This 14-day Myanmar photography tour is designed for shutterbugs who wish to go beyond the surface and have an in-depth exploration of Myanmar at their own pace.
Oct. to Feb.
We have just returned from an amazing trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our travel adviser Albee Ning prepared a wonderful itinerary taking us to great locations with creative activities highlighting local culture.
We traveled with Asia Highlights (Lissie was our agent) several years ago when we went to Saigon, and the experience was so positive, we automatically went to Asia Highlights again for an extensive trip to Southeast Asia.
Your personal tour guide, who is an expert at photography, will lead you to go off the beaten path to explore Myanmar's best sights. Connecting with the locals will enable you to have an insight into the local cultures, World Heritage religious treasures, and their lifestyles.
Your tour guide and driver will pick you up from the airport and drive you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to adjust to the jet lag.
If you feel energetic, you can spend some leisure time wandering around your hotel. Inya Lake and the Shwedagon Pagoda, which are near your hotel, are good places to relax and take photos at dusk.
Jump onto a train at Yangon Circular Railway for an overview of this city. This journey takes about 3 hours even though it's only for a distance of 45 kilometers. Being seated among different commuters on their way to schools, offices, and marketplaces, this is a good chance to record the daily lives of the locals. Your photos will fully express the local culture and why Yangon is more laid-back compared with other capital cities in Southeast Asia. You will stop by a local market with numerous stalls.
Moving forwards, you may want to capture the sacred Chaukhtatgyi Paya, which is 200 feet long, with a wide-angle lens. This giant reclining Buddha is one of the most important sites for local devotees.
You will visit Chinatown in the evening to capture how the locals spend their nights.
Depart from your hotel for a 4-hour drive to the spectacular Golden Rock in Kyaiktiyo. When you reach the summit, an imposing view of a huge boulder mystically balanced on the edge of a cliff is presented. Capture this stunning view from the best angle with help from your guide.
You will have the opportunity to take more photos at dusk and at night as you wish since your hotel is on top of the mountain.
The Golden Rock is an ideal place for meditation. Local monks and devotees from all over the country worship and pray there. Discover the mystical Golden Rock and meet with interesting people by visiting it at dawn.
After having breakfast, you will head back to Yangon.
Take a morning flight to Mandalay. Start your day by visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda with the superb sight of hundreds of tablets clustered around a main pagoda. Capture the color-contrasting images and you will understand why it deserves the name of the world's largest book.
Take the elevator up to Mandalay Hill where you can get panoramic views of Kuthodaw Pagoda and capture the incredible views at dusk.
One of Buddha's instructions was to have one meal a day. You will discover how monks have their lunch at Mahagandayon Monastery. Thousands of pious monks stand solemnly in line to receive their food — you will never know how pious they are until you witness this.
Continue your visit to U Bein Bridge for its spectacular views at dusk. You will visit U Bein Bridge on land first, then hop on a boat to enjoy its charm. From land or the river, the breathtaking sight of U Bein Bridge stretching its enchanting outline in the fading light of the day will amaze you.
Grasp your camera, then head to Mahamuni Buddha Temple for a holy ceremony in the early morning. Local devotees go there regularly for a daily face-washing ceremony (this starts at 4am and lasts for one hour) with offerings. Soak up the pious atmosphere and store these memories in your camera.
After having breakfast at your hotel, you will depart to Bagan.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ideal destination for every shutterbug. You will spend two full days there to capture its ever-changing scenery from dawn until dusk. Adorned by the morning mist, hundreds and thousands of temples, stupas, and pagodas spread out solemnly and magnificently. At sunset, you will see the very different side of Bagan, dotted by glittering temples, stupas, and pagodas in the fading light of the day.
Models can help to perfect your shots and we will hire locals and monks to pose while you take photos.
Lots of hot-air balloons will ascend over Bagan every morning to get the best panoramic views. To take these poetic and picturesque photos, you need to wake up early and hit the road to catch the best shooting time.
After having breakfast, you will fly to Heho (the airport town near Inle Lake).
If you want to participate in the optional hot-air balloon flight, please note that the available reservation time is October to March, with a fixed schedule every morning. A sunset flight is available upon special request. This activity is in great demand so it's recommended to make a reservation 3 months in advance to secure your booking.
Your journey starts with a short visit to Nampan Village by boat, which is on the way to Kakku.
Move forwards to Kakku Pagoda Complex and the Indein Pagoda complex — both of them attract photographers worldwide with thousands of historic pagodas and temples.
Kakku Pagoda Complex, dating back to the 3rd century BC, is one of the most sublime monuments in Myanmar. On the way back to Inle Lake, hop onto a boat and paddle along narrow waterways and, as you sneak into a hidden path, the magnificent Indein Pagoda complex will burst into view. Hundreds of small stupas spring out at the lakeshore and the moss-covered surfaces tell you about their historical story.
Take your time to enjoy the splendid views and capture as many photos as you wish.
A delightful journey to a local market, which is held every 5 days, will give you an overview of how the locals trade and live there. You will keep pressing the button to capture photos of a bustling market that's busy with boats crossing the water, vendors selling exquisite handicrafts, and more.
Move on to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which is highly revered by local devotees.
You may be curious about the floating gardens and skilled fishermen rowing a boat with one leg. As your boat cruises among the narrow water lanes and floating houses, you will learn about the ethnic cultures and traditions from your knowledgeable guide. The locals collect weeds from the depths of the lake to fertilize vegetables and fruits in their farmlands. The lake is their homeland, which they have built and developed from generation to generation.
The fishermen will pose for you to take photos if you ask them to.
No activities have been arranged for this day. We will arrange a boat for you so that you can visit any desired spots to take more photos.
Your guide will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home.
Global Highlights is more than happy to be part of your unforgettable Myanmar photography tour and we hope to help you again soon.
Price from: $3,425 (Tour code: gh-ah-12)
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