musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Buddha Bonanza

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If you spend any amount of time as a tourist in Myanmar, you’ll visit a mind-numbing number of pagodas, temples, and monasteries. For many Westerners, it can all seem like an endless Buddhist blur after a short while, tempting some cynical visitors to remark that “they all look alike.” Another huge pagoda with a gleaming golden stupa? Uh, that’s nice. You go right ahead. I’ll just wait here in the horse cart.

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If you venture inside any of those sacred Buddhist sites, you are going to see a lot of Buddha figures. It’s like a Buddha bonanza! And unlike the endless parade of pagodas, the shrines to the Buddha don’t all look the same at all. I marvel at the variety of Buddha figures that I’ve seen during my trips to Myanmar. They come in all shapes and sizes, and in different poses and different styles. Standing Buddha, Reclining Buddha, Disco Buddha, Umbrella Buddha, Forest Buddha; there’s a Buddha for all occasions.

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Here are a few of the Buddha images that captured my eye during my most recent trip. These shots were taken in a variety of locations in and around Mandalay, Taunggyi, and Kakku.

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