By Michelle Chaplow

Contemporary art is all around us.

Back in December, on my first-ever visit to Myanmar (formerly Burma), I took the river version of “the road to Mandalay” with The Strand Cruise – unadulterated luxury.

But on my unforgettable journey along the Ayeyarwady River, I also experienced moments and emotions of a more simple but yet equally affecting nature, like seeing these pink plastic chairs. They form as much a part of my journey to Mandalay as the sumptuous cabin and exquisite food on the boat.

The pink Chairs of Mandalay


You just know that sitting at these six, perfectly-placed, pink plastic chairs, lined up neatly along the green wooden table, under their bamboo-and-palm-thatch roof, would be a memorable occasion. In the prime spot, right on the riverfront, they cannot help but catch the eye with their zingy bright colours.

In terms of commercial photography, you could never attempt to style this scene – it´s something that you come upon by chance, truly contemporary yet also timeless, with the white Buddhist stupas in the background on the far side of the river adding a clue to the location.

An irresistible subject, in an irresistible location, serving irresistible cuisine.
Sometimes the freshest fish and the most memorable meals are served far away from that madding Michelin crowd.
More of my journey on The Strand Cruise to follow later, but in the meantime, I couldn’t resist sharing these pink plastic chairs with you.