Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Early days in Yangon


Hard to believe, but I’ve been living in Yangon for just over three months now. I’ve not been posting much in that time, but I’ve been out shooting a lot, building up a sizeable, but just about manageable, backlog of pictures. So, not before time, here are some pictures from my first couple of weeks in the city, taken at the end of September last year (as usual, this blog is lagging some way behind real life, and is showing no real inclination to catch up).

It was a strange, busy, exciting time for me. Staying in a hotel and with my new job yet to start in earnest, I was in a kind of limbo for two or three weeks. There was the feeling of freedom and eagerness to explore that comes with being on holiday, mixed with the slight feeling of trepidation and the nagging need to sort out practical things that come with moving to a new country. So while I spent a lot of time taking pictures and reacquainting myself with Yangon, I also had to find myself somewhere to live and start laying the foundations of a long term stay.

These pictures were all taken in Downtown Yangon, the area that I think of as the heart of the city (and where I now live). It feels a little strange, as a Brit, to use the very American-sounding term Downtown, but that’s what the district’s called, so I’ll just have to get used to it (I’ll be calling people ‘dude’ before you know it). Downtown is the ideal area to dive into Yangon life, and an endlessly rewarding location for photography, its grid of numbered streets making it easy to navigate while always holding out the possibility of streets yet to be explored. There’ll be more – probably quite a lot more – pictures from this part of my new home over the next few weeks and months.















And finally…


18 Responses to “Early days in Yangon”

  1. allentimphotos2

    Jon, these are wonderful. I particularly like the fruit seller with the bus behind him. I get a feeling of the business of the city. I’m looking forward to seeing more.
    Best, in you new job.

  2. Alison and Don

    These are great images Jon. You’ve really captured the feeling of Yangon. We were there a few years ago and loved it.

  3. Jeff Bell

    Great collection of images. I love your use of color and look forward to seeing more from Yangon.

  4. bluebrightly

    What a rich tapestry of images, and I enjoyed reading about your activities and thoughts. Be reassured, there are probably millions of Americans who have successfully kept “downtown” in their vocabulary without ever resorting to “dude.” 🙂
    I’m especially fond of the altar, with the water offering and the sweet statue, and the tree (can’t remember the name!) with the little picture offering tucked in there. Also the vegetables and the one underneath, taken on a tilt, with those fabulous smiling faces. And as always, your processing, with the film look, is very, very appealing.

  5. frauke

    Wow, really good photos! I like the way you give a scenery an expression!


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