旅游目的地的魅力都在于生活在那里的人,他们也是我在旅行时尝试着用相机捕捉的对象。今年早些时候,我在前往缅甸仰光旅行期间拍摄了下面这组照片。这一系列的照片展示了这座城市里极其上镜,友好亲切又多彩多姿的人们。

“Yangon is bustling in the same way any big Asian city is, but in many ways, it still feels undiscovered. The saturated colors, the worn textures, and the general throwback aesthetic of the city gives any image a unique, nostalgic feel quite unlike anywhere else I’ve travelled. The locals don’t seem to mind having their photo taken, nor are they overly clamoring for the attention of your lens. Bouncing around and capturing authentic moments without disturbing anyone or raising suspicions is done with ease. Yangon is a paradise for casual street photography.”


“与其它亚洲大都市一样,仰光也是一个繁华的城市,但从许多方面来说,又让人觉得它仍然是一座未被发现的城市。浓郁饱和的色彩、古旧磨损的纹理以及整座城市弥漫的“复古”美学风格,令每一张摄影作品都充溢着一种独特的怀旧氛围,与我去过的其它地方截然不同。当地人似乎也并不介意别人给他们拍照,也不会过份喧嚷来吸引你的镜头。在这里,四处闲逛,就能轻易捕捉到各种真实的画面,同时不会打扰到任何人或令人起疑。仰光绝对是一个休闲街头摄影的天堂。”

“Equipped with just a Leica M, a Leica M6, and two Summicron lenses (a 50mm and a 90mm), I roamed the city and shot these pictures over the course of a few short days without a predetermined agenda or route. A few of the locations shown in the images include the Pansodan Ferry Terminal and Yangon River boardwalk area, the Yangon Central Railway Station, the Theingyi Market, along with countless other intersections, overpasses, alleyways, shop fronts, and courtyards.”


“我拍摄使用的设备只有一部徕卡M相机,一部徕卡M6相机和两支Summicron镜头(分别为50毫米头和90毫米的定焦镜头),在短短的几天时间里,我漫游于这座城市,拍下了这些照片。我没有预定的行程,也没有计划好的路线。这组照片中的部分摄影地包括Pansodan客运码头、仰光河滨的木板散步道、仰光中央火车站、Theingyi市场和无数个随意逛到的交叉路口、立交桥、小巷、商店门前和庭院。”

Instagram: @ajschokora

 

Contributor & Photographer: Adam J. Schokora


Instagram: @ajschokora

 

供稿人与摄影师: Adam J. Schokora

Beauty in Normalcy

Jun Ngyuen is a Hanoi-based creative, whose journey with photography began seven years ago upon receiving her very first film camera. “It was cheap, only $70. But once I had it, I fell into it – I put so much time into creating every single frame.”


Jun Ngyuen là một nhà nhiếp ảnh tại Hà Nội, khi lần đầu tiên nhận được một chiếc máy ảnh vào 7 năm trước, cô đã bắt đầu cuộc hành trình nhiếp ảnh của mình. “Rẻ mà, chỉ có $70. Nhưng khi có nó, tôi đã thật sự đắm chìm – tôi dành rất nhiều thời gian cho mỗi bức ảnh.”

Over the years, she has traveled around Asia, seeking to capture the sights and sounds of the various cultures that she has come across. Her images tell silent stories of each of the strangers that she has encountered. Images from this series feature her collective trips to Sapa, a small town north of Vietnam and El Nido in the Phillippines.


Sau nhiều năm, cô đã đi khắp Châu Á, lưu lại những hình ảnh và âm thanh của nhiều nền văn hóa khác nhau mà cô đã đi qua. Các bức ảnh là những câu chuyện về mỗi người lạ mà cô đã gặp. Những bức ảnh này được chụp từ chuyến đi tập thể của cô đến Sapa, một thị trấn nhỏ ở phía bắc Việt Nam và El Nido ở Phillippines.

“Photography is both preservation and expression. People get busy and don’t pay attention to the simplest of things – we forget that even normalcy has beauty. There are so many moments that I want to share, but I’m not so good with words. Sometimes, I just let my photos say it all.”


“Nhiếp ảnh là để gìn giữ và bày tỏ cảm xúc. Mọi người quá bận rộn và không để tâm đến những điều đơn giản nhất – chúng ta đã quên rằng thậm chí những thứ bình thường cũng có vẻ đẹp riêng. Vậy nên có rất nhiều khoảnh khắc tôi muốn chia sẻ, tiếc là tôi không giỏi diễn đạt – đôi khi, tôi cứ để những bức ảnh của mình nói lên tất cả.”

Jun considers herself to be part of a lucky new generation of creatives who are currently thriving in Vietnam. “We are enthusiastic, passionate and full of ideas – and now, we’re finally getting the support and opportunities we need from the greater community.”


