I just made my second trip to Myanmar. Or Burma, as the country was once known. My sister Pam and I spent a grand weekend exploring just a few of the thousands of temples at Bagan. [1, 2] Most date back to the 11th – 13th Century.
Along with the temples that seem to grow out of the ground everywhere you look, Bagan is a major center for traditional art forms including lacquerware, sand paintings and wood carving.
On previous trips Pam has purchased hand carved figures from a local artist. We went in search of his shop, and a figure known as a spirit guide accompanied me back to Germany.
Khim Maung Zaw creates and sells from a small shop. He graciously signed the sandalwood figure I wanted, and allowed me to photograph his art.
I am delighted to recommend Mr. Zaw and his beautiful carvings.  His shop’s address is:
Diamond Crown Wood Carving: Ko Khim Maung Zaw + Ma Thida Aye. Thiripyitsaya (4) Qr., Nyaung OO (Bagan), Myanmar. Telephone: 09-47221551. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hand-carried lacquer ware and my spirit guide for the long 24 hour journey back home. When I removed all the bubble wrapping he seemed surprisingly alive. I gently unwound the cloth strips, feeling anxious.
I was delighted that he’d survived the trip intact. A spirit guide now stands in my home, pointing the way towards the path to enlightenment. 
NOTES:  I’ll write more about Bagan arts and Myanmar soon.  Bagan is one of the three most important Buddhist sites in SE Asia. The other two are Borobodur on Java, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  I receive no discount or special deal for this endorsement. I simply believe that beautiful work deserves a wider audience.  We can never have too many such guides in our lives © Jadi Campbell 2017. All photos © Jadi Campbell. To see Uwe’s photos from our earlier trip to Myanmar go to viewpics.de.
6 thoughts on “A Burmese Spirit Guide”
Wow, the talent and skill of that wood carver is exceptional! I love your spirit guide – he’s definitely showing you the way…
My sister returned to Bagan not long after this post went public. She went back to the shop and showed him what I’d written! I’m so glad he knows.
Beautiful photographs Jadi. What a wonderful place.
Thanks Gary – this post doesn’t even begin to describe the wall murals on the insides of the temples. I will be posting more on Bagan and Myanmar in the future.