Day 1 – Yangon (D)
Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be greeted by our local guide and taken transferred to our hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon is known for its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage and the magnificent 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda.
Day 2 – Yangon (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we’ll visit Chauk Htut Gyi Pagoda (with its 70 meters long reclining Buddha image) followed by Kalaywa Tawya Monastery where over 1,200 monks and novices reside. Here we enjoy a great photoshoot of the novices bathing and having their daily meal in the hall. After lunch at a local restaurant, we travel downtown to see and photograph the old colonial quarter before visiting the lively and colourful China town. Dinner will be at a local restaurant with a great view of the city.
Day 3 – Yangon => Heho – Kakku – Loikaw (B, L, D)
We depart early for our flight to Heho. Upon arrival, we commence our long day of travel, stopping along the road for photography as required. Our first major stop will be Kakku, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights, a huge collection of 2,478 stupas which are believed to have been commissioned as far back as 2,00 years ago with some dating back to the 3rd Century BC. Upon arrival in Loikaw, we will go to a local monastery to photograph a monk praying.
Day 4 – Loikaw => Panpet => Loikaw (B, L, D)
This morning we rise early to photograph sunrise at a small mountain offering a panoramic view over Loikaw. After breakfast, we drive to Panpet Padaung Village where we’ll enjoy some time meeting and photographing the local Padaung ladies. Lunch will be in their village. After lunch, we proceed to Tanilarle Village where Kayah ladies wear brass and rubber rings on their knees. If time allows, we will also visit De Mow Soe Market which only occurs three days per week. We return to Loikaw in time for sunset.
Day 5 – Loikaw => Sanghar => Inle Lake (B, L, D)
We commence our day by road travelling to Sanghar where we enjoy some time exploring and photographing the village. At Sanghar we transfer to Long-tail boats and then commence our amazing boat trip up through the lake system to our hotel. Long-tail boats will be our means of transport over the next few days, and we need to take all our luggage with us. There will be many opportunities to take photographs as we travel including amazing scenes along the river and a fishnet making village.
Day 6 & 7 – Inle Lake (B, L, D)
Over the course of two days, we will be doing a number of amazing activities around the lake, the main being the Phaung Daw Oo festival in which hundreds of men board purposely built boats and row through villages towing a large royal barge containing sacred Buddha images. This is a festival like nothing you have ever seen.
In addition to this, there is a five-day rotating market which we may be able to visit depending on the location it is scheduled. In addition to attending the local markets, we will also have the opportunity to attend cheroot, weaving, silk/cotton dying and blacksmith workshops. Special photo shoots will also be arranged with the unique fishermen who row with one leg. We will also travel to Indein, a picturesque small village on the western bank of the lake with thousands of stupas. Inle Lake is one of the highlights of the tour and our program will vary according to events and locations we travel to.
Day 8 – Inle Lake => Nyaung Shwe => Heho => Mandalay (B, L, D)
Today we depart Inle Lake and return to Heho for our flight to Mandalay. We then return to Nyaung Shwe before visiting Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a popular photographic stop in Myanmar.
On arrival in Mandalay, we proceed to Amarapura, the former capital from 1783 to 1821 and 1842 to 1859. We end the day photographing the sunset over U Bein Bridge from small Sampan boats. U Bein Bridge is a beautiful 200-year-old teak bridge said to be the longest in the world. The bridge’s attraction, however, is the hundreds of locals, monks and fisherman making their way back and forth, affording us the opportunity to get some great silhouette shots.
Day 9 – Mandalay (B, L, D)
This morning we’ll get up early to photograph the sun rising over Mandalay Palace and the local monks/novices walking the streets to collect their daily alms.
After breakfast, we will transfer to the jetty and take a private boat to visit Mingun, an unfinished pagoda which would have been the largest in the world if it had ever been completed. The pagoda is also the location of the largest ringing bell in the world, weighing in at 90 tonnes. If we’re lucky we may even see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins which are known to visit this part of the river. Lunch will be provided on the boat whilst we make our way back to Mandalay.
In the afternoon we travel to Paleik to see its famous snake temple and more than 300 long-abandoned temples from the 14th century covered in ivy.
Day 10 – Mandalay => Bagan (B, L, D)
This morning we depart very early for a sunrise shoot at U Bien Bridge before continuing to the airport for our flight to Bagan. With more than 2,000 temples, pagodas and other religious structures dating back to the early 11th century, Bagan is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites and one of the very best destinations for photography.
The following days in Bagan will be filled with numerous photographic opportunities from beautiful sunrises and sunsets to architectural and controlled shoots with locals.
There is also the option of booking a place on the popular hot air balloon flight at an additional cost! Upon arrival in Bagan, we’ll visit the main entrance passageway into Shwezigon Pagoda for a special photoshoot before proceeding to lunch. After lunch we check into our hotel before going out and exploring the magnificent sites in the afternoon and evening.
Day 11 & 12 – Bagan (B, L, D)
Bagan is the second major highlight of our Myanmar tour and will offer a number of photographic opportunities. For those interested in doing the optional hot air balloon flight, one morning will involve an early rise, briefing, flight and champagne breakfast. Those not doing the flight will have the option of shooting sunrise from one of the temples. The other morning will involve a sunrise shoot from a prime location with the hot air balloons floating past in the distance.
During our two days, we have a number of temples, stupas and monasteries that can be visited, and these will be coordinated according to the route we choose to avoid busy tourist times. Some of these shoots will involve local Monks and Novices. Other interesting photoshoots will be goat herders in the late afternoon light and sunset shoots from prime locations. There may even be an opportunity to do an astrophotography night. One night we will also enjoy a dinner with Marionette show.
Day 13 – Bagan => Yangon (B, L, D)
This morning we get up early to prepare for our flight to Yangon, stopping to visit Shwezigon Pagoda on our way to the airport. On arrival in Yangon, we’ll visit and photograph Danyin Gone market before enjoying a train ride to downtown Yangon. Later in the afternoon, we’ll go to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda for our final evening shoot.
Day 14 – End of Tour (B, L)
On our final morning, we rise early to take a walk through the local fish market. We then return to the hotel for breakfast and prepare for our departure. Those interested in catching up in some last-minute shopping can walk to the nearby Scott’s Market. After an early lunch, we’ll say our goodbyes and travel to the airport for our departure.