Jun xem mình là một phần của thế hệ những nhà nhiếp ảnh may mắn đang phát triển tại Việt Nam. “Chúng tôi nhiệt tình, đam mê và đầy ý tưởng – và giờ đây, chúng tôi cuối cùng đã nhận được sự hỗ trợ cũng như các cơ hội từ những cộng đồng lớn hơn.”

To Jun Ngyuen, creation is a remedy, rather than a means to an end. “This keeps me positive. I hope that by doing what I do, people can see how beautiful the world is and draw inspiration from it the way that I do.”


Gửi Jun Ngyugen, sáng tạo là một phương thuốc, chứ không phải là một phương tiện để đạt được mục đích cuối cùng. “Điều này sẽ giúp tôi trở nên tích cực. Tôi hi vọng với những gì tôi đã làm, mọi người có thể thấy thế giới này thật tươi đẹp và lấy cảm hứng đó để chung bước cùng tôi.”

Contributor: Whitney Ng


Người đóng góp: Whitney Ng

Conrad Beijing

Located on Beijing’s East Third Ring Road, in the heart of the city’s central business district, the Conrad Beijing clearly stands out amongst its surrounding commercial office buildings. The hotel is characterized by innovative architecture and design, which serves as a refreshing, energized alternative to Beijing’s often monotonous urban sprawl.


坐落在北京东三环市中心商业区,北京康莱德酒店建筑的设计不仅延续了酒店整体的现代气质,还创新性地融合了独有的中国风,在周边林立的高楼大厦当中显得新颖又别致。

The building’s exterior stands tall and slender, encased in a sleek metal frame that sets its aesthetically apart from the norm. Designed by MAD Architects, the sinuous casing adds fluidity to an otherwise gridded structure. The outer network curves in a natural fashion, a shape reminiscent of moving organisms. MAD worked dilligently to achieve their concept of ‘Living Architecture’, designing a free-form, mutated structure that softened against the city’s urban rigidity.


整个细长的建筑体都包裹于一层金属表皮中,营造出一种独树一帜的美感。由MAD建筑事务所设计,蜿蜒的表面在网格的结构里引入了流动感。网络的曲线以一种自然的方式呈现,它的形状让人联想到一个移动的有机体。MAD以他们的“活建筑”的概念,设计了一个自由的,突变的结构,软化了城市本身的刚性。

Stepping inside, the hotel’s décor is characterized by deep block colours, interesting textures and reflective surfaces. Designed by LTW Design Works, its alluring interior is a natural extension of the building’s attractive outer shell. By considering Conrad Beijing’s unique setting and cultural identity, LTW has created a compelling narrative that defines the hotel. Its design is consistently sophisticated, but escapes being too traditional by maintaining a playful balance between the past and the present, refinement and flair. Every room is unique, yet close attention to design continuity allows for a seamless transition from one area to the next.


一走进酒店,迎面而来的就是极具视觉效果的装饰墙:深色的质感、妙趣横生的纹理、以及带着反射效果的表面,都给人眼前一亮的感觉。LTW Design Works的设计延续了精致风,也避免了过于保守。酒店在整体上完美融合了精巧与天然两种特性。每个房间都是独一无二的,但同时也非常注重设计的统一性,加上无处不在的柔和灯光与色调,让人自由顺畅地流转于各个房间中

Traditional ink paintings in the main lobby, an old-fashioned spiral staircase in the Japanese restaurant, and charming silk-lined walls in the Chinese dining room are all nostalgic features that complement the hotel’s distinctly Asian aesthetic. Other rooms are less Eastern and more futuristic, bringing the hotel’s overall design into the present. While the lobby areas are characterized by bright open spaces, dark red mood lighting sets a more sensual tone in the bar, with scarlet light reflecting off its traditional wicker panelling. The further use of reflective, rose gold mirrors and plush pink carpets in the main reception area creates a softer, dream-like environment.


大堂中的传统水墨画,日式餐厅里的老式螺旋楼梯,中餐厅韵味十足的丝绸质感的墙面……这些古色古香的元素为酒店平添了别致的东方美学韵味。其他房间没有很重的东方色彩,更多表现出现代主义特色,将酒店整体的风格拉回到现代。同时,酒店的照明不仅具备装饰效果,还按照每个区域的功能,精心配置了最为合适的色调。迎宾大厅区的宽敞开放空间搭配的是明亮的灯光;用餐区的灯光色调偏深色系,显得更为轻松亲和;吧台处周围传统柳状嵌板折射出深红色灯光,突显出一种暧昧撩人的氛围。结合接待大厅中反射表面,玫瑰金色镜面,以及粉色毛绒地毯等,营造出柔和梦幻的环境。

MAD’s intended to project their concept of nature and the great outdoors onto Beijing’s urban landscape, which is clearly illustrated throughout the hotel’s completed design. A dramatic sculpture of five tropical fish made out of rusted metal wires stands as the focal point of the lobby area, which has been warmly lit to bring them glistening to life, as if swimming into the middle of the room. This contributes to an overall sense of fluidity throughout the hotel. The Conrad Beijing is a consolidation of culture and contemporary design, as well as a unique representation of life and movement amidst a comparably static landscape.


