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Bagan Temples Shaken by 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake!

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck central Myanmar today. The earthquake shook buildings across the country and the region. Even people from India, Bangladesh, and Bangkok felt the aftershock.

It was also reported that the quake was centered about 25 kilometres west of Chauk, an area west of the ancient capital of Bagan.

On Facebook, the locals are reporting that some temples in Bagan were moderately damaged. The initial reports say at least 11 major temples were affected. Many people witnessed temples and pagodas collapsing. Here are the photos currently being shared on social media.

1. https://twitter.com/nitarswift13/status/768420613094379520 (Photos)
2. https://twitter.com/RollTheBarrel/status/768420650079887361 (Video)
3. https://twitter.com/nitarswift13/status/768420613094379520 (Photos)
4. https://twitter.com/weatherchannel/status/768416794767790082 (Map)
5. https://twitter.com/BNONews/status/768413280553537536 (Photos)

Kyaw Zaw Lay Photography: Colorful Landscapes of Myanmar

Kyaw Zaw Lay is a Myanmar photographer based in Mandalay. He's best known for his colorful landscape photos. He's won awards in the country and he's very active in the photographic society of Myanmar.

The photos are a little bit saturated but they are very good nonetheless. 5 more photos inside.

How To Get a Free Walking Tour of Yangon

When you visit Myanmar, you will have to stop by at Yangon which is the biggest city of the country. There might be not much to see and do in Yangon (some people think so), but just walking around the city can give you a glimpse of Myanmar's colonial past. The downtown area is a vibrant combination of colonial buildings and different cultures.

Photo: Yangon Heritage Trust

Photo: Yangon Heritage Trust

As of January 26, 2017, free walking tours are not available anymore. The following information is for reference only. We'll update it when the free tours are available again. Thanks.

So if you are in Yangon and would like to learn more about the city, here are the 2 popular walking tours. The best part is they are FREE!

Myanmar's Ngwe Saung Beach Is Amazing!

Ngwe Saung is a beach resort located 48km west of Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region. The beach is 5 hours' drive away from Yangon, so it can be crowded in the weekends and public holidays.
I never knew we had water sports facilities in Myanmar. Honestly, the government never bothered to promote the sport. It's quite understandable as the country is poor and there are very few people who could afford this. Note Myanmar is still a third world country. But things started to change last year. Myanmar Wave Rider Cup 2015 was held in Ngwe Saung on the 28th-31st of October 2015 at the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Resort. This is the first event of its kind in Myanmar. What a pleasant surprise!

This video of people surfing at Ngwe Saung beach is just amazing. The water is clear and the beach has a nice stretch. Everything looks just fresh and clean. I'm definitely going there next year.

Video by Tagu Films and Myanmar Yachting Federation

Muslim Population Increased In Rakhine State, The Census Revealed

Myanmar government has released the long-awaited census data on religion. It was kept hushed for nearly two years because they thought it would shatter stability. Maybe they feared the extremist Ma Ba Tha group could incite violence. Now that Ma Ba Tha is under control, we now get to see the census data.

The numbers looks all right. The Muslim community makes up just 4.3% of the population. It hasn't doubled as many thought so. However, it is a different story in Rakhine State. The Muslim community now makes up 35.1%, increased from 24.3% since 1983. The hardline Arakan nationalists won't be too happy about this.

Graphic credit: Myanmar Times