Trakai Island Castle

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Trakai Island Castle (Lithuanian: Trakų salos pilis) is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania on an island in Lake Galvė. The castle is sometimes referred to as “Little Marienburg”. The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance.

Trakai Island Castle was built in several phases. During the first phase, in the second half of the 14th century, the castle was constructed on the largest of three lake islands by the order of Grand Duke Kęstutis. During the second phase, two wings were added, and on the southern side a 6-storey (35-metre or 115-foot high) donjon was built. The expansion of the forecastle in the early 15th century marked the third phase of Trakai’s development.

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Burma black and white (part 1)

© RicardMN Photography

B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography. Music: Silk Road – Kitaro. (See with sound in 480p)                 – See Part 2

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India,Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The country has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rightsviolations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Burma’s most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.

Burma is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. (From Wikipedia)

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Stilt Houses And Pagodas

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Stilt houses on Inle Lake, Nyaungshwe Township, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma). Watercolor painting look.

Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaybgshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m).

The watershed area for the lake lies to a large extent to the north and west of the lake. The lake drains through the Nam Pilu or Balu Chaung on its southern end. There is a hot spring on its northwestern shore.

Although the lake is not large, it contains a number of endemic species. Over twenty species of snails and nine species of fish are found nowhere else in the world. Some of these, like the silver-blue scaleless Sawbwa barb, the crossbanded dward danio, and the Lake Inle danio, are of minor commercial importance for the aquarium trade. It hosts approximately 20,000 brown and black head migratory seagulls in November, December and January.

Local fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. This unique style evolved for the reason that the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting. Standing provides the rower with a view beyond the reeds. However, the leg rowing style is only practiced by the men.

Very important is the development of floating garden agriculture, largely along the western side of the lake.

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Burma black and white (part 1)

Burma B&W – Part 1 from RicardMN Photography on Vimeo.                                                  – See Part 2

B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography. Music: Silk Road – Kitaro. (See with sound)

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India,Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The country has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rightsviolations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Burma’s most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.

Burma is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. (From Wikipedia)

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The boatman of the lake Taungthaman

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Lake Taungthaman is in Amarapura (Myanmar) and crosses the U Bein Bridge, the bridge of teak world’s longest (1.2 km.)

Amarapura is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay. Amarapura is bounded by the Irrawaddy river in the west, Chanmyathazi township in the north, and the ancient capital site of Ava (Inwa) in the south. It was the capital of Myanmar twice during the Konbaung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859) before finally being supplanted by Mandalay 11 km north in 1859. It is historically referred to as Taungmyo (Southern City) in relation to Mandalay.

Amarapura today is part of Mandalay, as a result of urban sprawl. The township is known today for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting.

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boats photos

Burma black and white (part 2)

© RicardMN Photography

B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography. Music: Caravansary – Kitaro. (See with sound in 480p)

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India,Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The country has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rightsviolations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Burma’s most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.

Burma is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. (From Wikipedia)

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burma photos

A fisherman in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

A fisherman in Rio Dulce, Guatemala. 2005.

Dulce River (“Sweet River”) is a river in Guatemala, completely contained within the department of Izabal. It is part of a lake and river system that has become a popular cruising sailboat destination.

The river begins at the point where it flows out of Lake Izabal. At the entrance to the river there is a small Spanish colonial fort, the Castillo de San Felipe de Lara, built to stop pirates entering the lake from the Caribbean when this part of Central America was an important shipping staging point.

Just after the river flows from Lake Izabal it is spanned by one of the biggest bridges in Central America. On one side of the bridge is the town of Fronteras, commonly referred to by the name Río Dulce, the local center of commerce for the area. Fronteras has a local vegetable market, attracting locals from the countryside who arrive in dugout canoes. Most of these boats are powered with Japanese outboard motors but many come to market day paddling these cayucos by hand. On the other side is the town of El Rellenos. Nearby is the children’s village of Casa Guatemala, an orphanage that houses roughly 250 children and provides them with education and nourishment.

From Fronteras the river flows east for a couple of miles. In this stretch there are several marinas and resorts. The river then flows into a long narrow lake called El Golfete. This lake has an island and a large natural anchorage. A few houses and a couple of small businesses line the shore. El Golfete is about 10 miles (16 km) long and a couple of miles wide.

From El Golfete the river meanders for six miles (10 km) in a spectacular gorge. The sides of the gorge rise up to 300 feet (91 m) on either side and are covered with teak, mahogany and palms. Wild flowers bloom throughout the foliage and howler monkeys and toucans can be seen. Waterfalls flow over the lip of the gorge after rainfall.

The river enters the Caribbean Sea near the Garifuna town of Livingston. (From Wikipedia).

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guatemala photos

Burma black and white (part 1)

© RicardMN Photography

B&W photographs of Burma by RicardMN Photography. Music: Silk Road – Kitaro. (See with sound in 480p)

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India,Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The country has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rightsviolations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Burma’s most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.

Burma is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%. (From Wikipedia)

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burmese photos