Circular Train Journey

The terms ‘sightseeing’ and ‘relaxing’ are not often seen in the same sentence but I discovered the perfect way to do both at the same time. The 3 hour circular train route in Yangon takes you on a large loop through the city offering a unique and fascinating view of local life.

The train carriages come alive at every stop with hawkers cramming into the carriage spaces advertising their wares to train passengers, and sampling these local delicacies and snacks is every bit as enjoyable as the atmosphere and also makes you stand out less as the only tourist on the train because you are seen to be integrating into local life and commerce.

The best part about this experience for me was that there was just as much sight-seeing inside the carriage as there was on the outside via watching the coming and going of locals, people falling asleep, buying produce, interacting with their kids. I was in the perfect people watching position and although it took me some time to work up the courage to point my conspicuous camera at some of the locals sitting around me the benefit of sharing the carriage with some of them for three hours and smiling at them occasionally created a wordless familiarity which made it easier after some time.

My favourite image from this experience is the black and white image of the family on the platform through the silhouette of a train passenger.

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