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Alex Stoen
32,769 followers -
World traveler, explorer & photographer
World traveler, explorer & photographer

32,769 followers
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The Nunnery (Sagaing Hill, Myanmar 2013)

In the Sagaing Hills, 12 miles from the ancient capital of Mandalay are hundreds of pagodas, stupas, monasteries and nunneries which form a focal point of worship for Buddhism in Burma.

As lunch was being served at the ThaKyaDiThar nunnery, a silent procession took place with the girls neatly leaving their sandals before entering the main hall.

When girls and women enter the monastic life, they shave their heads, take ordination vows and practice meditation and reading scriptures just as male monks do. They don’t perform ceremonies though or travel overseas, and they carry only ten precepts, the ethical rules in Buddhism, the same number for novice monks.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Discovering Jabreen Castle (Bahla, Sultanate of Oman 2017)

As I explored the interiors of Jabreen Castle, this wooden balcony inside one of the palace internal courtyards really caught my attention, contrasting against the mudbrick walls, the warm light coming in from above and the cool shadows below. I captured this portrait of Maria from the another balcony, on the opposite side.

Jabreen Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Oman. What makes it so unique is that it was built during a time of peace, constructed as a palace by a ruler who was passionate about science and art and that made it the most beautiful historic castle in the Sultanate. The castle is three stories tall, features two towers, numerous receptions halls, dining areas, meeting rooms, a courtroom, a library, and classrooms. The interior design of the castle features decorated windows, wooden balconies, arches with inscribed Arabic calligraphy, and breathtaking ceiling artwork.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Regent’s Canal (London, United Kingdom 2017)

The Regent’s Canal is one of London’s best-kept secrets - a peaceful haven often hidden by the surrounding buildings. Today it is well-loved by boaters, walkers, and cyclists all looking to escape the capital’s busy streets. I explored a small portion of it this weekend, walking along the canal from Kensal Town to Little Venice, in Maida Vale. Colorful scenes like this one dotted the path, making me want to discover more of these canals!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Symbiotic Relationships (Alicante, Spain 2011)

Spring is still a couple months away, but sometimes it feels it's right around the corner. It's an interesting time to be on the lookout for even the smallest details (macro photography). I captured this moment while exploring an old railroad track in Spain, reconverted into a hiking trail. It reminded be of the importance of symbiotic relationships. Can bees survive without flowers? Where would flowers be without bees?

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen

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The Meat Market (London, United Kingdom 2016)

I captured this in Borough Market, an incredible place that has existed in one form or another for over 1,000 years. The market’s stalls, shops, and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialties from around the world. It's a riot of colors, smells, and human engagement, fascinating to explore, socialize and a perfect place to get some amazing food!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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The Miao Elder (Guizhou, China 2016)

The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei. The small village I visited organized a welcoming ceremony, along with the traditional Lusheng dance, after which I managed to make a few portraits of very friendly villagers. Traveling off the tourist track can be so rewarding!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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The Mystical Fishermen of Inle (Inle Lake, Myanmar 2013)

As you enter the wide expanse of Inle Lake at the end of a narrow feeder channel, you begin to realize how special the place is. Whenever I get stuck in traffic, or I’m waiting in long lines, I simply think about those moments, where sky and water meet, where the fishermen perform over-the-water ballet with conical baskets and oars for props—all while balanced on the bows of their boats. It’s absolutely enthralling. If you ever plan a visit to Myanmar, you shouldn’t miss this remarkable place.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Komodidad (Holguin, Cuba 2012)

Cuba is full of paradoxes. This storefront really caught my eye. With a 1960's design, "komodidad" (meaning comfortable) was a home improvement store that went out of business and was completely run down when I visited Holguin. Time has gone by, and I hear the store was eventually reopened as an ice-cream shop!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Emerging shadows at Nizwa Fort (Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman 2017)

Nizwa is an ancient city in northern Oman. It sits on a plain characterized by seasonal rivers and palm plantations. Known for its impressive castle, Nizwa Fort, with its huge cylindrical tower built in the 17th century to defend the city's position on a major trade route, the city also hosts one of the oldest markets in the Sultanate, Nizwa Souk, lined with handicrafts stalls and silversmiths working in small shops. As the sun slowly sets over the ancient town, the mud brick walls take on an orangish tone, before becoming totally enveloped by the emerging shadows.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Be my Valentine...

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you lovers out there, and to all those still searching! Never give up! My wife and I bought each other matching Converse shoes for our first Valentine's Day together, what did you do?

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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