So you have decided to take a couple of weeks off in January or February and think that it could be a good idea to take a holiday that is different. A holiday with a purpose, perhaps? You love photography, take heaps of pictures and decide that joining a photo tour/workshop would be a great idea. The weather in South East Asia is perfect at that time of year.
Amongst the many options available is Myanmar, formerly Burma. I will tell you why I think that Myanmar is such a great destination for all photographers and for anyone remotely interested in photography. It has absolutely everything a photographer or tourist could possibly imagine. It is like being let loose in a delicious cake or sweet shop.
The shimmering plains of Bagan with it’s thousands of ancient ruined pagodas and stupas cry out to be photographed. Make especially sure you are on top of a pagoda with a view over the plains at sunrise, facing east, and again at sunset, facing west. The colours and shapes will change depending on the time of year, pink, gold, orange and red in so many different hues it will mark you for life. . Getting there early with a tripod or monopod is essential. It is important to learn how to get the most out of your camera in front of this extraordinary scene. Shortly after dawn, the balloons appear and then it becomes even more spectacular.
There are pagodas, monasteries and stupas all over Myanmar but it offers a lot more than that. Yangon with its colonial architecture and streets teeming with friendly people in colourful clothes. In Mandalay, the U Bein Bridge at dawn and dusk make for magnificent photos. Everywhere in Myanmar markets with vegetables are piled high, and young monks in yellow robes and nuns in pink ones can be seen collecting alms in the early morning. There is the Irawaddy river always bustling with activity and Inle Lake is like no other, with its unique fisherman, who row with one leg. Visit the floating markets, monasteries, picturesque towns and different ethnic tribes in the area. The list is endless and all of these make for amazing and rewarding photographs.
I have taken photographs in over 100 different countries. Myanmar, is one of my favourite countries on earth because apart from the fact I find it so stunning and photogenic, it is one of the easiest and hastle free countries in the world to point a camera and take photos which makes it a great destination to learn and improve your photography. Join me in 2016.