Graeme Kennedy Photography

Studio Updates —

Studio updates.

Crumbling Bagan


Bagan; if you haven’t been there, you know someone who has, it’s quickly becoming a major stop on any South East Asian tour. Once the heart of the Pagan Kingdom in the 11th-13th centuries, the wealthy capital built 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. The fall of the Kingdom at the hands of repeated Mongol invasions reduced the city to a small town, with a surrounding landscape dotted with these crumbling monuments.

Today, their Archaeological Area is undergoing a controversial UNESCO World Heritage application due to the poor management and restoration attempts, but as tourists pouring in from all over the world that lack of resources to manage and restore the monuments has also led to continual damage as visitors carelessly scramble up the crumbling pagodas. Myanmar's economy has incredible potential - rich in oil, gas, minerals and of course cultural history, it is trying to push forward from its history of military corruption that held it back for so long. So what is the future of Bagan? Will it manage to use its economic growth and save this historic area from even more damage, or will the flood of tourists, eager to watch the famous sunsets and sunrises be the next destroying force this ancient wonder.

Graeme Kennedy