MAD将在北京城市景观中的自然映射在整个酒店设计里面。在大堂吧中央,五条造型生动的热带鱼,由锈蚀处理过的金属丝焊接构成。热带鱼雕塑底座四周是明亮暖色调的灯光,鱼身局部用冷色调的光进行雕塑的体现。运用冷暖和明暗的对比形成立体的效果,仿佛热带鱼鲜活游曳,涌入房间之中,有助于酒店整体流动性上的一致。北京康莱德是一个整合文化和现代设计的酒店,在一个相对静态的城市景观里显得更加生动。

The Conrad Beijing is an impressive consolidation of conventional culture and contemporary design. The overall grandeur of its Asia-inspired interior appropriately acknowledges its Chinese heritage, while its attention to detail, décor and intimacy has ensured an enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing experience for every guest.


北京康莱德酒店集传统文化与现代设计于一体,让人过目不忘。将中国风蕴藏于整体充满亚洲风情的室内装饰中,大气又明丽,同时在细节、装饰品以及感官上都为住客呈现出别具一格的美学基调和体验。

Website: ~/conrad-beijing


Address
:
No 29. East Third Ring Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China

 

Phone: +86 10 6584 6000

 

Contributor: Ruby Weatherall
Photographer: Shu He
Images Courtesy of GD-Lighting Design


网站~/conrad-beijing


地址
:
中国
北京朝阳城区
东北三环路29号


电话
: +86 10 6584 6000

 

供稿人: Ruby Weatherall
摄影师: 舒赫
圖片由GD-Lighting Design提供

The Journey Out West

Shanghai-based travel photographer Scott Turner likes to document real life, often taking an anthropological approach to his work. He regards people and their lives to be the most rewarding and challenging subject to photograph. In his travels, he admits that he likes to go deep in the places that he visits, opting to stay longer to really invest himself and understand more about the local culture. Avoiding areas that are touristy, he prefers instead to visit less popular destinations, places that Scott says “usually have the most open people and the most interesting stories”.


主要活动于上海的旅行摄影师Scott Turner喜欢用镜头记录真实生活,常以人类学的方法进行创作。他认为人与生活是摄影中最具价值和挑战的主题。他坦言,在行程中他不喜欢蜻蜓点水,更喜欢在一个地方呆上一段时间,充实自己,了解当地文化。他尽量避免一些热门旅游景点,更愿意前往小众之地,在Scott看来,在有热情本地人的地方,才能找到最有趣的故事。

Scott has lived in Shanghai for two years now, and has visited many of the major metropolises in China. But what he is most curious about are what he calls “the spaces in between”. He plans to spend some time to explore some of the smaller cities and towns in China, as well as other remote parts of Asia in the coming year, and potentially make a book about it. He has been to Xinjiang, the far west region of China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkestan, as well as India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. For him, the region is multifaceted, complex, and wild. “These places are already widely photographed,” Scott says, “so coming up with something new there can be challenging.”


Scott已在上海生活了两年,也游访过中国许多大城市。但他最感兴趣的,还是那些他称之为“中间地带”。他计划花一段时间去游览一些中国的小城与边镇,同时在未来的一年,也希望走访亚洲其他偏远地区,并有可能为此出一本书。他曾去过中国新疆、吉尔吉斯斯坦、土耳其斯坦、印度、巴基斯坦、尼泊尔和斯里兰卡。对他来说,这些地区多彩多姿,狂野又复杂。“已经有很多摄影作品取材于这些地方,” Scott表示,“所以创作出不同的作品,很有挑战性。”

On his way to Kyrgyzstan, Scott passed through Kashgar, the westernmost city in China, located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. A former outpost on the Silk Road, its history stretches back 2,000 years, and today is known for its famous bazaar, a bustling and vibrant daily market. Some parts of the old city, Scott describes, almost felt like scenes that were straight out of Aladdin, while other parts of the city appeared to be undergoing extensive development and were being rebuilt.


