There is undoubtedly an air of electricity in Yangon. Myanmar’s largest city is in the midst of an incredible growth spurt, brought about by foreign investment from countries like China, Japan and Korea. Ever since Myanmar opened its doors to tourism in 2011 the country has experienced a huge upsurge in the number of people visiting, giving the former capital of Myanmar, a breath of new life.
I ventured to Yangon in January of 2016 to see for myself what the city looked like beneath the surface of so much change. What I found were good people, great food and a city that was ready to embrace its bright new future.
Traffic in Yangon
A typical alleyway in the big city
A group of hungry customers waiting to eat one of Yangon’s delicious street stall delicacies.
A street vendor moves his stall closer to the action.
When in doubt, eat what the locals eat.
The Yangon Circle Line goes all around Yangon, even farther out into surrounding the townships, until it finally returns.
Democracy in Myanmar is popular topic on the minds of most locals.
There’s no better place to get lost than in a market in Myanmar
Burmese women negotiating at peak hours.
A father and son stopped to say hello.
Betel leaf stacked in an intricate pattern
The smell of dried fish fills the air in the local markets.
A smaller temple, located near the Shwedagon Pagoda
I have no idea what this was, but I will never forget its overwhelming stench
Delicious snacks make for tantalizing temptations.
Intricate details outside of a small library
A Burmese student on his way to school.
A young boy gets dressed up by his family
The circle line in Yangon
A Burmese man.
Families and tourists use the trains to get around Yangon
A busy day for locals.
A genuine moment of laughter between two worlds.
The glorious Shwedagon Pagoda
Monks in Myanmar are beginning to embrace technology, in order to learn more about the world around them, and stay connected to other monasteries.
A group of young monks sitting before their teacher.
Lima is a city of contrast and food. The Peruvian capital features an alluring mix of people and food from the Amazon, the Andes and the Pacific coast. Follow Walker as he explores Lima’s diverse neighborhoods in search of the tastiest food Lima has to offer.
In the eyes of foreigners, Lima often plays second fiddle to Cusco. Sure it has horrendous traffic, and it’s unsafe in parts, but most Limeños (people from Lima) love their city. And what’s not to like? Bohemian neighborhoods that once housed Peruvian writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa are perched on rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, spring like weather occurs all year around, and welcoming locals will quickly become your best friend. Ultimately, when it comes to singing Lima’s praises, it’s all about the food. Spicy, fresh, organic and raw, Lima’s cuisine is one of the best in the world. It’s gastronomy is a synthesis of everything that is Peru; it takes its ingredients from the Amazon jungle, the high Andes and the Pacific, blending it together with Peru’s multi ethnic make up. The largest number of Asians in Latin America reside in Peru, adding to the flavor of many dishes; Afro-Peruvians, Quechua and Aymara natives, Spanish, Italian and Germans have contributed as well. If you come for one thing, come for the food.
Most tourists give Lima a day, maybe two. They see the somewhat uninspiring streets of Miraflores and then they leave, claiming that Lima ‘isn’t that interesting’ or ‘it’s just a big city’. But that’s their loss. Lima is hot, chaotic and in your face, but it’s also beautiful, cosmopolitan and incredibly diverse. Skipping Lima for the tourist shops of Cusco or the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu would be to miss arguably the most important part of the country; it would be missing Peru at its most sophisticated, contemporary and progressive. While Cusco and Machu Picchu look towards Peru’s past, Lima looks towards its future.
View of Miraflores from the cliffs of Barranco. Miraflores is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Lima, and is filled with an array of great restaurants, bookstores and ocean views.
Local resident in the neighborhood of Barranco. Barranco feels more like a small Mediterrian town rather a neighborhood within a city of 10 million people.
Barra Cevichera José y Juanita in Lima’s La Victoria neighborhood serves up some of the best ceviche in Lima. Traditional ceviche, like this one, is made with raw corvina (sea bass) marinated in key lime and served with corn and sweet potato. It cost 15 Soles ($5), while delicious ceviche can be found on the street for less than half that price.
Ice cream vendor on the streets of La Victoria, one of Lima’s chaotic neighborhoods south of downtown.
For a few dollars, Parque de las Aguas in Lima provides cheap entertainment with water, light and sound.
Turn of the century architecture around Plaza San Martin, one of the European squares in the city.
The street markets of Ate.
Rock Fish and plantains steamed in a Patioba leaf? This tasty meal can be found in the Amazonian section of the Ceres market in Ate.
The announcer at Brisas keeps the crowd entertained.
Dancers at Brisas del Titicaca performing a traditional dance from the highlands of Peru.
Brisas del Titicaca is a cultural center/restaurant/nighclub that highlights dancing and music from Peru’s many distinct regions.
While out filming in el centro de Lima we ran in to la señorita Mishel Serna, who was crowned Miss Lima 2014. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join in the photoshoot.
Riding the buses though the very chaotic and congested streets of Lima will only cost you a few cents, but they’ll take you on a roller coaster ride you won’t forget for a long time.
The cliffs of Miraflores come alive at sunset. Miraflores is a upscale neighborhood in Lima, Peru, popular with shoppers and tourists.
Local resident at the Plaza de Armas in Centro de Lima.
A young woman performing a song from the central highlands of Peru.
Graffiti covered streets in Quillca, an area with old school bars, underground punk shows, old record shops and more radical bookstores than you can count. This graffiti says “Femicide-74% are mothers of 1 to 3 children-assassinated.”
Buying records in Quillca.
Plaza de Armas at night.
Pre carnival celebrations in Centro de Lima.
Preparing for carnival in Centro de Lima. Carnivals in Peru are know for their water street battles, a tradition that dates back to the 1800s.
Manolo’s is a classic spot in Miraflores that has been serving up tasty sandwiches and churros since 1968. The crispy, sugary churros comes in three flavors, manjar blanco, chocolate and crema pastelera. They are all delicious, so get all three!
More pre Carnival celebrations in Ate.
Ayahuasca is an upscale bar in an old converted mansion in Barranco. The bar features numerous drinks that combine unique ingredients from Peru, such as coca leaves and starfruit mixed with Pisco.
A businessmans store that has been converted into a shrine to Peruvian football. This man spoke nostalgically of the time when Peruvian football was at its height. The last time Peru was in the world cup was 1982.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.