When it comes to insanely overloaded and overcrowded transport, over the years I’ve seen my fair share. Of course there’s the usual suspects. The overloaded vehicles in Africa and across the expansive continent of Asia. With people and animals piled onto the roofs, and others grimly hanging off the sides. I also once spotted a family of seven on a tiny little scooter, driving along a suburban street in Iran.
Then there’s the king of all overloaded vehicles. The infamous images of the ridiculous and no doubt extremely dangerous, overloaded trains leaving Bangladeshi railway stations. As the passengers head home to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Over the years, I’ve also done my fair share of travelling aboard these types of vehicles. Yes it looks like fun, but believe me it’s not. After the first 30 minutes the novelty quickly begins to wear off. As you really start to get a little annoyed with the situation. Beginning to jostle with others on board for a favourable place to put your limbs.
Numbness soon begins to set in, and the amount of times I’ve suffered the ‘pins and needles’ whilst being shoehorned into a truck or van is countless. After 8-10 hours of this type of transport and you seriously start to mentally suffer.
Yes It Looks Like Fun, But After 30 Minutes The Novelty Wears Off
Recently on a trip to Myanmar we visited the magnificent Pagodas of Bagan, and were lucky enough to have our visit marry up with the ‘Ananda Pagoda Festival’, held in January of each year.
The festival brought many people into the small town of Old Bagan. Some would arrive by bullock cart and others by bicycle, but the vast majority would arrive in extremely overloaded vehicles as seen in the images in this post.
It was during the proceeding days of the festival that I captured many images of some insanely overloaded vehicles. As drivers would shuttle people back and forth to the surrounding villages on jeeps, trucks and scooters.
As you can see, this jeep in this article is seriously overcrowded. To the point where the driver would have a hard time seeing through the windscreen. Let alone the stress put on the chassis from the excessive weight of the people (not to mention the enormous fuel bill as well).
During The Festival We Spotted Many Insanely Overloaded Vehicles
I’ve tried my best to count the people on the Jeep with the different angles in these images. I’ve come up with an answer of somewhere in the vicinity of 26 to 30 people.
As the trucks and cars cruised by, my mate Tony would capture their attention and get the people to wave at us (I’ll post some more of these images over the coming weeks and months), but as with Burmese people in general. They driver was more than happy to stop his vehicle for me to take some photos. Somewhat proud of the number of people he had managed to squeeze into it.
Everyone was still smiling (obviously the journey had just begun…), and as the vehicle got closer you could then make out not only the massive amount of people squashed aboard, but also many bags and goods that were strapped to the sides.
Your Thoughts and Comments?
How many people can you count aboard? What about other parts of the world, where else have you seen vehicles loaded as heavily as this? I’m also curious to hear from anyone who’s ever witnessed the overloaded trains of Bangladesh. It’s something I’d love to photograph.