去吉尔吉斯斯坦的路上,Scott途径新疆维吾尔自治区的喀什。这个中国最西边的城市,曾是历史悠久的丝绸之路上的前哨战,历史绵延2000年。如今,这里熙熙攘攘的集市每日人流攒动,生机勃勃,闻名遐迩。Scott表示,这个古老的城市中不少地方就像是从《阿拉丁神灯》中走出来的场景,而同时,另一些地区也看上去正在经历全面的发展和广泛的重建。

It was at the end of 2013 when Scott quit his job as an engineer and decided to travel around Asia for a year. The main reason behind this was because he just wanted to get out of his nine to five routine, explore the world more, and really work on his travel photography. During his travels, Scott did what was probably the wildest thing that he had ever done in his life, which was buy a horse from a local livestock market in Kyrgyzstan and ride it through the mountains by himself for a month. Prior to this experience, he had never even ridden a horse before.


在2013年底,Scott辞去了工程师的工作,并决心前往亚洲旅行一年。此举只是因为他想跳出朝九晚五的生活,探索这个世界,也正式开启他的旅行摄影。在旅行中,Scott做了一件也许是他一生中最为疯狂大胆的事情:从吉尔吉斯斯坦的一个当地的畜牧市场上买了一匹马,然后骑着它在山区穿梭了一个月。在此之前,他可是完全没有任何骑马的经验。

While up in the mountains, Scott met a few Kyrgyz shepherds. After his return, he spent some time talking to a few of his Kyrgyz friends about what he had seen and found out that the shepherds had played an important role in sustaining the local economy in hard times. For Scott, this was a beautiful story, considering that what he had witnessed was the legacy and heritage of the local culture.


而在那次山区之行中,Scott也认识了几个柯尔克孜族牧羊人。他回来后,他与柯尔克孜族的朋友相谈甚久,分享他的所见所闻,同时也了解了牧羊人在当地经济困难时期发挥的重要作用。在Scott看来,能够见识当地文化的传统,是一段非常美妙的经历。

Scott prefers to travel on the ground whenever possible. He says, “traveling slow provides me with an opportunity to observe and connect with the world around me in a way that flying does not.” Both times that he travelled to Kyrgyzstan, he spent three days on a slow train from Shanghai to Kashgar and then crossed the border by foot.


只要有机会,Scott更喜欢在陆地上旅行的感觉。他说:“放慢脚步才能给我观察的时间和机会,更好的理解我周围的世界,坐飞机旅行是无法体会的。”他曾两度走访来吉尔吉斯斯坦,都选择的是从上海做三天的慢车到喀什,然后走路越过边境线。

The images that Scott photographed during his travels in Kyrgyzstan now form the basis of his ongoing VSCO Artist Initiative project, which chronicles the situation of the local farming community in the Kyrgyz mountains. Scott notes that there are two distinctly different styles emerging in his work: one is a very graphic travel style which stems from his love of the landscape, while the other is a rougher and more emotionally driven reportage style, reminiscent of photographers like David Alan Harvey. While Scott has always enjoyed both styles, recently he’s been more attracted towards the latter. And in many ways, Scott feels that his VSCO Artist Initiative project is an investigation of this rougher reportage approach.


Scott在吉尔吉斯斯坦旅行中拍摄的照片如今成为了他创作中的VSCO Artist Initiative项目的基础,以时间为线索,记录吉尔吉斯斯坦山区的当地农业社区情况。Scott注意到他作品中呈现了两种泾渭分明的风格:一种是如精致画卷般的旅行记录,源自对山川大地之爱;另一种则受纪实文学影响而表现出更为粗犷和情绪化风格,让人想起此类的摄影大家David Alan Harvey。虽然Scott一直都很喜欢这两种不同的风格,但近来他明显更偏爱后者了。Scott觉得,他在VSCO上的艺术家倡议项目就是从不同方面来探索更为纪实粗犷的摄影方式。

At the moment, Scott is particularly interested in exploring climate issues, and in creating art photography books on specific subject matters. He is working on a book about a sport in Central Asia called Buzkashi, which translates literally as “goat grabbing” in Persian. The national sport of Afghanistan, Buzkashi is a game in which horse-mounted players attempt to place a headless goat in a goal. While a great deal of documentary reportage has already been done on the subject, Scott is more interested in capturing the emotions and motions of the sport itself, and in a more graphic and abstract way.


目前,Scott对人文风土问题尤为感兴趣,并在相关主题上进行艺术摄影书籍的创作。他正在着手进行书就是关于一项中亚运动,名为“Buzkashi”,用波斯语直译过来的意思就是 “抢山羊”。Buzkashi是阿富汗的举国热衷的赛事,竞技者们骑着马,目标是安放一只无头山羊的尸体,而其他人试图阻止。由于已经有大量的纪实性文章报道过这个活动,Scott更侧重于以图片和抽象的方式,捕捉运动本身所蕴含的激情和动感。

Scott aims to complete his VSCO Artist Initiative project by pairing his photo series from his travels in Kyrgyzstan with a more researched editorial about the local shepherding community. His ultimate goal for the project is “to document the lives of the shepherds, and the issues around modern pastoralism in relation to how it affects the lives of the Kyrgyz people today and for the future, as well as celebrate the deep heritage they have as a people group.”


