HighlightsYangon | Rangoon circular line | Mandalay | Ruined City of Ava | U Bein Bridge | Photography workshops | Mingunt | Irrawaddy river boat trip | Bagan, including sunrise and sunsets| Pindaya Cave Temples | Inle Lake | Opportunity for winery visit | Local villages and markets a plenty
Description of Burma photography tourBurma is bursting with photographic opportunities and has inspired creative artists for many years. Rudyard Kipling was one such artist who put his thoughts into words rather than images and described Burma/Myanmar as "Quite unlike any land you know about”. Thanks to its timeless quality, Burma still proffers unique cultural and natural heritage, opening up a world that photographers can’t get enough of.
This two week photography tour is led by leading travel photographer, Gary Latham. He will take you on a journey through the country’s different eras and architectural influences. Such as Burma’s colonial era, the shimmering and spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, the culturally rich city of Mandalay as well as the chance to visit many villages and markets. Other photographic highlights include the thousands of temples and pagodas of Bagan peeking above the trees and mist, seemingly going on forever. Or Lake Inle, with its stilt house villages, floating markets and incredible ‘leg rowing’ fishermen.
On this Burma photography holiday we use all forms of transport to get around, from rickshaw to riding a bike, horse and cart to river cruiser. We create itineraries that help you gain proximity to real Burmese life, meet local people and fully immerse yourself in community events or daily happenings. We welcome photographers with all levels of experience on this tour, from beginners to budding professionals, those seeking technical knowledge or those keen to gain creative inspiration.
Over two weeks, you will have fantastic access to this amazing country. As we travel through this still very traditional country will meet an eclectic mixture of people from different ethnic groups along the way, have a wide array of wonderful culinary experiences and, all the time, be able to capture one of the world’s most friendly and welcoming countries through your lens.
Responsible tourism Responsible tourism: Burma photography tour Show More EnvironmentBenefits arise with a small group (max 10) with respect to any nature based activities: hiking, snorkelling, bird watching etc. Not only do smaller groups have less negative impact on the natural environment but, as above, it is easier for a guide to transmit instructions and knowledge. There is also far more chance of spotting birds and wildlife with lower numbers. If governments see that creating and maintaining National Parks can create revenue, then it is an incentive for them to preserve such areas and create new ones instead of short term gain from logging, plantations etc. And if local communities can see that National Parks, Forest Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc bring in revenue for local communities and employment for local people then it is an incentive for them to respect such protected areas and participate in tourism schemes. We therefore feel it is essential to incorporate as many such protected areas into our itineraries as possible – not only to show the scenery and exotic flora and fauna to visitors, but also to encourage authorities and local people to establish and take care of.CommunityOur Images photographic tours, in keeping with our philosophy, emphasise photography that appreciates local people, their cultures and religions, and encourage a positive impact on the places and people we visit. We have included destinations not usually included in Burma itineraries such as Aung Ban, Kalaw, Pindaya, Pyin U Lwin as well as including less ‘touristic’ sites such as local markets in the more frequented destinations such as Mandalay and Yangon. We are also hoping to shortly introduce an extension of our itinerary to Sittwe and Rakhine State. Experience has shown that our small group sizes offers major benefits in various areas, and is integral to our concept of responsible tourism. • Socially, small numbers create a much more cohesive group with far less chance of cliques or 'groups within groups' – it's often been described by those who travel with us as "more like a group of friends and not like a tour group at all". • Service is inevitably improved with a high ratio of guides and tour-leaders to customers and we are able to offer a more personalized service. Information and directions are passed on far more easily and a high level of flexibility can be maintained, which isn't possible with larger groups. • Transport; we are able to use smaller types of transport as well as making public transport more practical. i.e. pick–up trucks and minibuses instead of large coaches. This has practical as well as ecological benefits • Restaurants and Accommodation; we use smaller, locally run restaurants and accommodation that larger groups wouldn't be able to do - again another essential element of our tours. • Interacting with local people; another significant advantage is when visiting local people, villages, tribal groups and so on, a smaller group has far less impact, is far less intimidating and there's a much greater chance of a warm welcome and opportunities for genuine interaction. (No villager is going to invite 16 people in for a cup of tea!)• Nature and the Environment: Similar Great care has been made to insure that a maximum of expenditure goes to privately owned and local companies, hotels, restaurants etc and a minimum amount to government owned properties such as unavoidable entrance fees to sites such as Bagan, as well as actively endeavouring to avoid places or companies that may be privately owned but have close contacts with the government. Indeed certain state-run museums and sites we judged non-essential have been deliberately omitted from our itinerary. Additional specific schemes supported on this itinerary include; Visits to local handicraft manufacturers and ‘cottage industries’ in for example Inle and Pindaya. Visits to local markets Use of local forms of transport where practical such as cyclos/rickshaws and ox or horse carts. Visits to hill-tribe villages – Palaung and Danu and a visit to a Palaung school where we are looking at possibilities of material assistance in terms of books, pencils, sports items etc
