Epic Myanmar, Dec 2, 2016 - Dec 14, 2016
Myanmar — "Quite unlike any land you know about" Rudyard Kipling"
Burma is among the world's most beguiling destinations..." National Geographic, January/February 2011.
Photos © Jeremy Woodhouse
This Myanmar photography trip takes you to one of the most mysterious and undiscovered destinations in the world. It is the Burma of old, where tribal life still exists, where ancient temples are numerous and not over run by mass tourism, and the landscape is spectacular. This photo tour is for the photographers who like to immerse themselves in a culture very different than what they have experienced before. Those interested in archeology, indigenous culture, and spending 12 days with fellow photographers will love this trip. The Myanmar photo tour includes four major destinations will be explored and photographed.
Yangon, the capital, maintains its colonial charm with turn of the century architecture and wide tree lined streets. The city basks in its unique spiritual atmosphere. The imposing Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the city skyline. The amazing sunset at this supta makes for an incredible photograph. At the pagoda we will observe the local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions. Orange robes make for great images. This city is a paradise for hunting out a variety of exotic arts and crafts. For food photographers the evening food stalls are both pungent with aromas and easily shot.
Bagan, once the center of a glorious kingdom, has ancient temples that dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. The group will have the unique opportunity to see the ancient city of Bagan with thousand year old pagodas and temples. We will visit the local village of Phwar Saw to experience traditional Myanmar life. Bagan was the world center of Budhism in the 11th century and over 10,000 pagodas stood at that time, over 2,000 remain.
Mandalay is the cultural hub of upper Myanmar. We will shoot a 200 year old teak bridge, the Golden Palace Monastery with its intricate woodcarvings and climb up Mandalay Hill at sunset. We will travel in a pony cart to capture street scenes and the local market. Positioned on the banks of the Ayerarwaddy River, Mandalay offers numerous cultural experiences. Mandalay offers a wide range of handicrafts that include silversmiths, wood and stone carvers and a vibrant street scene.
Inle Lake is the most beautiful lake in Myanmar. We will take a local long boat and shoot the floating gardens, and see the lakes unique leg rowers. The Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. We will shoot the rice fields which are grown on manmade islands within the lake. We will photograph the Shan ethnic tribe who come to the morning market. The group will shoot the long necked tribal woman, and visit the local craft villages perched on stilts. Tribes include the Bamar, Danaw, Danu, Intha and Pa-O.
Our Burmese land operator is the locally owned Myanmar Shalom Travel &Tours. This company has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post and International Herald Tribune. The guides are fluent in English and have experience in leading special interest groups. Having offices in both Yangon and New York, they are the operator of choice for foreign delegations, travellers and those that want to have an insiders view of Myanmar.
Day 1: Yangon (D)
Upon arrival at Yangon Airport we will be transported to the Central Hotel and check in. Those arriving early will have time to acclimate and wander this easy to navigate city. Formally known as Rangoon, current day Yangon is a bustling city of colonial buildings.
Day 2: Yangon (B, L, D)
We will start our photo tour in downtown Yangon and have an opportunity to capture images of colonial buildings and street life. In the late afternoon we will visit Shwedagon Pagoda. At the pagoda we will observe the local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions amidst the dazzling golden spire glowing with the reflection of the setting sun. We will have a chance to photograph all areas of the complex and the people there. We will have a welcome dinner at the Royal Karaweik Barge and take photographs at a Burmese traditional dance performance.
Day 3: Yangon – Bagan (B, L, D)
Early morning flight to Bagan, considered one of the greatest sights of Asia! We will spend several days photographing the sacred landscape, temple interiors, monks, markets, ox carts and the Irrawady River reflecting the setting sun. The group will visit a busy local market to see the vast variety of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale and gain insight into the bustling market atmosphere in Bagan. After lunch we will have our first photography workshop session. The group will visit the Sulamuni Temple to photograph the shrines and artifacts within. Then we will visit Ananda Temple, one of the largest, best preserved, and most revered temples in Bagan. We end our tour for the day by climbing to the top of the Temple for the panoramic sunset views.
Day 4: Bagan (B, L, D)
Today we will have a unique opportunity to view the ancient city of Bagan. We’ll get a magnificent view of thousand year old pagodas and temples and rural villages nestled along the Irrawaddy River. We return to the hotel for breakfast. Later in the day we will visit a local lacquerware workshop, where we watch men and women ply their craft using traditional methods. Afterwards we drive to the Manuha and Shwesigon Temples for a photo shoot. In the late afternoon we will board a private boat and float on the Irrawaddy River and the shoot the temples from the river as the sun goes down.