Scott希望把他在吉尔吉斯斯坦的系列照片与当地牧羊社区深入研究后的文字相结合,用以完成他的VSCO Artist Initiative项目。他对该项目的最终期望在于“记录当地牧羊人的生活,以及围绕现代田园主义如何影响吉尔吉斯人现今的今天以及未来,同时也是对他们作为一个群体所承载深厚底蕴的一种赞歌。”

VSCO: scotturner.vsco.co
Instagram: @stturn

 

Contributor: Leon Yan


VSCOscotturner.vsco.co
Instagram: @stturn

 

供稿人: Leon Yan

The Post Town of Tsumago-juku

Lasting between 1603 and 1868 was the Edo era, one of the most prosperous periods of time in the history of Japan. During this time, Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate, the last feudal Japanese military government, and the country’s 300 daimyō, the all-powerful feudal lords who ruled most of the land. Characterized by intensive economic growth, an excessively strict social order, isolationist foreign policies and a flourishing art scene, the Edo period played a profound role in the industrial, artistic and intellectual development of Japan.


日本の歴史上最も繁栄した時代の一つである江戸時代は、1603年から1868年まで続きました。当時の日本は、この国最後の封建制度下の軍政府であった徳川幕府の支配下にあり、全権力を握る領主として300人の地方大名が国土の大半を統治していました。著しい経済成長、過剰なほど厳格な社会的序列、鎖国政策、芸術的背景の開花に象徴される江戸時代は、産業面においても、芸術・知的面においても、日本の発展に重要な役割を果たしました。

Located in Nagiso, Nagano Prefecture, Tsumago-juku is the 42nd of the 69 post towns on the Nakasendō, a trade route that stretched over 530 km and connected modern-day Tokyo with Kyoto during the Edo period. As one of the most well-preserved towns in Japan, people stopping by Tsumago are usually visitors looking to experience an authentic slice of Japanese history and soak in the ambience of a historic Japanese post town.


長野県の南木曽町(なぎそまち)に位置する妻籠宿(つまごじゅく)は、江戸時代の商業街道として現在の東京と京都を結ぶ530 kmに渡って栄えた中山道六十九次のうち42番目の宿場でした。日本国内で最も保存状態に優れた町である妻籠宿を訪れる観光客らは、歴史的な日本の宿場町の雰囲気に浸り、日本史の真の一面に触れることができます。

Before becoming a part of the Nakasendō route, Tsumago was part of the Kisoji, a minor trade route running through the Kiso Valley. The town fell into poverty after the construction of the Chūō Main Line railway, which bypassed Tsumago. As a result, the town ended up being neglected for over a century. Yet, with enough dedication and effort from locals, over 20 houses were restored by 1971. Five years later, Tsumago was deemed as a Nationally Designated Architectural Preservation Site by the Japanese government and has since then become a fairly popular tourist destination.


中山道の宿場となる以前、妻籠宿は、木曾谷を抜ける比較的小規模な商業街道であった木曽路の一部でした。やがてこの町は、妻籠宿を迂回して建設されたJR中央本線開通後、貧困に陥ることになります。その結果、町は1世紀以上もの間、世間から忘れ去られた存在だったのです。それでも、地元住民の献身と努力の甲斐あって、1971年までには20軒を超える町の家屋が修復されました。そしてその5年後、妻籠宿は日本政府により重要伝統的建造物群保存地区に指定され、今日では人気の観光地となったわけです。

It only takes a short ten minutes to go through the entirety of Tsumago on foot. A myriad of wooden Edo-style temples, shrines and two-story inns are scattered along the street. Cars are strictly prohibited on the main road during the day, and all the power cables along with the telegraph lines are concealed. It’s details like these that brings forth the feeling of having traveled back in time for visitors.


妻籠宿の町全体を通り抜けるには徒歩で10分もあれば十分です。通りに沿って、江戸様式の木造の神社仏閣や二階建ての旅籠が軒を連ねています。日中は、車での本通りの通行は厳禁で、電信線のケーブル線はすべて見えないように隠されています。こういった細部が、過去に旅する気分を訪れる者に味わわせてくれるのです。

Different kinds of accommodations are available for travelers, including a rebuilt version of the town’s honjin, which used to be a major way station for government officials. It was the place where only feudal lords and other representatives of the shogunate would stay during their travels. Originally destroyed, the inn was reconstructed in 1995, but the new building still manages to retain the sense of charm that it once held during the Edo era.


