Myanmar (Burma) Photo Tour

The Tour

The Tour

Our aim is to inspire you creatively, inform you technically and share our knowledge with you on how to create the best shot possible using your equipment and techniques to maximise best use of the light. Our enthusiasm, creativity and technical knowledge will leave you feeling as though you’ve achieved the best shots you possibly can.

As well as providing you, the photographer with creative and technical advice, our Tour Leader will be on hand to help your partner/friend have a good time too by recommending activities to keep them entertained.

At least one meal per day is included and where meals are at a venue of your choice, our Tour Leaders will advise you on the best places to go in the local area.

Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Myanmar (Burma)
Booking

£3,499 per person

4 November 2017 – 13 November 2017

Included
  • Transfers to and from airport
  • Transport to all areas detailed in the itinerary (including boat hire and cart ride)
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking Tour Leader
  • Tuition from English speaking Photo Mentor
  • 12 Day tour
Not Included
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • 1/2 meals per day (unless specified in the itinerary)
  • Drinks (unless specified)
  • Photography equipment
  • Valid passport and Visa (if required)
  • Tips for staff
Itinerary

DAY 1 – Arrival

Accommodation: Mandalay Hill Resort

We will collect you from Mandalay International airport and take you to the hotel.  The rest of the day is free time for you to relax.

Lunch:  Venue of your choice

There will be an introductory meeting during the early evening (once all the tour guests have arrived) in the hotel, when the Photo Mentor will give you details on the tour.  This will be followed by dinner at the hotel.

Dinner:  Welcome dinner at the hotel

DAY 2 – Mandalay – Amarapura

Accommodation: Mandalay Hill Resort

Breakfast: At the hotel

The day will start at sunrise to appreciate the panoramic city views from Mandalay Hill before being taken to visit the hustle and bustle of the jade market where gem stone traders travel to each day to trade jade. The sights are amazing. This will be followed by a trip to the Artisan Quarters to enjoy the local people pounding and creating gold leaf, making teakwood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestries. Next stop is the Golden Palace Monastery, the only surviving Royal Palace in Mandalay. Finally, we will visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing where Buddha’s teachings are carved in the Pali script on stone tablets; reputed to be the world’s largest book in terms of surface area.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

We will then travel to Amarapura by private vehicle (45 minutes) famous for its textiles. After that, we will visit a cottage industry to learn how Myanmar longyis (Burmese style sarong) are made and to see how traditional fabrics are woven. The Ubein Bridge is the final stop for the day. The bridge is a simple but remarkable teak structure that spans 1.2km over Taungtaman Lake. There is the option to be taken out in a rowing boat to enjoy the Ubein Bridge silhouetted against the setting sun – a stunning dream landscape image in the making!

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 3 – Amarapura – Bagan

Accommodation: Bagan Lodge

Breakfast: At the Lodge

We will be taken to the airport to catch a domestic flight to Bagan where we will visit the Nyaungu Market, the largest market in the Bagan region to enjoy the sites and sounds of the local life and people. Next stop is Taung Bi Village to indulge in some more local culture with a visit to the noodle makers, a Myanmar style movie theatre, see the village hairdresser in action and take tea in a local tea shop.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Taking a trip along the Ayeyarwaddy River, we will visit traditional Myanmar family businesses including blacksmiths, brick makers, dry snack ‘factories’ and bamboo roof producers. We will also visit some of Bagan’s famous temples including Shwezigon Stupa, Gubyaukgyi (Wet-Kyi-Inn), Htilominlo Temple, Ananda Temple and Dhamayangyi Temple. In the evening you can enjoy taking some sunset shots near Dhamayazeka Zedi (South Guni/North Guni)

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 4 – Bagan

Accommodation: Bagan Lodge

Breakfast: At the Lodge

We will start today’s activities with a visit to Dhamayazeka Zedi to enjoy the panoramic views of the temple studded plains of Bagan, including the ancient bamboo and wooden houses. More temples are on offer today, built more recently than those seen yesterday. Payathonzu, meaning 3 temples, is joined together by narrow, vaulted passages. Nanda-Man-Nya Temple is a single chambered temple containing frescoes and a seated Buddha image. Tayok Pye Paya is a large temple built by Narathihapate, the king who fled from the Mongolian invasion. Sunset is a real photographic treat as we will be taken around the temples in a bullock or horse drawn cart to enjoy taking pictures of one of the richest archaeological treasures in South East Asia, with the sun setting behind the temple ruins.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 5 – Bagan – Heho – Inle

Accommodation: Pristine Lotus Spa Resort – Floating Duplex

Breakfast: At the resort

After breakfast we will be taken to the airport to catch a domestic flight to Heho, a quiet transit town set in the beautiful hills of Shan State, north east of Yangon. We’ll visit the busy Heho Market, where different ethnic groups come from the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce. En route to Inle Lake we will visit a local family workshop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made using traditional methods with fibres from mulberry trees. We will then drive to Inle Lake (1 hour drive) taking in the valley offering views of the Shan mountains and rice paddy fields.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

The afternoon is spent exploring Inle Lake, a visual feast for any photographer, to enjoy the floating gardens and wooden homes perched above the water on stilts, as well as visiting Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues, covered in gold leaf. We will also visit the Inpawkhon Weaving Village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are crafted by hand. Our final stop is Nampan Village where local craftsmen will show us how Burmese cigars, or ‘cheroots’ are traditionally packed and rolled.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 6 – Inle Lake – Indein

Accommodation: Pristine Lotus Spa Resort – Floating Duplex

Breakfast: At the resort

A boat ride to the Inn Dain Pagoda Complex, which feels like a trip back in time. To access the complex, we will stroll through verdant bamboo groves, enjoying the sights on offer, which open up to a field covered with ancient pagodas constructed over 1000 years ago. The rest of the day will be yours to enjoy some free time.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 7 – Inle Lake – Phekone – Loikaw

Accommodation: Loikaw Kayah Resort

Breakfast: At the Resort

A boat ride (3 hours) along the scenic Bilu River to visit Samkhar (Sagar), the ancient capital of the pretty state of the same name. A stroll around the village will take us through old pagodas, temples and a chance to enjoy quaint village life. A further boat ride (2 hours) will take us to Phekon, a small town situated on the shore of Mobye Dam to visit the Sacred Heart Church, built by Italian Missionaries in the late 19th Century, and enjoy panoramic views of the town from the Hill of Our Lady of Jeroblo Grotto.

