What is most striking for a visiting photographer to Myanmar, beyond the legions of magnificent pagodas and monasteries, is its people. The 135 ethnic groups offer an extraordinary diversity of subjects to be sure, but it’s their welcoming nature and willingness to open their lives to the camera toting foreigner that never ceases to amaze.
Day 1: Arrival in Yangon
We will be met upon arrival at Yangon airport and driven to the hotel.
Day 2: Yangon (B)
Photograph an exotic morning sunrise over the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda, where many local Buddhists come to worship each morning. Return to the hotel for breakfast then continue exploring Yangon. Walk along Pansodan street which has many large colonial buildings standing out. It is also interesting to see the sidewalk markets including those selling old books and magazines dating from the 1960’s up to the present.
Day 3: Yangon – Bagan (B)
We take a morning flight to Bagan. Situated on a plain along the Ayeyarwaddy River, this ancient city is dotted with thousands of ancient stupas and temples mainly built between the 11th and 13th century, making it one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. Today we will photograph temples and begin our experience with the Shwezigon pagoda, one of the four most significant buildings in Bagan. Continue to the Htilominlo pagoda, famed for its original fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations which are remarkably well preserved. The temple stands 46 meters high and houses four Buddha stateus on the lower and upper floors. In the afternoon we continue to the Mingalazedi pagoda, one of the few temples in Bagan with a full set of glazed terra cotta tiles. Finally, visit the Dhammayangyi pagoda, Bagan’s largest temple. The temple is a large square, single story, pyramidal temple with six monumental ascending exterior terraces. The brickwork is perhaps the finest that can be found around Bagan. Enjoy the sunset before returning to the hotel.
Day 4: Bagan (B)
After breakfast, visit Minnanthu village and photograph daily activities of local people at Pwa-saw village. Continue to the Payathonezu temple to see its colorful religious paintings. In the afternoon, visit Sulamani and Dhamayangyi temples then a lacquer ware workshop to photograph artisans at work.
Day 5: Bagan - Mandalay (B)
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Mandalay, a former capital of Myanmar, the economic, cultural and religious heart of upper Myanmar. Drive to Amarapura and visit Mahagandayon monastery, which is a school for young monks, and the nearby U Bein Bridge. It is more than two centuries old and at 1.2 km is the longest teakwood span in the world. We also visit Inwa which was founded in 1364 and which lasted nearly 400 years as a royal capital. Highlights include the leaning tower of Ava, Maha Aungmye Bonzan, a brick-and-stucco monastery, and the elegant teakwood monastery Bagaya Kyaung. Continue to Sagaing, a former capital of the Shan kingdom in the 14th century, to shoot the many eye-catching stupas scattered over Sagaing Hill.
Day 6: Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay (B)
This morning we drive to Kywezon jetty to photograph the busy riverside activity and take a local riverboat to the ancient capital of Mingun. On arrival, visit the world’s largest ringing bell, which weighs over 87 tons, then continue to the unfinished Mingun Mantara pagoda. Views from the top of the pagoda are remarkable, especially in the late afternoon when the setting sun casts an enigmatic light over the region. We also visit the Settawya pagoda, the huge Mingun Bell (90 tons), and the Hsinbyume pagoda nearby. Return to Mandalay to visit cottage crafts as the gold leaf making, tapestry, wood carving, bronze making, and marble stone carving. Visit the Golden Palace Monastery, known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths, Kuthodaw pagoda with the world’s largest book, and Maha Muni pagoda as the holiest site in Mandalay. Drive up Mandalay Hill to photograph the magnificent sunset views from the 230m high summit.
Day 7: Mandalay - Inle Lake (B, L)
We bid farewell to Bagan and fly to Heho in Shan state. Meet up with our local guide and continue by road to Nyuangshwe to start a boat trip to the famous Inle Lake. Afternoon, we’ll be travelling around the picturesque lake for chances to shoot the famous leg-rowers, a traditional hand-rolled cheroot factory, a weaving village, unusual floating gardens, and more.
Day 8: Inle Lake - In Dein - Inle Lake (B, L)
Again we hop on a boat and drive across the lake and up river to the small lakeside village of In Dein. We’ll hike through the picturesque landscape to visit the site of a ruined Shan city – known as the ‘Shan Bagan’ – where myriad ruined stupas dot the lush vegetation. Continue on foot to a village nearby where several crops are grown in traditional ways. Enjoy lunch then return to the hotel for relaxation.
Day 9: Inle Lake - Yangon (B, D)
Leave Inle Lake for Heho, 30 km away, and catch a flight back to Yangon. The remainder of the day is independent time. Some last–minute souvenir hunting at the famous Scott Market is recommendable. In the evening, we reunite at the Farewell Dinner and reflect on what we’ve experienced and photographed together.
Day 10: Departure (B)
Free till transfer to the airport for departure flight
- Accommodation of the class quoted
- Land transfer by AC vehicle
- Local English-speaking guide
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- Government tax and service charge
- Supply of bottled water & tissues on car on touring days
- Visa arrangement
- Any flight does not mentioned and international tax
- Travel insurance
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Hotel/Room upgrade
- Festivity surcharge & festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
- Tip, drinks, personal expenses and others