17 Hours on a Burmese Train


Today’s feature, a photo story by Kelsie Meaden. (Your story featured here? Read the guidelines and let me know!)

I rode the train from Hsipaw to Mandalay, Myanmar; an eleven hour journey on a hard wooden bench. The train bounced back and forth so violently that I often thought I was going to be thrown out the open window. The views and the company of strangers who shared their corn and sweet potatoes with me made it one of my most memorable journeys to date. 


As we passed through the farmlands of the Northern Shan state I snapped photos of field workers and crops. 

The closer we got to the Gokteik gorge the slower the train rolled, and I was thankful for that as we took the viaduct over the valley below. Looking out the window I saw the tops of trees hundreds of metres below us. A river ran through the valley and it looked like a small paradise; one I did not feel like plunging into.


The descent into Mandalay was steep, and the train had a switchback system which I have never experienced. The sky had darkened by the time we entered the city, but not without a spectacular light show. A red, aura-like glow had filled the windows on all sides and it almost looked like a movie backdrop from the 60's, back when they hadn't perfected the green-screen realism. 


The photos I took on this trip perfectly depict the trip itself, a little bumpy, a little blurry, but colourful and diverse. It was a journey I will relive in my memory forever. 


Want to see more of Kelsie’s work? Visit her website and Instagram.

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