Burma: a culinary snapshot


A Burmese culinary trademark are the kerb-side teahouses selling sweet tea loaded with condensed milk, green tea or spiced chai.


Tiny tables and chairs and battered tin teapots are the sign that you’re in teahouse territory. Pull up a pew and get ready to refuel.


Teahouses are a social institution for the locals. For travellers, they’re a great place to sit and watch a very different world go by.


Travel to a rural area and you’ll see a patchwork of agricultural polyculture, including rugs of red chillies drying in the sun.


Dried chilli and fermented fish are amongst the meagre offerings on sale at this rudimentary market stall.


Fermented or pickled fish is the base of piquant dips served with a traditional Burmese meal. Breath-taking, in so many ways.


A lesson in boutique butchery. All you need is a basket of bits of meat, a cleaver, and a couple of plastic bags.


Chicken delivery. A poultry vendor transports his fresh wares to market.


The highly fertile floating gardens of the Intha people of Inle Lake are an agricultural oasis.


Intha farmers grow flowers, tomatoes, squash and other produce on long wooden trellises supported on floating mats of vegetation.


The ones that got away. An Intha fisherman pulls in an empty net pre-sunset.



Filed under Gastronomic Travels

18 responses to “Burma: a culinary snapshot

  1. Rachel, this is fantastic! Ah, I wish we could go there… love the floating vegetation! Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful images.


  2. Burma beautifully captured. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Gorgeous imagery. This is just the type of exploratory photography I love most.


  4. The tea house would serve as a great place for people watching.

    Such wonderful photos. Thanks for posting. Especially love the photo of the red chili and the floating gardens.


  5. Rachel, what a great post! Incredible photo’s from what must have been a remarkable experience – thanks for sharing.


  6. Gorgeous photos! I love travel photography, especially food-related photos, and these photos here are so inspiring. You are so lucky to have visited a country which is not commonly on other people’s travel agenda. Did you bring back any food-related souvenirs?


    • Thanks for your lovely feedback. And yes, i did bring back some food-related souvenirs. I brought back pickled tea leaves to make tea leaf salad (post to follow, hopefully this weekend). And i also brought back an ornamental laquerware bowl that the Burmese use to give food gifts to monks on special occasions. Also, a beautiful laquerware bowl to serve curry in! Can’t wait to use it. I love collecting food-related souvenirs.


  7. Gorgeous photo essay! Love the chicken delivery man especially


    • I think the chicken man is my favourite photo too. I was so impressed with his cargo that I actually chased him along the street! When he got off the bike he wasn’t too sure what to make of the foreigner inspecting his birds up close. I suspect he thought i was some kind of weirdo. Which of course i’m not.


  8. Lovely post, Rachel. As one of the many who advocates for democracy there, i am especially fascinated to read these stories of everyday Burma. Thanks for offering us a glimpse, with such beautiful words and seductive photographs!


  9. You are welcome, Phyo. It was a pleasure to meet you and to learn some cooking tips from you!


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