17 February 2019
You’ll discover a wealth of highly varied destinations and photographic subjects: from the faded Victorian splendour, and breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon (Rangoon); the ancient cities of historic Mandalay; the incredible temples of Bagan; to the colonial hill-stations, traditional hill-tribes and the celebrated Lake Inle of the picturesque Shan Plateau.
We’ll explore this incredible country by local train, rickshaw, horse and cart, Irrawaddy cruiser and on foot and by road with the emphasis, as usual, on combining both famous sites and the lesser known ones, as well as discovering the local culture, bustling markets, authentic cuisine and incredibly friendly people that comprise this highly photogenic and truly fabulous country. Southeast Asia as it used to be.
Day 1 Morning arrival in Yangon (Rangoon), and check-in to a comfortable, downtown hotel close to the famous Scott Market. Introductory session from Gary before an afternoon walking tour of the city followed by a scenic sunset boat cruise on the Rangoon River and a welcome dinner.
Photography themes; introduction to travel photography, street-life, architecture, sunset on the river. (D)
Day 2 Morning departure for a fascinating and unusual train journey on the Rangoon circular line. The (very) slow local train completes a loop through the suburbs and outlying villages providing an original and behind the scenes view of local life and Rangoon city – a great introduction to Burma. After lunch, we’ll take a stroll through the picturesque Kandawgyi Lake Gardens before a sunset visit to the incredible Shwedagon Temple, Burma’s most sacred and certainly one of it’s most awe inspiring sights. Photography themes; local life, markets, Shwedagon Pagoda (B)
Day 3 Morning flight to Mandalay and time to explore the nearby ancient city and former 14th to 19th century capital of Ava (Inwa). Discover the ruined city, temples and villages by horse and cart. Check-in to our downtown hotel and time at leisure before a sunset visit to the iconic U Bein Bridge – reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world.
Photography themes; street-life, ruined temples and modern temples, U Bein Bridge (B)
Day 4 Morning workshop with Gary followed by an afternoon boat trip up the Irrawaddy to the spectacular site of Mingun for an opportunity to put some ideas and advice into practice amongst the picturesque riverside ruins of the ancient city and temples. Photography themes; technical advice and tips, river-life, ruined temples B)
Day 5 Early morning departure by boat down the Irrawaddy River to Bagan. You’ll experience bucolic river scenes, mountain views, and this is a great way to arrive in the historic ancient city. An opportunity for sunset at one of the temple sites before checking in to our hotel. Photography themes; river-life, landscapes, sunset at Bagan (B)
Day 6 Orientation visit and introductory tour to the site of the ruined 11th to 13th century capital. The area still contains over 2,000 chedis, stupas and pagodas, scattered across a riverside plain, and is certainly one of the most incredible sites of Southeast Asia. Photography themes; Temples, landscape, village life, Bagan, sunrise (B)
Day 7 Visit Bagan at your leisure: with a map, hat and torch (to discover temples’ hidden stairways); roam the country lanes by bicycle; hire a pony and trap; visit the best known temples or find some hidden chedis of your own; rise early to take in dawn or sit out the hot part of the day by the pool. Your guide will be on hand to advise and recommend, but we’d like to give you the opportunity to explore this phenomenal and highly photogenic site at your own leisure and pace.
Photography themes; Temples, landscape, village life, Bagan (B)
Day 8 Flight to Heho airport and drive through the picturesque countryside of the Shan Plateau taking in one of the local markets before heading to the town of Pindaya to visit the spectacular Shwe Umin cave temples. Lunch by the lake and a chance to check out the traditional umbrella making which Pindaya is also famous for. In the afternoon we’ll continue our scenic route to Nyuangshwe – gateway town to the famous Inle Lake.
Photography themes; ‘on the road’, landscapes of the Shan Plateau, handicrafts, Pindaya Cave Temples (B)
Day 9 Fascinating day trip by boat around the picturesque lake. We will visit a lakeside village market, a traditional hand rolling cheroot factory, a lotus weaving project and the unusual floating gardens.
Photography themes: village life, handicrafts and traditional industries, fishing and lake life, landscapes (B)
Day 10 Morning departure across the lake and up river to the small lakeside village of In Dein from where we’ll walk through the picturesque landscape to visit the site of a ruined Shan city. The site, known as the ‘Shan Bagan’, has myriad ruined stupas dotting the lush vegetation. Return to Nyaungshwe for lunch and an afternoon at leisure.
Photography themes: lake life, local people, local markets, landscapes, ruined city of In Dein
Day 11 Free morning at Lake Inle to do your own thing: cycle to the extraordinary Red Mountain Winery; check out the local market; visit a local village by canoe or just relax in a tea shop before an afternoon flight to Yangon. Farewell dinner and overnight in Yangon.
Photography themes: local markets, street-life (B, D)
Day 12 Free time to perhaps do some last–minute souvenir hunting at the famous Scott Market or check out one of the City’s bustling markets before a late afternoon departure.
Photography themes: local markets, architecture
Highlights: Yangon, local train ride, Shwedagon Pagoda, Mandalay, Ava ancient city, U Bein Bridge, Pyin U Lwin hill-station, Irrawaddy boat trip, Ruins of Bagan, Pindaya cave temple, Lake Inle, local markets, local train ride, Shan Plateau, local food, beach extension
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