What 8am looks like in different parts of the world

From morning prayers to fresh coffee and commuting to the office: What 8am looks like in different parts of the world

  • Belgian photographer Pascal Mannaerts ventured to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
  • His candid photo series titled ‘8am around the world’ shows what people get up to in the morning 
  • The cameraman said he felt ‘an even greater closeness to people early in the day’ 

What does your morning ritual involve? Having a cup of coffee, hitting the snooze button multiple times or plunging into the local lake for a swim?

In a bid to find out how peoples’ routines vary around the world, Belgian photographer Pascal Mannaerts ventured to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East snapping photos as the sun rose.

His candid photo series titled ‘8am around the world’ shows what people get up to in the morning, with antics varying from praying to stretching to farming crops.

He told MailOnline Travel that he wanted to capture the ‘amazing morning light’ and the ‘feeling to start another day in an unknown place, with an open and totally fresh mind’. 

The cameraman said he felt ‘an even greater closeness to people early in the day’, as he saw them before their ‘daily activities had taken them into their own universe’. He added that he was especially touched by the ‘omnipresent spirituality’ that he witnessed at the crack of dawn in India.

Scroll down to catch a glimpse of bleary-eyed citizens of the world, all going about their lives in different ways…

A young boy squints at the camera as enjoys a morning brew in the town of Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar

A group of men wash and brush their teeth before starting the day in a back street in Kolkata, India

A smartly-dressed man poses for the camera and enjoys a cigarette before heading to work in Tokyo, Japan

A young boy appears to be on a morning paper run around the streets of Dhaka in Bangladesh

A woman sits on the floor as she quietly performs some early morning prayers in Yangon, Myanmar

A young boy takes a morning wash down at a river in Kolkata, India, with the sun rising in the distance

A group of young monks perform some morning stretches outdoors in Varanasi, India

A woman smiles as she goes about some early morning chores around the farmlands of Mongolia


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A pilgrim gets down on the floor to pray on the streets of Lhasa in Tibet, with her prayer beads laid out before her

A man gets an early morning shave in a small barbers shop tucked away in Jaisalmer, India

A young monk crouches down as his head is given a fresh morning shave in Amarapura, Myanmar

Commuters cram into a subway carriage in Tokyo, Japan, with newspapers and phones to distract them en route


A man smiles as he opens his coffee shop for trade in Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar (left), while a man enjoys a quick smoke before starting his day in Mandalay, Myanmar (right)

A man stares intensely as he carries out early morning prayers in the city of Varanasi, which is regarded to be the spiritual capital of India

A man stocks up on some milky-looking beverages before starting his work day in Jaisalmer, India

This candid shot captures a man lighting some candles as the sun rises in Belur, India

A group of young monks walk in procession through the streets of Mandalay in Myanmar, ready to start their day of religious worship

A group of young boys look to be having lots of fun as they go for an early morning swim in Varanasi, India

A man walks barefooted along a sandy bank as the sun breaks through a shroud of mist in the west African nation of Benin

A group of women make their way to a mosque for morning prayers in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Crowds gather on the banks of the river Ganga which flows around the city of Varanasi in India. Their colourful outfits make for an eye-catching morning display

A man stands with his eyes closed as the morning sun kisses his body in Jodhpur, India

The morning sun casts an atmospheric glow on the waters around Dhaka in Bangladesh, with locals commuting and ferrying goods around 

A woman throws a glance at the camera as she conducts some morning chores in Pangong Tso, a remote basin lake in the Himalayas

Mehrangarh or Mehran Fort, located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, seen here illuminated by the morning light, is one of the largest forts in India

A group of men read the morning news in the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, while one man silently prays with his eyes closed

An elderly women lights an incense stick as a new day begins in the northern Indian holy town of Vrindavan

You can find more of Pascal Mannaerts’ photography work via Facebook and Instagram 

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