Day 5: Bagan (B, L, D)
Today we will see the real way of life for most Myanmar people by visiting Phwar Saw Village. This village is a perfect example of how locals live, and we can work on our portraiture and photojournalism skills. In the late afternoon, we will explore Bagan by pony cart. The cart can explore areas that cars are unable to enter giving a more natural feel of the city. We will photograph the Shwesandaw Pagoda as the sun sets. After dinner we will have image review.
Day 6: Bagan-Mandalay (B,L,D)
We will fly in the morning to legendary Mandalay, a city of great cultural importance. We will explore the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda; the Mahamuni Pagoda. We will then continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the worlds largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. In the afternoon the group will visit the U Bein teak bridge, this 200 year old bridge is the most photographed site in Myanmar.
Day 7: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay (B, L, D)
You cannot leave this enchanting country without getting to know its heart and soul - the magical Irrawaddy River. A boat trip on the Ayeyarwaddy River to Mingun is about 7 miles, one hour each way upriver from Mandalay. We will discovert the Mingun Bell, weighing 87 tons and being the world's largest intact bronze bel land the unfinished Mingun Payawhich was built with the intention of being the world's biggest pagoda. Back to Mandalay in the afternoon and visit Shweinnbin Monastery, an old wooden monastery with a small population of photogenic elderly monks. The rest of the afternoon will be free to wander the streets in Mandalay and have individual photo review.
Day 8: Mandalay – Amarapura – Innwa (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will to drive to Amarapura and take a ferry to visit Inwa. One of the oldest cities in Myanmar, Inwa was formerly known as Ava and it is located 120 miles from Mandalay. It was first founded as a capital by King Thado Minbya in 1364 A.D. This old king city was the long time capital of Oberburma. The foreign country was at present well-known as the Kingdom of Ava. We will cross the river on a ferry and ride around the sites of Inwa in a horse-drawn pony cart. Highlights include the Nanmyint Watchtower, Bagaya Teak wood Monastery, Maha Aungmye Bonzan, Htilaingshin Paya and the workshop making lacquer alms bowls for monks. The laquer industry in Mandalay is an interesting photo shoot.
Day 9: Mandalay – Inle Lake (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will fly to Heho, our gateway to Inle Lake. Known as the most beautiful lake in Myanmar, Inle Lake's calm waters are surrounded by high hills and dotted with floating gardens and stilted villages. The group will drive to NyaungShwe pick up our boat & transfer to our hotel for check in. The full day will be spent photographing Inle Lake, maneuvering by boat though long, scenic channels where we can watch the farmers cultivate their produce in “floating gardens”. The aquatic agriculture is unique and the lake people are hospitable.
Day 10: Inle Lake – Indein (B, L, D)
In the morning we will visit a local indigenous village where a 5-day market is held to witness the Shan ethnic tribes who come to buy and sell a variety of goods. The market is colorful and easily photographed. The food market and farm implement market is of great interest. We will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with its complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls. The afternoon will be free to relax.
Day 11: Inle Lake (B, L, D)
Today we will visit the “long neck” tribal women, and observe weaving in the craft villages perched on stilts. We will spend time at the lake and shoot unique “leg rowers.” The Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. It is a feast for the senses and a photographers dream.
Day 12: Inle Lake – Yangon (B, L, D)
Morning flight back to Yangon from Inle Lake. Upon arrival we will visit the over 100 year old beautiful Rangoon Synagogue. Then onto visit the Scott Market, the sprawling 75-year-old open air space where people from around the country come to ply their products. At the market you will find a whole variety of interesting Burmese objects, from lacquer ware to gems & jewelry. Bargaining at the stalls is to fully experience the market. We will have a farewell dinner and meet with a Burmese artist, and a Burmese professional photographer.
Day 13: Yangon – Departure (B)
After breakfast those departing will be taken to the airport. Those staying on the later day flight wil have the opportunity to photograph in Yangon.
In association with
Tour Cost $6,300, Trip Deposit $1,000
Balloon over Bagan (optional) $300
Maximum Group Size 6
6 SPOTS OPEN
Please check out rates from our travel insurance partner below
The Tour Fee for the Myannmar Photography Tour is $6,300 in shared accomodations in 4 star hotels. 12 nights in named hotels. Breakfast each day , 11 lunches, 12 dinners. Pick up and return from airport.English speaking tour guide and photography instructor. 4 domestic air tickets, Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Inle-Yangon. Private boat ride on Inle Lake and Mingun. All entrance and camera fees.
Bagan River View Hotel
Mandalay Hill Resort
Amata Hotel or Ann Heritage