町には旅行者向けに様々な宿泊施設があり、中には、幕府の官僚らが利用する宿舎であった本陣を改築した宿もあります。ここは、大名など幕府の役人らが移動中に滞在した場所でした。元の本陣が荒廃したのち1995年に再建されたものですが、江戸時代の栄華の名残を今も留めています。

The waki-honjin, which is a smaller version of the honjin, is the secondary inn. In the past, it accommodated travelers of lower status and retainers of the feudal lords. Reconstructed in 1877, the waki-honjin was rebuilt with Japanese cypress, which was actually prohibited by the government during those times. According to the rules, when two official parties were traveling through Tsumago, only the most powerful of the two could stay in the main honjin, while the other party must reside in the waki-honjin.


本陣の小型版、脇本陣は、補助的な宿泊施設を指します。かつて、ここには位が低い旅人や、大名の家来などが宿泊していました。1877年に再建された脇本陣は、当時幕府により使用が禁止されていた檜で再築されたものです。規則に則って、2つの役人団体が同時に妻籠宿に滞在した場合、格式が高い一行のみが本陣での宿泊を許され、もう一方は脇本陣の利用を余儀なくされていました。

The government has a set of stringent laws that prevents any of the buildings in Tsumago to be rented out, sold, or demolished. The town remains uninhabited nowadays, and its only the traditional craft shops and inns crammed with people during the tourist season that brings the sleepy town to life. But for people looking to experience a piece of Japanese cultural history, this quaint little town is a must-visit destination.


政府により、妻籠宿の全建築物の賃貸、売却、解体を防止する一連の厳しい法令が制定されています。現在この町には居住者がおらず、行楽シーズンには伝統工芸品の店舗と宿泊施設だけが観光客で賑わい、静かな町に活気が戻ります。日本の文化史を体験したい方にとって、この趣のある小さな町は、是非訪れたい場所と言えるでしょう。

Contributor: Anastasia Masalova
Photographer: Tutu


寄稿者: Anastasia Masalova
カメラマン: Tutu

Art Island Naoshima

Setouchi Triennale takes place in spring, summer and autumn once every three years and lasts for 108 days. It is held on the 12 islands of the Seto Inland Sea, including Teshima, Megijima, Naoshima, and so on. With the largest number of installations and public works on display in Naoshima, this remote island is one of the most popular destinations during the Triennale.


瀬戸内国際芸術祭は、トリエンナーレ形式で3年毎に春から秋にかけて108日間開催されます。豊島、女木島、直島など瀬戸内海に浮かぶ12の島を舞台にアート作品が展示されます。インスタレーションやパブリックアート作品が最も多く展示される離島、直島は、芸術祭開催中最も人気が高い目的地の一つです。

Designed by the world-famous architect Tadao Ando, the Chichu Art Museum lives up to its name (chichu means “underground” in Japanese); a very large part of the museum’s compound is indeed concealed underground. Surprisingly, it manages still to use natural daylight as its main source of light. Through Ando’s masterful design, he has engaged in a conversation between architecture and nature. The museum is also exhibiting Time/Timeless/No Time from the iconic American minimalist artist Walter de Maria, Claude Monet’s large-scale oil painting Water Lily, as well as the American contemporary artist James Terrell’s Open Sky – an installation work using light as the medium. It is very rare to witness the work of impressionist, modern and contemporary art in one single museum. This alone would be reason enough to pay a visit.


世界的な建築家、安藤忠雄氏の設計による地中美術館は、その名の通り、館内の大部分が地下に隠れています。それでも意外なことに、ここでは自然光が主な光源として採り入れられています。その卓越した設計で、安藤氏は建築と自然の対話を実現しました。この美術館では、アメリカのアイコン的ミニマルアート作家、ウォルター・デ・マリアの作品「タイム/タイムレス/ノー・タイム」、クロード・モネの大規模な油絵「睡蓮」、さらに、アメリカの現代アート作家、ジェームズ・タレルによる光を媒体としたインスタレーション作品「オープン・スカイ」を展示しています。印象派、近代・現代アートの作品を一か所で目の当たりにできるのは非常に稀なことです。この点だけでも、一見の価値がある美術館といえるでしょう。

Another must-see museum is the Lee Ufan Museum. Widely considered as the most well-established Korean contemporary artist, Lee Ufan was also one of the leading artists of the Japanese minimalism movement, which has had a significant influence in the world of contemporary art. The museum opened in 2010, and is now considered an architectural masterpiece and one of Tadao Ando’s most iconic creations. In this semi-underground building, the main visual design elements are the dots, lines, and surfaces; these elements, which are central in the works of both Tadao Ando and Lee Ufan, perfectly compliment each other in the space. Some of Lee Ufan’s large-scale installations and his early paintings are also on display in the museum.


