MYANMaR WORKSHOP/PHOTO TOUR itinerary
We meet at 1.00pm, general introduction and photo class at the hotel.
I will arrive the night before and will be available all day for anyone arriving earlier. Around 3.30pm we leave for the Swedagon Pagoda by private a/c minibus and stay until after sunset– return to hotel
We will take the circular train around Yangon which is a fantastic opportunity for photographs of local people. Sellers along the tracks, passengers and local life, just fantastic. We will then go to the downtown area, visit the beautiful colonial architecture including a visit to the superb Strand Hotel. We will walk along busy streets with their bustling cafés and markets.
For sunset we will go to the banks of the Ayrewady where we will take some super photos of local people crossing over in dozens of boats to the other side of the river. Return to our hotel where we will download our photos and discuss the days work.
NB: The schedule maybe reversed and we may begin in the Colonial quarter and do the circular train could be in the afternoon.
Early flight to Mandalay. We will be transported our hotel where we will drop off our bags before beginning our visit. Mandalay is the home to half of the monks in Myanmar! We will visit Zegyo market and the craftsman district and stone carvers which will offer interesting and varied pictures as well as a couple of famous pagodas such as Mahmuni and Kuthodaw pagodas. We will visit a weaving factory and walk through the Mahangandayon monastery, complex of hundreds of monks before taking a boat and photographing the U Ben Bridge at sunset from the water. Back to the hotel. Dinner together so that we can discuss the day.
Sunrise at UBein Bridge! It’s worth it! Quite different from the hoards of people in the evening. We may be lucky and see some monks crossing the bridge in the pink light of dawn. From there back to the hotel for breakfast, before leaving for Ava, where we visit this magnificent site by horse and cart. A definite stop amongst others is the Bagaya Kyaung which is superb wooden monastery where young monks take their lessons. We then go on to Sagaing where we visit the Setkyar Thida Nunnery and the Monastic Education school, both offering great photo opportunities. Sunset photos at Sagaing hill before returning to the hotel.
A comfortable a/c car will pick us up straight after an early breakfast and take us by road to Bagan taking 4 hours. On arrival in Bagan we will check in at the hotel then our local guide will start by taking us up one of the main pagodas so we can immediately see the impressive view over the plains dotted with temples. After lunch in a local restaurant we will start our visit of some of the main pagodas such Shwezigon, Ananda, Dammayangi and Sulmani, before sunset we will climb Pyathada Paya from. Back to the hotel for a relaxing evening and early night!
Optional but not included Ballooning over over Bagan
Up early for sunrise, an experience not to be missed by any photographer! I like the Shwesandaw Paya for this although so do many others! Back to the hotel for breakfast and then a leisurely full day in Bagan. E bikes or a/c car with our guide will be available all day for sightseeing. Any main pagodas we may have missed yesterday we will see today and enjoy a picnic lunch at one them. We will visit a couple of local workshops including where the delicate lacquer ware is made. Sunset at another pagoda.
This morning we fly to Heho and then drive by a/c car to Kalaw where we will stay 2 nights. Kalaw is a base for exploring the surrounding countryside. Arriving in Kalaw after checking in to our hotel we will have a photo class and look at the work so far. A car and guide will be available for sightseeing and photography around Kalaw.
After breakfast depart from our hotel to the trekking point by car. The trek will take approximately 6 hours.
During the day we will see local tribes people working in the fields, tending bean tobacco, garlic , rice, etc. We will arrive in a village where we will stop for lunch in a local home. After lunch we will trek to another village and monastery before returning home via another route. This is an opportunity to take some different photos of local tribes people.
Early morning photo possibility when there is the market in Kalaw. After breakfast we transfer to Inle Lake by train which is a photography highlight as it crosses the Southern Shan Hills stopping at tiny little stations picking up different ethnic tribes Dpending on our time of arrival we will stop at Shwe Yaungw Kyaung oval monastery which is full of young novice monks and a photo opportunity that never disappoints. From there we check in to our hotel before boarding a boat for our first trip on the lake. We will see the famous intha fishermen and the floating gardens. Sunset shots on the lake.
Night in Nyaung Shwe
DAY 10: NYAUNG SHWE - INIE LAKE
Today we are going to get up VERY early for a sunrise shot of the fishermen as the lights is different in the mornings to the evenings. Also, there almost no tourists which is wonderful! We will go back to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast . Hopefully we will visit a market (see below) before visiting all the attractions on the lake, the fishermen, the floating gardens, monastery, and many local workshops, producing cheroots, umbrella, boat, silk and silver workshops. These can make for very attractive and interesting photographs where all you have learnt can be applied! Lunch will be taken overlooking a canal which also offers some interesting shots.
DAY 11: NYAUNG SHWE, INIE LAKE, INDEIN
Today we are going to visit Indein by boat. Indein is full of ruined pagodas covered by vegetation, a sort of “pagoda forest” We will take a trek up and along the nearby mountain top and see the panoramic view of the lake and Indein Pagoda complex. Then we will trek for a couple of hours through rural farmlands to a Pa O tribal village, passing rural farmland producing various crops. We will also visit some traditional local handicrafts before returning to our boat and heading back to Nyaung Shwe.
NB: Days 9/10/11 may change slightly due to the rotating 5 day markets which offer so many fantastic photo opportunities with different tribes selling their goods that we will visit at least one of them during our time in the region.
(The markets rotate to different locations every 5 days so it is rather difficult in advance to know where they will be) Also trains to and from Kalaw are unreliable timewise so our schedule for all of Inle Lake could be on different days from those above.
Night at Nyaung Shwe
Note: Days 9/10/11 may change slightly due to the rotating 5 day markets which offer so many fantastic photo opportunities with different tribes etc.
Also, trains to and from Kalaw are not reliable. The schedule could vary and Indein and the trek in the surrounding area could be done on day 11.
DAY 12: HEHO - YANGON
We will be collected by a/c car and taken to Heho for our flight back to Yangon. We will get together on arrival at my hotel for a final critique and appraisal before having lunch together (included) which signifies the end of the tour although I will be available in the afternoon for anyone wishing to continue visiting Yangon. Participants make their own way to the airport (taxis can be arranged but are not included).