|Day 1:||Departure from London.|
|Day 2:||Morning arrival in Yangon,(Rangoon), and check-in to a comfortable, downtown hotel close to the famous Scott Market. Introductory session from your photographer before an afternoon walking orientation tour of the city followed by a scenic sunset boat cruise on the Rangoon River and a welcome dinner. Photography themes; introduction to travel photography, street-life, architecture, sunset|
|Day 3:||Morning departure for a fascinating and unusual train journey on the Rangoon circular line. The (very) slow local train completes a loop through the suburbs and outlying villages providing an original and ‘behind the scenes’ view of local life and Rangoon City – a great introduction to Burma. After lunch we’ll take a stroll through the picturesque Kandawgyi Lake Gardens before a sunset visit to the incredible Shwedagon Temple – Burma’s most sacred and certainly one it’s most awe inspiring sites. Photography themes; local life, markets, Shwedagon Pagoda|
|Day 4:||Morning flight to Mandalay, (don’t worry we’ll be back in Yangon later!), and time to relax or explore the area before an afternoon trip to the nearby ancient city and former 14th to 19th century capital of Ava (Inva). Discover the ruined city, temples and villages by horse and cart before a sunset visit to the iconic U Bein Bridge – reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world. Photography themes; street-life, ruined temples and modern temples, U Bein Bridge|
|Day 5:||Morning workshop with your photographer followed by an afternoon boat trip up the Irrawaddy to the spectacular nearby site of Mingun for chance to put some ideas and advice into practice amongst the picturesque riverside ruins of the ancient city and temples. Photography themes; technical advice and tips, river-life, ruined temples|
|Day 6:||Overland departure for the fascinating, yet rarely visited, town of Monywa on the banks of the Chindwin River. We will take in what is said to be the world's largest standing Buddha statue, a monastery housing an astonishing 500,000 Buddha images and some ancient underground temples hewn out of the solid rock. In the afternoon we will continue south to Bagan for a dusk visit to one of the ancient City's fabulous temples. Photography themes; architecture, temple, landscapes, sunset at Bagan|
|Day 7:||Orientation visit and introductory tour to the site of the ruined 11th - 13th century Capital. The area still contains over 2000 chedis, stupas, and pagodas, scattered across a riverside plain, and is certainly one of the most incredible sites of South East Asia. Photography themes; Temples, landscape, village life, Bagan, sunrise|
|Day 8:||Visit Bagan at your leisure with a map, hat and torch (to discover temple's hidden stairways). Roam the country lanes by bicycle, hire a pony and trap, visit the best known temples or find some hidden chedis of your own. Rise early to take in dawn or sit out the hot part of the day by the pool. Your guide will be on hand to advise and recommend, but we'd like to give you the opportunity to explore this phenomenal and highly photogenic site at your own leisure and pace. Photography Themes: temples, landscape, village life, Bagan|
|Day 9:||Flight to Heho airport and drive through the picturesque countryside of the Shan Plateau taking in one of the local markets before heading to the town of Pindaya to visit the spectacular Shwe Umin Cave temples. Lunch by the lake and a chance to check out the traditional umbrella making which Pindaya is also famous for. In the afternoon we will continue our scenic route to Nyuang Shwe - gateway town to the famous Inle Lake. Photography themes: "on the road", landscapes of the Shan Plateau, handicrafts, Pindaya Cave Temples. Photography themes; hill-tribe peoples, landscapes, farms and village life, local markets, post production|
|Day 10:||Day boat trip around the picturesque lake including visits to: a lakeside village market, a traditional hand rolling cheroot factory (!), a fascinating lotus weaving project and the unusual floating gardens. Photography themes: village life, handicrafts and traditional industries, fishing and lake-life, landscapes|
|Day 11:||Morning departure across the lake and up river to the small lakeside village of Indein from where 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. Return to Nyaungshwe for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Photography themes: lake-life, local people, local markets, landscapes, ruined city of In Dein|
|Day 12:||Free morning at Lake Inle to do your own thing: cycle to the extraordinary Red Mountain Winery, check out the local market, visit a local village by canoe or just relax in a tea shop before an afternoon return flight to Yangon. Photography themes: local markets, street-life|
|Day 13:||Free time to perhaps do some last minute souvenir hunting at the famous Scott market, or check out one of the City's bustling markets before a late afternoon departure. Photography themes: street-life, architecture, local people and markets|
|Day 14:||Morning arrival in the UK.|