Nov. 26 to Dec. 5, 2018
Burma is a special photographic destination. The people are among the friendliest in the world. They are quick to smile, very warm, and very welcoming. They are also beautiful, and they make wonderful photographic subjects. The Burmese culture is fascinating and ancient, and the monuments, the temples, and the villages will afford you extraordinary photo opportunities. The monks are happy to pose for your camera as is pretty much everyone else. The colors in Burma are fantastic, the food is tasty and healthy, and for an overall travel experience, Burma will be at the top of your list of fantastic places you have visited. Jim will arrange many set ups for your camera. Monks, nuns, boatmen, horse cart drivers, workers, and more will be arranged in perfect locations with great backgrounds. This guarantees classic travel pictures. This will be Jim's fifth trip to Burma, and he knows how to set up shots that you'll treasure forever.
Tour cost: $6325
Single supplement (having your own room): $1040
Includes: All hotels based double occupancy, 5 domestic flights, English speaking guide (who understands photographers) private air-conditioned spacious vehicle wherever available, entrance fees into archeological zones, transfer from airport to our hotel, camera fees, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), bottled water, all boat trips, service charges, baggage handling at airports and hotels, government tax.
Not included: International airfare, visa fees, drinks, items of a personal nature.
DAY 1, Monday, Nov. 26. Arrive in Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Take into account the International Dateline and the number of hours in transit so you arrive on (or before if you want extra days) the 26th. You will be met by a local representative and transferred to our hotel. We will meet our local guide, Daniel, and Jim will give you an orientation of the trip, answer questions, and if the tour participants aren’t too jet lagged, we can do some afternoon and evening photography. Overnight Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake, Yangon.
DAY 2, Tuesday, Nov. 27. After breakfast at the hotel, we visit the most stunning pagoda in Yangon and all of Burma --
Schwedagon, a 2500 year old Buddhist temple. The golden stupa is the spiritual center of the country, and you will see monks in their traditional robes, people in meditation, and richly decorated statuary. This pagoda offers some of the most incredible architecture photography in Asia. Afterwards we photograph a vegetable market. Then, in the late morning, we catch a domestic flight to Sittwe. On arrival we go by road to Mrauk U, a unique and culturally significant area of Burma that few tourists visit. We may stop on the way to photograph farm scenes, people in villages, and temples. We have lunch at a local restaurant enroute. Overnight Mrauk U Princess Resort.
DAY 3, Wednesday, Nov. 28. After breakfast in the hotel, we pack a picnic lunch and drive to the bank of the Lay Myo River where we embark on a long tail boat (5 people per boat) and travel upstream for a peaceful and scenic couple of hours to visit a remarkable village. The Laythu Chin tribe are unique in that the elder women have been traditionally tattooed on their faces. Remarkable graphic patterns adorn their faces. This was done in their youth, and it distinguishes this ethnic group from all the others in Burma. This tradition is no longer being practiced, however, so when these women pass away so will this aspect of their culture. We will take some of the most intriguing and compelling portraits, and we will also photograph their interesting village life. Very few travelers to Burma have this experience. We then return to Mrauk U by boat and overnight at the Mrauk U Princess Resort.
DAY 4, Thursday, Nov. 29.. We have an early breakfast at the hotel, and then we photograph sunrise at the beautiful Shitthaung Temple. We have a full day to visit the Mrauk U Archeological Zone that includes Andaw Sima, Ratana Bon, and Htukkant Temple which is famous for it unique Buddhist statuary and intriguing architecture. We also visit Anuma Lake and the cultural museum in the Palace Wall. We overnight again at the Mrauk U Princess Resort.
Day 5, Friday, Nov. 30. Following breakfast, we take a privately chartered boat to Sittwe. This takes about six hours. If we have time, we'll stop in a village on the way. On arrival in Sittwe, we transfer to the airport and check into our flight to Yangon. We then connect to our flight for Bagan. On arrival in Bagan, we transfer by vehicle to the Mt. Popa Resort and have dinner as we watch the sunset on the famous and beautifully situated Mt. Popa Pagoda. Overnight at the Resort.
Day 6, Saturday, Dec. 1. We get up early this morning to photograph sunrise on the Mt. Popa Pagoda from the terrace of the hotel. You can opt to climb the 882 steps barefoot to the top of the pagoda, but the best photography is from the terrace of the hotel. After breakfast we visit the 37 Nats Shrine which is a remarkable collection of statues that are richly adorned with beautiful fabrics. We then return to Bagan stopping enroute to visit a typical Burmese village, a toddy palm farm to see the toddy climber, peanut oil crushing, and the cooking of sugar. In the afternoon we visit Myingaba Village, Gubyaukgyi Temple, and the impressive Ananda Temple. We will photograph the sunset around the Khayminga temples group. We'll have dinner at our beautiful hotel: Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort with a deluxe garden view.
Day 7, Sunday, Dec. 2. We leave the hotel at dawn this morning for our hot air balloon ride over the ancient temples of Bagan. The low angled sunrise lighting creates long shadows, texture, and golden light, and this is never more beautiful than when seen from an aerial perspective. Following this, we return to the hotel for breakfast. Afterwards, we visit Ywama village to meet and photograph the long-necked women -- an amazing experience -- and then we go to a lacquer ware workshop, Shwezigon Pagoda, Nyaung Oo Village's cottage industries, all of which offer great opportunities for portrait work. Jim will discuss the use of window light and how effective it is in this kind of work. We then embark on a long tail boat trip on the Irrawaddy River to see the villager's daily life along the river. We have lunch at a local restaurant, and then take a short rest at the hotel. At 4pm, we go by horse cart through the temples to Dhamayangyi Temple, the largest structure on the plains of Bagan. It is a stunning work in stone from the 12th century, and in late afternoon light it makes a great picture. From there we continue by car to Minanthu Village and walk among the temples of the village. Overnight at Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
Day 8, Monday, Dec. 3. We fly to Heho today, and our destination is the incredible Inle Lake. On arrival we transfer to Nyaung Shwe by car and then proceed to the hotel on the eastern shore of the lake for check in. In the afternoon we go by boat to Inndein Pagoda, and fabulous ancient city in ruins in the jungle that will make you feel like you're in an Indiana Jones movie! We then return to the hotel through the floating gardens of Kaylar Village and fishermen at work in the middle of the lake. We have dinner at our lovely hotel. Overnight at the Villa Inle Resort with a lake front villa.
Day 9, Tuesday, Dec. 4. This early morning will be one of the highlights of a trip full of highlights. We will photograph the famous leg-rowers at sunrise. These men propel their fishing boats with one leg twisted around an oar. Jim will hire some models so we get the perfect images in perfect light. After breakfast, we travel by boat back to the southern part of the lake and visit a monastery. If school is open in the village, we will be able to photograph the children and their teachers. We then visit a silk weaving workshop at Innpawkhone Village and have lunch at a local restaurant before we return to the hotel. In the afternoon around 4pm, we have another photo shoot with two leg rowers. Dinner and overnight at the Villa Inle Resort.
Day 10, Wednesday, Dec. 5. After breakfast, we fly back to Yangon (approximate time of arrival in Yangon is around 12 noon) and you connect to your return flight home.
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