Day 1 – Yangon (D)
Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be transferred downtown to check into the hotel. After relaxing and enjoying the hotel facilities, we will meet for a meet-and-greet and orientation meeting. We will discuss each person’s goals and what they want to achieve. It will then be time to head out for our first dinner together.
Day 2 – Yangon (B, L, D)
Our adventure starts this morning by exploring the streets of Yangon until lunch. After a delicious lunch, we will visit the giant reclining Buddha Statue of Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda. Then we take the minibus for a short ride to the Glory of Yangon, the most sacred of all Myanmar Buddhist icons at Shwedagon Pagoda. Legend has it that eight strands of the Buddha’s hair were enshrined inside the pagoda 2,500 years ago. Our sunset shoot will be at the adjacent Kandawgyi Park with sweeping views of Shwedagon Pagoda in the background.
Day 3 – Yangon => Mrauk U (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the airport to fly to Sittwe. Upon arrival, we have lunch in Sittwe and take a gentle 5-hour cruise to Mrauk U. We then check into the hotel and relax for the evening.
Day 4 – Mrauk U (B, L, D)
We will head out to a sunrise spot and enjoy the misty morning at Mrauk U. After breakfast, we are back on the road to the Mrauk U archaeological zone. It is an area of 7 km sq where hundreds of barely touched and unexplored temples and pagodas still exist today. We will photograph the Shittaung pagoda, the “temple of the 80,000 images of the Buddha”, Htukkanthein temple and the Koethaung temple (meaning “shrine of the 90,000 images of the Buddha”). We also visit Andawthein temple where a tooth relic of the Buddha is said to be enshrined.
Day 5 – Mrauk U (B, L, D)
After our sunrise shoot and breakfast, we will take a boat trip to the Chin villages to concentrate on portraits. We will observe the way of life of the Chin ethnic people whose women traditionally wear tattoos on their faces. We will visit Sin Gay village and other villages like Checkchaung, Ale, Nyaungbin and Sinte before we return to Mrauk U.
Day 6 – Mrauk U (B, L, D)
We will spend today in the remarkable “Lost City” of Mrauk U where we will continue to explore and take some amazing photos. There will also be some free time on this day to either relax or review images and discuss various photography topics.
Day 7 – Mrauk U => Yangon (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we start our journey back to Sittwe. We will have lunch in Sittwe and then head to the airport to fly back to Yangon. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and relax for the evening. There will be an optional photo walk on the streets of Yangon for those who wish to do so.
Day 8 – Yangon => Bagan (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will fly to Nyaung U and Bagan where over 2,000 temples and pagodas dominate the 16 square miles they occupy. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to our hotel before we head out and explore this unbelievable region of the world. After lunch, it will be time to photograph some local monks in temples as candles illuminate them. We will then wait and continue shooting until sunset from the pagoda where the monks will also accompany us.
Day 9 – Bagan (B, L, D)
After our sunrise shoot we proceed to Shwezigon Pagoda Corridor for light and shadow photos. It’s then back to the hotel for breakfast. Once we are all ready, we will set out for another day exploring the numerous pagodas and also visit a local monastery to witness the life of novice monks first hand. It’s a full day ending with a sunset shoot at one of many pagodas.
Day 10 – Bagan => Mandalay (B, L, D)
This will be our last sunrise shoot in Bagan before breakfast back at our hotel. We then head to the airport for the short flight to Mandalay. After checking into our hotel we will explore this fascinating city. We will photograph sites such as Kuthodaw Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and Mahamuni Image. We will observe gold leaf making in a workshop before photographing a sunset from the magnificent U Bein Wooden Bridge.
Day 11 – Mandalay / Sagaing / Mingun (B, L, D)
This morning you will have the option of photographing at Mandalay Palace and Mandalay Hill or U Bein Wooden Bridge. After breakfast, we take a road trip to Sagaing to visit Mya Setkyar Monastery where you can see lines of Buddhist monks queue for lunch in what is their last meal of the day. After that, we visit a monastic school where the monks and volunteers take care and offer free education to the orphans and poor. After lunch, it’s on to Mingun. We will have monks and novice monks meet us at Mingun Pagoda who will model for photographs. Mingun’s unfinished pagoda may have been the biggest pagoda in the history of Buddhism. You will see Mingun bell, the world largest ringing bell before heading back to Mandalay. Time permitting, we will have a sunset shoot at the Shwe Ket Kya pagoda on the river bank.
Day 12 – Mandalay => Inle Lake (B, L, D)
This morning we fly to He Hoe and then via the road to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. After freshening up at our hotel, we will head out by boat to explore Inle Lake. We will visit and shoot local markets, Phaung Daw U Pagoda, Innpawkone village and visit floating gardens where the local Innthar people live and work. At sunset, we will have local fishermen model for us.
Day 13 – Inle Lake (B, L, D)
There will be another opportunity to photograph the local fishermen this morning as the early morning scene is very different from dusk. After breakfast, we visit Ywa Ma village to take portraits of longneck ladies of the Padaung tribes. Then we head to the teak wood Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery to spend time with the monks in one of most amazing of monasteries you will ever see. You will witness rituals, lessons being taught by teachers, and novice monks will happily show you around the picturesque grounds. In the afternoon we take a boat trip to the western shore of the lake along a narrow beautiful creek to get to Inn Dein pagoda complex which houses over 1,000 Shan style pagodas.
Day 14 – Inle Lake => Yangon (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we start our journey back to Yangon. After checking into our hotel, we head to the central railway station to take a city train ride for street photos. The train will be an old-fashioned, diesel engine locomotive with simple coaches. After the train journey, we will drive to Yangon night market where we will enjoy our farewell dinner.
Day 15 – End Of Tour (B)
Our epic adventure comes to an end this morning after a delicious breakfast when we say our goodbyes and start our journeys home.