Lunch: At a local house in Phekhon owned by Mr Pascal Khoo Thwe*.

The afternoon will comprise a drive (45 minutes) to Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, the smallest and one of the least developed states of Myanmar; dotted with jungles and wildlife. Panoramic views are on offer from Broken Mountain Pagoda (Taung Kwe Taung Zedi) at sunset.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

* Brief biography of Mr Pascal Khoo Thwe

Born into the tiny and remote Kayan Padaung tribe, famous for their long-necked women, Pascal Khoo Thwe has been a seminarian, a rebel fighter in Myanmar’s eastern jungles, and a refugee. He then graduated in English literature from Cambridge, the first member of his tribe ever to study at university, after which he pursued careers in finance, journalism and catering. His extraordinary story is told in his acclaimed autobiography, From the Land of Green Ghosts, published by HarperCollins, and has appeared on the New York Times best sellers list.. Other books in the pipeline include indigo limbo, a description of Myanmar communities in exile, and a jungle cookbook. After a quarter century away Pascal has returned to his homeland, and is devoting himself to helping his people through various sustainability and environmental causes. He assists Expeditions Myanmar in guide training, in vetting the environmental practices of the company’s suppliers and in reviewing the sustainability and environmental impact of the company’s programmes.

DAY 8 – Loikaw

Accommodation: Loikaw Kayah Resort

Breakfast: At the Resort

A drive to Demoso, a provincial town to the west of Loikaw, to explore the local market filled with exotic produce and local people exchanging their wares. Local wine (Khaung Ye) sausages and other delicacies are on offer for sampling. A further drive (30 minutes) will take us to Panpet, a Kayan village found among the hills and mountains where we can meet the world famous long-necked Kayan (Padaung) women, visit their community and learn their history as well as enjoy their hospitality.**

Lunch: Traditional

We then continue our trip to Ha Nee Lah Leh Village, which is situated near a series of lakes surrounded by mountains and paddy fields and is known for keeping the Kayah tradition alive. Here we will see totems, spirit houses and shrines dedicated to various kinds of benevolent and malevolent spirits, as well as witnessing traditional art and craft being made. We can join in the festivities but please be aware that women are not allowed to dance inside the compound of totems during the festival.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

** We will be briefed by members of the Pampet Travel Club on basic information on the villages. We will then be taken around the village by trained guides who will show us activities for the festival and offer us the chance to join in with the traditional singing and dancing. (if the trip includes a festival date).

DAY 9 – Loikaw – Yangon

Accommodation: Chatrium Hotel

Breakfast: At the hotel

After breakfast we will be taken to the airport to catch a domestic flight to Yangon to explore its highlights, starting with the colonial style city centre and the Sule Paya Stupa (a dome shaped building erected as a Buddhist shrine) which was built over 2000 years ago. The Chaukhtat Gyi Pagoda is next, to view the magnificent reclining Buddha and the Karaweik Hall to view the uniquely decorated ‘hamsa-bird-shape’ floating barge on Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

Then it’s off to Bogyoke (Scotts) Market where hundreds of stores offer gemstones, handicrafts, art, clothes and food. The day ends on a trip to the Swedagon Pagoda, one of the world’s most spectacular monuments – a gold covered bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline – an iconic sight not to be missed!

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 10 – Yangon – Bago – Kyaikhtiyo

Accommodation: Kyaikhtiyo Mountain Top Hotel

Breakfast: At the hotel

We will be driven (1.5 hours) to Bago, one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar and the ancient capital of Mon Kingdom.

Lunch: Local restaurant

We will continue our drive (3.5 hours) to Kin Pun base camp to swap to an open truck that is shared with local pilgrims which will take us to the summit to the Golden Rock or Kyaiktiyo (as it is known to the Burmese). This is a sacred boulder covered in gold leaf and is balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff. Crowning the boulder is a small shrine believed to contain Buddha’s hair relics. Enjoy the sunset and soak up the tranquil and unique atmosphere offered by the monks, nuns and lay pilgrims. A spectacular sight and visited by pilgrims from all over the world, many hours could be spent just photographing the amazing sight of the pilgrims, many of whom camp out overnight.

Dinner: Venue of your choice

DAY 11 – Kyaikhtiyo – Bago – Yangon

Accommodation: Chatrium Hotel

Early rise to enjoy the sunrise and enjoy a quiet morning stroll.

Breakfast: At the hotel

We take the descent back to Kin Pun base camp and continue the drive back to Bago (3.5 hours) and visit the impressive 55m reclining Buddha of Shew Tha Lyaung and enjoy the 114m high Shwemawdaw Pagoda, with its golden spire that is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees.

Lunch: Venue of your choice

We will visit a Mon Weaving Village near Bago before breaking up the rest of the journey to Yangon (1.5 hours) with visits to a Nat Three Shrine dedicated to a legendary nat spirit and the Allied Troops War Cemetery which honours 6000 war heroes of World War 2.

Dinner: Farewell dinner

DAY 12 – Departure

Breakfast and departure to the international airport.