Another Morning Market ~ Mandalay, Myanmar

Purple eggplant, green limes, red tomatoes and other vegetables in baskets on the ground in an outdoor Mandalay street market.

Market Fresh!
There is always an array of colourful fruit and vegetables at the morning street market.

It’s just a simple burmese morning market – in a dirty dusty street somewhere in Mandalay. Most of the vendors are seated on the ground on woven bamboo mats. The rubbish and the dogs threaten to encroach on the wares for sale.

But, the vegetables are fresh, and the smiles are freely given.

I love exploring the markets in Asia. As tricky as they can be to navigate and photograph, they are a feast for the senses and the camera.

I just couldn’t tell you exactly where this one was!

Karl Grobl, our photographic mentor, and Mr MM, our burmese guide, had dropped us (ten enthusiasts with cameras) off the bus somewhere in the Mandalay area and sent us off to explore…

A Burmese woman sits on the ground in a street market, surrounded by her beans.

Waiting for a Sale
A vendor sits on the ground, surrounded by her beans.

Three baskets of legumes in a Burmese morning vegetable market, Mandalay.

Many of the beans and legumes are sprouting.

Two burmese women exchanging money for vegetables in a morning market in Mandalay.

The Sale is Made.

Two burmese women discussing meat on a plastic table-cover in a Myanmar street market.

At the Butcher’s
The selection is small…

Close-up: a burmese woman

Butcher’s Block
… but attention is immediate.

Close-up: fresh-water fish in a Mandalya morning street market.

Fresh-Water Fish
Caught daily in the rivers nearby.

Portrait of a smiling burmese woman in thanakha and lucky flowers. Mandalay Markets

Sales Lady
A typical burmese woman: sporting thanakha, lucky flowers and a big smile.

Roses and other flowers for sale in a burmese morning market, Mandalay.

Fresh Flowers

Portrait: Young burmese boy in thanakha, morning markets, Mandalay.

Young Lad
Managing a morning market is a family affair.

Burmese men and boys in white shirts and longhi line up, carrying a bell.

Let the Procession Begin!
There is some sort of Buddhist celebration going on…

Close-up: a flat bell-shaped gong vibrating from being hit with a wooden mallet, Mandalay morning market.

Bell Gong
The noise from the flat gong is amazing loud – but the locals are used to it!

Environmental portrait: young burmese male in white; part of a buddhist procession, Mandalay

Bell Carrier

Burmese waterway, almost choked with floating rubbish. Mandaly

Rubbish in the River
A waterway, almost choked with floating rubbish, separates the market from the rest of town.

Burmese monk in maroon robes walking across a wooden bridge, Mandalay

Monk on the Bridge

Environmental portrait: a burmese man on a bridge, staring into space. Mandalay

Man on the Bridge

Burmese woman walking away over a wooden bridge, a basket on her head. Mandalay

Groceries on the Bridge


I have no idea what these barrels contain, but I loved the colours.

Market Scene

Market Scene
Typical street market street scene, complete with motorcycle, local dog, and elegant women walking tall with baskets on their heads.

Two smiling middle-aged burmese women in a market; motorcycles in the background.

Smiles are everywhere.


Draped in tarps, a precious bicycle sits parked in the rubbish behind the main market “stalls”.

Four young burmese lads seated on the back of a truck, Mandalay.

Boys with ‘Tude
Some young men on the back of a delivery truck watch me…

Portrait: smiling Young burmese Man in a Wreath of green leaves, mandalay.

Wreathed Like a Caesar
… and are quick to flash that famous smile.

The hands of a burmese woman, full of Burmese Kyat, as she sells vegetables in a market, Mandalay

Burmese Kyat
Returning to the start of the market, I find the first vegetable seller with her hands full of money…

Young burmese woman in a green sweater and head-scarf, sits with her vegetable sales.

Veggie Seller
… she’s happy and relaxed now that she has made several sales.

Text: Keep smilingIt was impossible to get lost – this market wasn’t very big.

It was also impossible to leave without smiling – in spite of their simple surounds, the people in the markets were friendly and welcoming.

A lesson for us all?

Keep Smiling!

Pictures: 15Septemeber2012


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