A Tribute To Last Places

Apr 3, 2013

Hsipaw 01
Hsipaw, Burma

“The people who live in the last places – the people who are most neglected and least valued by the larger world – often represent the best of who we are and the finest standard of what we are meant to become. This is the power that last places hold over me, and why I have found it impossible to resist their pull.” 
- Stones Into Schools, Greg Mortenson 

There’s a certain kind of magic I feel when I prepare for a day or a week of trekking/walking. When I pack only the basic things I need. There’s a certain kind of excitement I feel when I wake up charged and ready to explore a new and distant place.

There’s a fear and anxiety I feel, the kind that excites me, when I find myself walking away from everything that’s comfortable and ‘safe’ and slowly find myself walking on a small path where trees, rivers, and mountains slowly become my surroundings. 

There’s a certain kind of calming silence I love when the only sound I hear is my breathing, or the wind, or birds chirping, or the sound of the flowing river.

Sinuwa Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
waterfalls, rivers, and mountain peaks on the way to Sinuwa

Muang Ngoi 7 beautiful river to stop by during a day trek in Muang Ngoi, Laos

Muang Ngoi peaceful and quiet, a lazy day in Muang Ngoi, Laos

Muang Ngoi 12
lazy boats depict the simple and laid-back life in the river villages of Northern Laos

There’s a certain kind of peace and heart-warming feeling I feel when I see these people - these people who live life simply – when they smile at me. Those small encounters that don’t need words or common languages to express what we feel and what we think.

shy and wonderful children during the Kalaw-Inle Lake trek in Burma

31 women farmers tending to their rice fields

Nong Khiaw Kids Lao kids during a boat race in Nong Khiaw, Laos

My favorite People photo in all of my travels. Beautiful Burmese lady with a heart-warming smile. :)

There’s a certain kind of elation I feel when I look into my camera lens as I try to capture those smile, those eyes, those wrinkles, those spontaneous moments I feel privileged to see and witness.

Mother and Daughter

20 Burmese village chief. Loved his smile and wrinkles, and the traditional tattoos I wasn't able to take photos of.

Old Lady weaving bags in Burma

13 The Burmese Shaman in his element.

Hsipaw 05
A family in Hsipaw, Burma

Little Girl, Nong Khiaw, Laos
lovely girl in Nong Khiaw, Laos

Muang Ngoi Kids 2
happy kids of Muang Ngoi, Laos

There’s that certain kind of calmness I feel when I stop and close my eyes and breathe the fresh air, or feel the sun’s rays or the wind’s touch on my skin. And the gratitude I feel when I open my eyes and realize that everything is real, that it’s not a dream, and that those glorious Himalayan peaks, or the stunning sunset – they’re all in front of me.

Chomrong Sunset Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
Himalayan sunset in Chommrong

Landruk Early Morning Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
morning mist over the mountains of Landruk

Annapurna Base Camp
breakthaking view of the Himalayan Peaks

Machapuchare Base Camp 1, Nepal
Fish Tail at sunset, taken from the Machapuchare Base Camp

Chilis being dried under the sun in Burma

Nong Khiaw
sunset by the Nam Ou River, Laos

Hsipaw 08
a kid playing in fields of sunflowers in Hsipaw, Burma

These are the reasons why I love going to the Last Places. To see nature untouched, culture preserved and rich, and people who thrive in conditions we from the big cities call harsh and unbearable. These Last Places humble me and enrich my humanity. These are the reasons why I would always be in search of the Last Places I can have the privilege to visit and experience.

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