A pagoda on the sacred land of Sagaing Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar. September 2017.

This view reminds me of Rudyard Kipling’s Poem Mandalay or commonly known as On the Road to Mandalay.

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat – jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay…

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay…

But that’s all shove be’ind me – long ago an’ fur away
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay…

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and –
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay…

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay !



Three bashful young nuns resting on a slide in a schoolyard. Sagaing Hill, Mandalay. Myanmar 2017.




Boys will be boys. Novice monks playing football on the Buddhist Sabbath. This is a school run by a monastery. Sagaing Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar.September 2017



Young lady with thanaka-daubed face in wet market, Bagan, Myanmar. Thanaka is a cream made from ground bark of several trees. Commonly used as sunblock and facial skin moisturiser. Its use dated back for at least 2,000 years. September 2017



Speedboat water taxi on Lake Inle, Shan State, Myanmar. September 2017



Lone rower on her way home in the gentle evening light. Lake Inle, Shan State, Myanmar. September 2017



Sunset over pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar. View from Shwesandaw temple. September 2017



Reflection on a still pool of the extensions of the Ananda Temple. The original stupa is coated in gold. Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar. September 2017



Two little monks studying by the window. Shwe Yaunghwe Kyaung monastery, Nyaungshwe, Shan State, Myanmar. September 2017




Fishermen at Lake Inle, Myanmar.  A unique form of fishing – one legged rowing and stirring of the paddle with a foot. September 2017