Back to Burma


Procession of Nuns, Yangon

This is Burma, and it is unlike any land you know about.
Rudyard Kipling, Letters from the East (1898)


Fisherman on Inle Lake with the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in the distance

Burma is referred to  as Amarapura, the Land of Immortality, and
Yadanarbon, the Land of the Gems.
Today it is known as Suvanabhomi, the Golden Land.


Mingun Pagoda

Burma has a uniquely preserved cultured in a unparalled landscape.
Rich in natural resources and virgin landscapes,
the country has unique features which set it apart from the rest of the world.


Golden rock, Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar


Pagan, Burma, 2010




Bagan, the ancient capital, where thousands of temples, monasteries, and stupas were built.



Sittwe, Burma




Even the son of the foolish can be a sage ; even the son of a poor man can be rich.
Do not be contemptuous of anyone.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma, 2010, final print_perugia




Yangon, Burma


Monk reads Buddhist scripture at monastery in Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma), 1985

Monk reads Buddhist scriptures at monastery in Yangon

One who has knowledge is honored by others.
Strive daily to get knowledge.
– Proverb

Rangoon, Burma, 1994. Magnum Photos, NYC62603, MCS1994009 K207.

Yangon train



Inle Lake



Monk walks through a Buddha statue workshop, Mandalay

For the temple-bells are callin’, and 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!
– Rudyard Kipling


Young Monk in Mandalay

In battle we need a warrior,
in a commotion a counselor,
during meals a loved one,
a wise man in an emergency
– Proverb


Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

“Human beings the world over need freedom and security that they may be able to realize their full potential.”



I am not thesis
I am not antithesis
I am dialectic
Just a contradiction
Patched up in palimpsest.
 – Portion of poem by Zeyar Lynn, Burma
Translated by Ko Ko Thett




_SM16706, Myanmar, Burma, 02/2011, BURMA-10313 Untold_book


Burma is  the most religious Buddhist country if measured by the
percentage of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion.

123 Responses to “Back to Burma”

  1. Graham Says:

    Lovely people, great scenery and a country well worth a visit and as soon as you can.

  2. […] Back to Burma | Steve McCurry’s Blog – 24-4-2013 · This is Burma, and it is unlike any land you know about. Rudyard Kipling, Letters from the East (1898) Burma is referred to as Amarapura, the Land of …… […]

  3. great pics. Thanks to share your photos with us

  4. Coby Smith Says:

    Thanks so much! Beautiful pics – I shared.

    With everything happening in Thailand right now – – maybe more people will head to Burma. There is so much to Myanmar’s rich culture and heritage for fellow travellers to get to know – – this may be of interest.

  5. stunning as ever. thanks for sharing

  6. Thank you for sharing these stunning and superb moments of your professionalism.

  7. Reblogged this on bob edge photographer and commented:
    Inspiration for 2014!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Great photos. We are going to visit Burma on next December 2013. Hopefully it will be awesome.

  9. awesome… this gives me a great insight into the culture and people of Burma.. can’t wait for my trip there in November… I can only hope to capture the essence and spirit of this great country the same way you did!! excellent job!

  10. rajeev jain Says:


  11. […] Back to Burma ( […]

  12. Nice images.
    You clearly enjoy/love Myanmar as I do.
    I’ve been going there off and on for 30 years. Had many adventures, from being a starry eyed first time tourist to living and working there.
    Generally spent the time digging into the history, culture and day to day realities of Myanmar under the repressive situation it was in until recently.
    I encourage you to return and dig deep beneath the images you have been able to capture. Politics and economic conditions can and are changing quickly but the underlaying history and culture run deeep and can provide important insights into what lays under the often beautifu surface.
    Keep it up,
    All the best,
    Kevin McGivern USA

  13. Anonymous Says:

    excellent work.

  14. […] in Burma Steve McCurry kehrte nach Burma (Myanmar) zurück. Ein fernes Land wo ich spontan an die Friedensnobelpreisträgerin San Suu Kyi denke. Seine […]

  15. These images are stunning! Such an air of tranquility. You’ve captured Myanmar and the Burmese people perfectly!

  16. Reblogged this on ASIA 08.

  17. Beautiful Words and Stunning Photographs. They do an incredible job of conveying the mood of the people and the country.

  18. Amazing photos once again!

    We have just got back from Burma and loved every minute of it. I love the fact that the people love having their photo taken!