もう一つ是非訪れたい美術館は李禹煥美術館です。最も評価の高い韓国人アーティストとして広く認められた李禹煥氏は、現代アートの世界に大きな影響を与えた日本のミニマリズム運動において優れたアーティストの一人でもありました。2010年に開館したこの美術館は、安藤忠雄氏の最も象徴的な作品の一つと考えられ、まさに建築の傑作です。この半地下の建物の内部で焦点を当てられたビジュアルデザインの要素は、点と線、そして面です。安藤氏と李氏、双方の作品の中枢をなすこれら3つの要素が、見事にこの空間で互いに調和しているようです。館内には、李禹煥氏の大型インスタレーション作品と初期の絵画作品のいくつかも展示されています。

After seeing the museum, visitors can also take a walk to the peaceful harbour of Naoshima where one can get an award-winning ice cream for only 550 yen and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Even though walking is a fairly feasible option for getting around, there are also busses running to most parts of the island. One bus is even decorated in Yayoi Kusama’s signature pumpkin patterns.


李禹煥美術館を訪れた後は、直島の静かな港まで散歩し、賞の受賞経験もある550円のアイスクリームを買って美しい夕陽を楽しむのも良いでしょう。周辺は徒歩でも移動可能ですが、島のほとんどの場所にはバスも運行しています。草間彌生氏独特のかぼちゃ模様で装飾を施されたバスも1台走っているほどです。

Also located on the island is the Art House Project, where artists have turned empty houses on the island into works of art. Visitors can easily access all of the revamped buildings by foot after getting off at one of many convenient bus stops. For the purpose of protecting the artworks, photography is forbidden in most of the houses. A local volunteer told me all the works showcased for the Art House Project will be kept permanently. Most of the residential housing on the island are built with wood, standing one next to the other in close proximity. All the windows and doors are smaller than normal, bringing a different yet interesting experience for city dwellers who visit. Even the houses themselves come in rather small sizes. The gardens and plants around the houses are beautifully and neatly arranged in a traditional Japanese style. Wandering around, you might also spot interesting details that reveal the tasteful eye of the house owners, such as a cute Tanuki sculpture or artwork made of recycling cans.


また、直島では、アーティストらが島に点在する古い空き家をアート作品に変えるプロジェクトも見られます。数多くの便利なバス停の一つで下車すると、改装された古民家には徒歩で簡単にアクセスできます。なお、ほとんどの家屋では、作品を保護する目的で写真撮影が禁じられています。地元のボランティアによると、家プロジェクトで公開された作品はすべて永久保存されるとのことです。直島の住宅の大半は木造で、家々が隣接して並んでいます。窓や戸はどれも通常より小さく、都会から訪れる者に一種独特の印象を与えます。家屋そのものも比較的小さいものです。人家の周囲の庭や植物は、伝統的な様式で美しくきちんと手入れされています。この辺りを歩き回ると、狸の彫刻や空き缶を再利用したアート作品などの細部に、各家の持ち主の趣味の良さを垣間見られるかもしれません。

Besides all the interesting museums, the island itself also has a certain charm that it offers. The wooden walls and rusty metal factories add a natural texture to the island, giving it a sense of mysterious beauty that can only come with old age. Walking around, you’ll spot even more artwork, such as interesting silhouettes of people made with lines of wool, which are attached to walls throughout the area. They’re often quietly hidden away behind corners, waiting to surprise you when you turn around. It almost felt like these whimsical artworks were playing hide-and-seek with the tourists.


これら興味深い美術館の他にも、直島には当地ならではの魅力があふれています。木の壁や錆びた金属工場が、時を経たものだけが持つ神秘の美を醸し出し、この島の自然な質感を漂わせるのです。散策を続けると、この地域のあちこちの壁に、毛糸の線で人の形に描かれ、貼り付けられたアート作品なども見られます。これらの作品は、密かに角の向こう側に隠れているものが多いため、ふと振り返ると驚かされます。まるで、気まぐれなアート作品が観光客とかくれんぼをしているかのようです。

Not far from Miyanoura Port lies the famous polka-dot pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama. It sits quietly by the sea and the water’s blue hues seemed to make the pumpkin’s yellow brighter than ever. Yayoi Kusama’s merchandise can be purchased at the Benesse House Museum, which also showcases other very interesting artworks. From there, you can head to a café located on the mountaintop to relax with a nice cup of coffee. It is the perfect place to bask in the sunlight, while embracing the gentle wind coming in from the beach. The tranquil vibes of the island, the cutting-edge architecture of the art museums, and the traditional Japanese houses all co-exist harmoniously, perfectly demonstrating the unique nature of Naoshima.


