About a month ago, I was traveling on the coast of Vietnam when I woke up early to shoot the sunrise, and to an email from my editor at The Washington Post asking if I could be in Myanmar the next day for an assignment. Ok, sure, but this presents a bit of a challenge! I would have to: get back to Saigon, get a visa arranged, get flights booked, and coordinate with the writer and fixer on how and where to meet. A challenge to be sure, but somehow, I pulled it off! It was a whole lot of working from the phone on the back of the motorbike as we sped towards the nearest airport. But sure enough it all worked out, and in 24 hours I went from relaxing on the coast of Vietnam to being in rural northern Myanmar!

Anyway, the story we were working on was looking at some of the challenges Kachin State faces, and if the newly elected and seated government would be able to address some of these issues.

As always, the writer, Annie Gowen’s words will be much more poetic and informative than my own, so have a read of the article and check out a few of the photos that were published below, and I”ll throw in a few more that weren’t.

Embedded slideshow below best viewed in Fullscreen to include captions.

And below are just a few more frames that I liked that didn’t make the publishing cut.

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR - MARCH 14th, 2016: Daily scenes at the Myitkyina rail station. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly/For The Washington Post)

A scene at the Myitkyina train station.

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR - MARCH 13th, 2016: Ko Kyaw, 49, a local jade trader in Kachin State. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly/For The Washington Post)

A jade merchant with fingers adorned in all manner of different stones.

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR - MARCH 13th, 2016: Phaw La Htu, 61, a resident of Shwezet IDP village. She, her family of 14, and nearly 500 others were forced to relocate here in 2011 because of escalated fighting in her former village between the Kachin Independence Army, KIA, and the Burmese government, which has been in various states of conflict since 1994. She says she would love to return home, but will only do so when everyone does, as she’s scared to be there alone. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly/For The Washington Post)

A woman and her grandson in Shwezet IDP camp. They, and nearly 500 others were displaced from their home villages by fighting between the KIA, Kachin Independence Army, and the Burmese military.

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR - MARCH 13th, 2016: Youngsters in Shwezet IDP village. Nearly 500 people were forced to relocate here in 2011 because of escalated fighting between the Kachin Independence Army, KIA, and the Burmese government, which has been in various states of conflict since 1994. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly/For The Washington Post)

A group of young children in the camp.

MYITKYINA, MYANMAR - MARCH 12th, 2016: Sin Hwa, 60, at his new home in Aungmyinthar Village. He was forced to move here in 2011 when the Myitsone Dam project was supposed to flood the land he lived and farmed on. In this village, there is no land for cultivation, and he’s only able to do day labor jobs for income, which are inconsistent. The dam project was stalled not long after they moved, and still remains on hold. It still remains unclear whether Myanmar’s newly elected government will resume or cancel the project, which is largely unpopular in Kachin State, as it would flood large swaths of land, and the majority of electricity it would produce would be delivered to China. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly/For The Washington Post)

Sin Hwa, 60, at his new home in Aungmyinthar Village. He was forced to move here in 2011 when the largely unpopular Myitsone Dam project was supposed to flood the land he lived and farmed on. In this village, there is no land for cultivation, and he’s only able to do day labor jobs for income, which are inconsistent. The dam project was stalled not long after they moved, and still remains on hold.

I think between the images published in the article and slideshow, that should be enough for now! I hope you enjoyed the images and words, and if you ever get a chance, go to visit the amazing peoples and sites that lie within the borders of Myanmar. You won’t be disappointed!