  19. Amazing imagery….just beautiful!

  20. Loved each of them but the one with the kids playing soccer in the rain is so heartening

  21. viknefoto Says:

    Excellent, as always!

  22. Now that I’ve just spent six hours on your website reading your posts, I’m hooked on your
    blog. I added it as a favorite it to my bookmarks
    list and will be checking back in the near future. Check out my own
    personal blog if you get the chance and give me your

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Splendide foto per un Paese splendido. Con persone meravigliose!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Meravigliose come sempre, sono anche io un fotografo grazie a te

  25. je suis inspirée et je retiens mon souffle…merci …

  26. Great as always!

  27. I have a special place in my heart for Burma after seeing the movie The Lady and I’m so happy to see your photo of Aung San Suu Kyi. Wonderful photos, as always, Steve.

  28. BELLE!!

  29. Amazing would be an understatement for his work….

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Have never come across such beautiful photographs of Burma, capturing every aspect of the country. I am Burma-born and now more home-sick than ever!

  31. beautiful images.

  32. always so lovely, thank you

  33. Come sempre personalissime e uniche! Grande Steve!

  34. S. N. Rama Raju Says:

    The photos represent the cross section of the Burmese life. As usual the photos are superb !

  35. You’ve captured the soul of this place of Yadanarbon. Thank you.

  36. Once again, the simplicity and beauty of your photographs take my breath away. Thank you. Your body of work is amazing.

  37. Just brilliant shots, perfectly captures south east asia. I never have been to burma, i would very much like to go.
    Keep up the good work

  38. Anonymous Says:

    your images are eloquent…without words….blessings and gratitude.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    You captured Burma’s perfection—its people—so beautifully. I know. I’ve been there.
    Thank you for enriching our lives through your photographs!

  40. Always astounding and moving! Beautiful and inspiring

  41. Love your photos, have recently been through Myanmar.

  42. So rich and so beautiful, as always. Your photos from all over the world are truly remarkable. Burma looks like an amazing country.

  43. Inspiring!

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for shareing!

  45. AMAZING character studies!


  46. Your images are beautiful!! I’m flying to Burma on Friday, excited to experience this country.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    Such richness! — barbara

  48. gracemaungmaung Says:

    Reblogged this on welivetolaugh.

  49. Reblogged this on The Crayon Files and commented:
    These are the best photographs I’ve ever seen of Burma, magnificent in their composition, their juxtapositioning, and in capturing the moment. I walked into Burma from Thailand in the 1990s for a day, but these make me want to go back and take a proper look.

  50. Connie Jensen Says:

    Fabulous as Always !!! How ever did you manage to capture Daw Aung San Suu Kyi? What was the occasion ?

    Thanks for sharing !!

    best Connie

  51. Haunting photos that etch into one’s consciousness! This is why I inspire to pick up a camera.:) Thank you for sharing!

  52. Serge Bibeau Says:

    Note to self : add Burma to buckit list!

  53. Reblogged this on Sanuk and commented:
    Brilliant photographs of Burma!

  54. Incredible so many fantastic photos we can view here!
    This is great experience – to follow and be inspired from your photos.

  55. I awoke this morning with the desire to visit Burma. One hour later I was greeted by your photographs. I hear it is very beautiful and your work confirms this. Thank you. I shall be on my way there soon. Annemaree

  56. I awoke this morning with the deep desire to go to Burma. Only one hour later, I was greeted by your photos. I hear it is very beautiful and your work confirms this. Thank you. I shall be on my way there soon. Annemaree

  57. Admirable Travail.

  58. All Pictures very interesting…
    Love them all…

  59. Merci Monsieur Mc Curry, your pictures are “inhabited” as we could say in french, your way of closing the frame, and catching the grace, is just close to sublime, Buddah bless you !

  60. Wonderful photos of a wonderful country! They made me remember of my trip there…thank you!

  61. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Burma with us.

  62. shanni ong Says:

    Dear Steve,

    Thank you! This is amazing!!! Breath taking!

    Best wishes Shanni

  63. Pennsylvanian Says:

    You’re an inspiration. Thank you.

  64. M. Lepiscopo Says:

    Simplesmente, MARAVILHADA!! Quanta beleza, quanta riqueza. Incrivelmente MÁGICO! Obrigada por compartilhar através de seu olhar. Parabéns!!

  65. Great pictures telling the stories of other people! Love what you do!

  66. fantastic images!! I would love to go there. reminds me of cambodia a bit.