宮之浦港から程近い場所に、草間彌生氏の有名な水玉模様のかぼちゃがあります。海辺に静かに佇み、海の青い色調がかぼちゃの黄色をさらに色鮮やかに演出するかのように見えます。草間彌生グッズを販売するベネッセハウスミュージアムでは、他にも注目に値する作品の数々が展示されています。そこから山頂にあるカフェに向かい、のんびりコーヒーを楽しむこともできます。浜辺から吹くそよ風を受けながら日光浴するには最適な場所です。この島の穏やかな空気感、斬新な美術館建築、伝統の日本家屋、それらすべてが絶妙な調和で共存し、直島独特の自然を見事に示しているのです。

Websites:
setouchi-artfest.jp
benesse-artsite.jp

 

Contributor & Photographer: George Liu Zhen
Additional Image Courtesy of Chi Chu Art Museum


ウェブサイト:
setouchi-artfest.jp
benesse-artsite.jp

 

寄稿者&カメラマン: George Liu Zhen
Additional Image Courtesy of 地中美術館

Exploring Bagan

Sarah Ong and Eu-Jinn Teh are the husband and wife duo behind The Silver Lining, an awe-inspiring space in which the couple share their collective love for “life, people, gatherings, nature, creativity and art.” The pair recently travelled to Myanmar, to explore the country in which Sarah’s parents grew up before immigrating in 1971. This journey brought Sarah and Jinn to the peak of ancient temples, into the thick of bustling local markets, and floating through Old Bagan on a hot air balloon. Below, they relay some of the highlights of their Myanmar travel log and share a few travel tips for enjoying the very best of Bagan.

Once home to over 10,000 temples, the otherworldly historical city of Bagan is not to be missed. More than 2,000 of these ancient and unmistakable pagodas still stand, and walking amongst them seems to transports you back to the 11th century when Bagan was the thriving capital of the Pagan Empire. The temples are mostly dedicated to Buddha, although dotted with the odd Hindu shrine, range vastly in size from imperious monuments several stories high to tiny stupas that only allow one or two people inside at a time. The smoky atmosphere (attributable to the numerous household cooking fires in the area) and entirely unique landscape makes every single sunrise and sunset a breathtakingly different experience.

Present-day Bagan is separated into three distinct regions – Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyaung Oo. Old Bagan is the heart of the old city where you’ll find most of temples. There are a number of hotels and resorts but they tend to be pretty pricey. New Bagan was essentially created by the government to prevent locals from living in and among the temples and is honestly fairly bland and characterless. There are many very affordable places to stay In Nyaung Oo, and the town is a fun 20 minute bike ride from Old Bagan. It is also home to F.I.T. Street where you will find a number of great restaurants to eat. You can get to and around Old Bagan by foot, bicycle, electrical bicycle (E-bike), car and even horse cart if that so tickles your fancy.

The number one experience is a hot air balloon ride that takes you on an unforgettable, peaceful sunrise glide over the heart of Old Bagan, just high enough that you feel like you could graze the very top of the Dhammayangi Temple. There are three ballooning companies, all of whom cost roughly the same, setting you back a hefty $350 USD per person, a worthy price for the experience.

For another magical sunrise experience that’s completely free, cycle to Bulethi Pagoda at the break of dawn to catch the balloons wafting by. This is still a relatively unknown sight, and definitely worth becoming a morning person for. Must-see pagodas include Shwesandaw during sunset (expect crowds and tour buses but also a sunset that will make you forget about them all), Dhammayangi, Ananda, Htilominlo, Sulamani, and Manuha Paya (for its giant reclining Buddha). The best thing to do is just generally get lost in and amongst these ancient structures and just go wherever your exploring feet take you.

Nyaung Oo Market is also worth a gander. Beyond the food market, there are many beautiful fabric stores. The region is known for their exceptional lacquer ware, an ancient craft that originated from China. It involves a labour intensive process that consists of building up over 20 layers of various naturally occurring substances to create beautiful and very hardy pieces, which can range from very functional bowls and plates to purely ornamental art pieces. There are, as always, cheap knock-offs but search out a place called Lotus Collection in New Bagan to find an artisanal studio versus a number of the larger factories that give off a “mass-produced” feel.

Bagan is accessible by air, road, rail and boat, depending on where you’re coming from. Coaches are available and are a good way to see the countryside but can take a long time (around ten hours from Rangoon/Yangon). Be sure to bring along your camera, a pair of energetic legs for cycling and pagoda climbing, a bit of extra cash for an unforgettable balloon ride, and your best mingalaba (a Burmese greeting that means “May your day be filled with auspiciousness!”) to soak in and explore Bagan, a truly historical and spiritual centre of Myanmar.

Website: thesilverlining.co

 

Contributor: Whitney Ng