Lonely Planet Writer

A Spanish student has captured his own solar eclipse with a hot air balloon in Myanmar

They say don’t fly too close to the sun, but one thrill-seeking hot air balloon rider avoided Greek legend Icarus’ fate as they appear to temporarily eclipse the sun. The stunning pictures show a number of hot air balloons in the sky as the sun sets in Old Bagan, Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma). Other shots capture people’s silhouettes with the orange sky of the setting sun providing the perfect backdrop.

Stunning image of a hot air balloon eclipsing the sun.
Stunning image of a hot air balloon eclipsing the sun. Image by Media Drum World/Gonzalo Navarro Bendito

The photos were taken by Spanish student and photographer Gonzalo Navarro Bendito (22). “Myanmar turns into a super magical red tone when the sun sets or rises,” he said. “The beautiful environment and the interesting Burmese people that keep their traditions makes it a really great opportunity to play with the silhouettes and the golden light. “In some of them you can see people crossing the famous U-Bein Bridge in the city of Mandalay which is one of the most inspiring places I have ever been too.

A cyclist eclipses the sunset crossing a bridge in Myanmar.
A cyclist eclipses the sunset crossing a bridge in Myanmar. Image by Media Drum World/Gonzalo Navarro Bendito

“Others show a sunrise at the famous ancient city of Bagan, with the balloons flying through the frame of my photo, the birds hunting for the first light of the day, and the foggy layers coloured by the powerful sunrise. And to conclude, my friend Marcus from Malaysia, who I was travelling with together with another friend from Poland, playing with the sand at the beach on the west coast of Myanmar during an amazing sunset.”

A boy playing with sand at sunset.
Beautiful images captured in Myanmar. Image by Media Drum World/Gonzalo Navarro Bendito

Gonzalo is currently studying in the country as part of a year abroad from his Spanish university. “I love travelling, and I have already been to more than 50 countries,” he said. “With my photography work I try to show my own vision of the world when I travel and then show it to my family and friends, who encourage me a lot, and also to the rest of the photographic community. “With this type of photography I love the warm colours and human elements.”

By Mark McConville/Media Drum World