  67. Jorge Ortega Says:

    Ho do you do to make that kind of work, how do thou do to take that quality, that kind of beautiful pictures Steve?…

    I feel so frustrated, cause I cannot take jus a good photograph…

    Specially I’ma one of your fans from a long time ago… I’m so glad that I found your photographs in books, Internet and National Geographic’s Magazine…

    You’re a very professional and good photographer I ever seem…

  68. A Steve McCurry post is always something to linger and wonder over. You take me to places that I will never go and show me things that I could never know. Thank you for another superb combination. :)

  69. Amazing, just amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  70. Each image is breathtaking and makes a connection that is inspiring! Thank you!

  71. Steve, you are just the most inspiring photographer. These photographs are incredible. My favourite, if I had to choose, would be the man on the typewriter with man under umbrella, fascinating.

  72. Terrosi Andrea Says:


  73. Caro Sr Steve
    Em suas fotos estão expressas a alma e a cultura de um povo magnifico. Poucos fotógrafos no mundo conseguem captar a beleza desses sentimentos.
    abraços do Brazil

  74. Dear and lovely views.

  75. Fantastic set of images again Steve – love the Mingun Pagoda and Golden Rock shots.

  76. Your photos are always fantastic! I get to see peolpe and places I may never see! Thank you!

  77. Wonderful photo story. Thank you.

  78. Another brilliant series. Superb content, colour, textures and wonderful quotes.

  79. Sublime! I want to travel to Burma!

  80. Thank you for the look here. I began to feel awe over the clarity and the colors. And then, I wondered at how the photographer can supplant the real with the romantic view–or wait is that me? There is a door, will I step through it, and know?

  81. Andréa Andrade Sauer Says:

    Sou fã de SteveMcCurry´s. Fico maravilhada com as imagens que mostram maravilhas do mundo e das pessoas. Simplesmente fantástico!

  82. As always fantastic images that tell a story in each, we’d love to interview Steve for our blog one day!

  83. Amazing work, thanks for sharing.

  84. Anonymous Says:

    “On the way to Mandalay”- Rudyard Kipling

  85. Really beautiful. Thanks for reminding us places like this still exist.

  86. Beautiful. Achingly beautiful.

  87. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    Steve is at it again…..

  88. I visited Burma last October, thank you for these wonderful images that remind me of my trip and the lovely people I met. I am an avid admirer of your work.

  89. Reblogged this on Caixa Negra and commented:
    Um extraordinário post, como é habito, publicado no blogue Stee McCurry.

    Com a Birmânia, ou Burma, ou Myanmar, como preferirem, como tema, vejam e revejam a arte maior de Steve McCurry, um génio da fotografia.

  90. awesome photographs

  91. Anonymous Says:

    Love everyone of them!

  92. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    This is what awesome really means!

  93. C. Smith Says:

    Such a gift to see these images ~ thank you for your eye !

  94. Devastatingly beautiful images. Thanks you so much.

  95. Thanks Steve!
    Burma is always in our mind

  96. stanito Says:

    Beautiful touching pictures.

  97. Magnificent set, Steve. This area is high on my list for my next photographic journey. Thank you for your continued inspiration!

  98. these pictures leave me devastated, humbled and speechless as always………

  99. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful coments and fascinating images!

  100. Thank you for posting these amazing photographs,Steve

  101. It’s a great series and I specially like the portraits. One can really look into their souls.

  102. Anonymous Says:

    The best photographies I’ve ever seen!!

  103. Anonymous Says:

    Amazing and magical as Always ! :))))))

  104. Anonymous Says:


  105. bronsond Says:

    Burma is on my bucket list to visit, but I feel like I’ve been there through your images. Thanks for sharing.

  106. Your photographs are stunning. They nourish me. Thank you so muh.

  107. Micke Pettersson Says:

    Amazing pictures, we are close up in the middle of their lifes. Thank you

  108. Another incredible series, Steve! One wish- you were posting more often.

  109. verdemujer Says:

    Thank you. I would love to continue receiving your posts. Naima

  110. Indeed very different from anything else in Asia. I am happy to see a sense of calmness in all these pictures. Though in media we only read about the conflict. Wishing peace and prosperity to people of Burma… thanks.

  111. paolo bergomi Says:

    As usual beautiful images.
    my fav is Fisherman on Inle Lake with the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in the distance


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