A photographic journey in Myanmar
8 days | The very best of culture to Inle Lake, temples of Bagan, famous Pindaya Buddha caves & Yangon
Now is the right time to visit this beautiful and still untouched corner of South East Asia. Offering the absolute best of Myanmar, this wonderful journey will take you right into the heart of a friendly land, where exceptional hospitality is guaranteed. Visiting Inle Lake, the temples of Bagan, famous Pindaya Buddha caves and Yangon.
tour dates: 24 March 2020
After a day exploring Yangon we fly to Bagan. Bagan is considered by many to be the finest collection of temples in Asia and savouring the sunrise from the upper terrace of the temple is a unique experience. Continuing to Pindaya and the famous Buddha caves we then travel to Inle Lake where we visit the remote Sunken Stupas. Inle Lake is a photographers paradise with its bustling local markets, handicrafts, stilted villages and breathtaking views. Finally arriving back in Yangon for a city tour and some time to explore before our journey comes to an end.
■ Yangon, (formerly known as Rangoon)
is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Yangon has earned the name of “The Garden City of the East”. Downtown Yangon is a labyrinth of historic streets concealing some of the most exceptional British colonial-era architecture and is home to the bustling Scott Market, a bazaar built by the British in 1926. We take a stroll downtown at night to see the illuminated Sule Paya and the night seafood market that sets up along Mahabandoola Road.
■ Bagan (Nyaung Oo): From the 11th to 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Highlights include Tayokye Pyay, an elevated temple from where you will have a panoramic view of the magnificent plains of Bagan. The colorful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce. The golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history. Then visit nearby Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. From here we travel by horse cart for a tour passing Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, massive Dhammayangyi Temple, noted for its remarkable brickwork and Sulamani Temple. Afterwards we take a local boat for a slow cruise down the Irrawaddy River photographing the lifestyle of the fishermen and riverside villagers as well as enjoying the unique perspective of Bagan’s temples.
■ Pindaya and Kalaw: We explore Pindaya, first visiting the town’s famous caves. Overlooking the town, the multi-chambered caves are filled with hundreds of Buddha statues, both old and new. Overland to Kalaw, a former British hill station tucked amid the Shan Hills. Relax and enjoy the cool, refreshing air and relaxed atmosphere.
■ Kalaw: After breakfast visit Kalaw’s colourful morning market, where area hilltribes gather to buy and sell fresh produce, handicrafts and other goods. In the cool morning air many noodle vendors also sell piping hot bowls of soups and sweet tea.
■ Nyaung Shwe ...the gateway town to Inle Lake. Explore around Nyaung Shwe, visiting the nearby farms, winery or going for a light trek.
■ Inle Lake: The Nyaung Shwe morning market and a private motorboat to head out to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud, anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddha Images, but is more famous for its unique ‘jumping cats’ who jump through hoops in the air!
■ Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda: Visit the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Then to Sagar (the lake’s southern section) - the famed ‘sunken’ temples are here and many pottery villages and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. If time permits, there may be time to enjoy a short walk through one of the lakeside villages.
■ Inle Lake: After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of In Dein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village, visiting a local school, and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Alaung Sitthou is filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below.
■ Yangon: We’ll visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. Continue to Modern Tea Shop for a chance to experience an integral part of Burmese life - drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea as you sit amid businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business.
■ Kandawagyi Park... one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. Here you will see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon in the background. Depending on the day of your visit Kandawgyi may be busy with local families who come here on the weekend to relax in the fresh air.
Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa and the city skyline from this vantage point.
■ Wander through the colonial charm of Yangon
■ Illuminated Sule Paya and the night seafood market in Yangon
■ Option of a hot-air balloon flight over the plains of Bagan
■ Fabulous views as the sun rises over the stupas and Irrawaddy River
■ Explore the mysterious Shwe U Min cave, home to thousands of Buddha images
■ Unforgettable sunset over the plains from the upper terrace of one of the temples
■ Sunken Stupas of Inle Lake
■ Monks alms collection, morning market, all throughout the lake
■ Complete understanding of your DLSR, compact or film camera functions
■ Composition, light, viewpoint, angles, lens perspective. Shots of locals at the Nyaung Oo Market
■ Aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, ISO setting, white balance, exposure compensation
■ Portraiture, landscapes, macro, reportage, still life, action, motion, architecture, nature, flowers
■ Producing a late afternoon, low light shot of the night seafood markets
■ Cameo macro shots of the tea shop beverages or the market produce
■ The facades of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda demonstrating perspective control
■ Use of your flash & shooting techniques in Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery
■ Editing software, and knowledge of the digital workflow.
■ Creation of a pdf coffee table book of your Myanmar tour
■ An insight into photographing for personal, stock, editorial and commercial use
■ Increased confidence and creative vision.
■ Day 1 ArrIve Yangon
■ Day 2 Yangon-Bagan
■ Day 3 Bagan
■ Day 4 Bagan, Heho, Pindaya
■ Day 5 Kalaw, Nyaung shwe
■ Day 6 Nyaung shwe, Inle Lake
■ Day 7 Inle Lake, In Dien, Heho, Yangon
■ Day 8 Yangon, departure
■ Internal flights valued at $269USD
■ Expert local bilingual guides
■ Medical kit
■ 3 star comfortable accommodation on twin share basis
■ Private vehicles
■ Sightseeing and entry fees
■ All breakfasts as per itinerary
■ Services of professional photographic guide
■ Optional extra activities (not included in the itinerary)
■ Meals as indicated
■ Aerated and alcoholic drinks.
■ Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
■ Tips and Visas
■ Travel Insurance
■ Fast Facts: Visas required
■ Vaccinations required
■ Group size–Min 6, Max16
■ This is an exclusive photographic departure
■ Single travellers who are unable to be matched with another single traveller of the same gender, must pay a single supplement on this trip. This trip is based on a minimum of 5 people travelling. A surcharge may apply if there are less than 6 participants
dates & prices
Tour Dates: 24 March 2020
Tour Cost: $2,990 (ex. Yangon)
Tour Style: Adventure touring with some walking.
Tour Host: Andrew Thomasson
Operator: Focus 10 Pty Ltd