Myanmar Photography Expedition
4th to 14th November 2019
US$ 3,999.00 per person (twin sharing), add US$ 850.00 for single occupancy.
Minimum 4 to go, maximum 6 in a group.
Starts / Ends:
Itinerary - 11 Days
Day 1 - Arrive Yangon (D)
You will be met on arrival at the airport and transfer to Taw Win Garden Hotel to check in. In the late afternoon, meet with Caroline at the lobby for an overview of the programme followed by a night tour of the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Temple situated at Tsingottara Hill. Temples and stupas are richly decorated with gold and diamonds. Then adjourn for a welcome dinner. Overnight at Taw Win Garden Hotel, Yangon.
Day 2 - Yangon- fly to Mandalay – Amarapura – Ava (B, L, D)
This morning, we leave on an early morning flight to Mandalay. Today, we get to witness and document Buddhism ritual at one of the biggest monasteries in Myanmar, Mahar Gandaryon with more than a thousand Buddhist monks lined up for alms collection. Then we continue our exploration of rural village life and rustic architecture at ancient cities of Amarapura and Ava. We head to Taungthaman Lake for one of the best sunsets in Myanmar, and to stroll along the historic U-Bein, the longest teak bridge in the world built more than a century ago. Tonight we stay at Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel in Mandalay.
Day 3: Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing - Mandalay (B, L, D)
Today is an early start. We will get to Mahamuni Buddha Temple to witness the face washing ritual of Buddha at 4 am. We return to the hotel for breakfast. In the later morning, we will cruise upriver on the Irrawaddy to Mingun to uncover ruins and history. We will see the Mingun Bell, known as the world's biggest ringing bell and the unfinished Mingun (Mantara Gyi) Pagoda, built between 1790 and 1797 by King Bodawpaya. In the afternoon, we continue to explore Saigaing known for its Bronze Age archaeological sites. We will get a view of the Irrawaddy river from an elevation. Nearby is the Ku Tho Daw Pagoda, which has the world’s biggest book and Shwe Nandaw Monastery (Golden Monastery) known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths built in the traditional Burmese architectural style. Overnight at Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel in Mandalay.
Day 4: Mandalay – cruise to Bagan (B, L, D)
We leave Mandalay in the early morning on a cruise to Bagan. Get onto the deck to enjoy the view of sunrise as we travel leisurely downstream along the Irrawaddy River to observe life along the riverbank, including visiting one of the village by the river bank. The journey is about 10 hours. This gives us some time to look through photographs that we have shot in the past days. It is also a good time to discuss techniques that might be useful for the coming days. We are expected to arrive Bagan in the evening. Overnight at Floral Breeze Hotel in Bagan.
Day 5: Bagan (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we spend the day exploring Bagan, which is one of Myanmar’s most impressive historical sites situated in the middle of the country. Bagan was also the epicentre of the recent earthquake in Myanmar. Some stupas are still undergoing restoration work. We will visit ancient temples, pagodas and monasteries built between the 10th to the 14th centuries. Enroute, we will make a stop at one of the lacquer ware workshops to photograph craftsmen at work. The day is not complete until you witness another beautiful sunset from one of the remote stupas. Overnight at Floral Breeze Hotel in Bagan.
Note: Hot air balloon over Bagan is possible at an additional price.
Day 6: Bagan - Mt. Popa – Kalaw (B, L, D)
Today we leave Bagan for Kalaw, a former British hill station in the Shan state. Enroute, we will make a stop at Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano of a million years old. Now it is believed to be the dwelling place for the Nats, which are spirits worshipped in Myanmar. It takes 777 steps to get up all the way to the top of Mt. Popa for a bird’s eye view of the Bagan plain. It is sure worth the climb ! We will be enjoying some scenic countryside landscape along the drive towards Kalaw. Arrive Kalaw in the evening. Overnight at Dream Mountain Resort in Kalaw.
Day 7: Kalaw - Pindaya – Nyaung Shwe near Inle Lake (B, L, D)
Leave Kalaw in the morning for Pindaya limestone caves with thousands of Buddha images. Today we get to practice low light photography at Pindaya caves in combination with some natural lighting. After lunch, we head towards Nyaung Shwe, a town near Inle Lake. We will visit one of the Pa O villages. Pa O is the second largest ethnic group in the Shan state. They are mostly farmers, tending to their farms all day long. They cultivate a variety of crops such as sesame, cabbage, cauliflower and mustard. We might get a chance to interact with them to know more about their culture and lifestyle. We are expected to arrive Nyaung Shwe in the evening. Overnight at Nyaung Shwe City Hotel.
Day 8: Inle Lake – Indein (B, L, D)
Today we will spend the whole day discovering the beautiful Inle Lake and its surrounding. We start with the village market where tribal people, like the Inthars, Pa O, Pa Laung, from the Shan mountains would gather to sell their fresh produce. Take time to go around the market to discover and to photograph what’s interesting of the village market scene. From here, we will continue to explore a few prominent Buddhist pagodas and monasteries along the lake. As you navigate through the lake, have a look out for the leg rower’s fishermen. Our last stop is cruising to Indein, a complex of ruined pagodas that stand on the hill slope with a panoramic view of the lake. Overnight at Nyaung Shwe City Hotel.
Day 9: Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon – Golden Rock (B, L, D)
Today we fly back to Yangon via Heho. From Yangon, we drive to the foot of the mountain of Golden Rock. There are endless crowd of pilgrims going up to the site. Golden Rock is one of the most sacred sites in Myanmar. Staying overnight at the mountain top hotel would give us the opportunity to observe and photograph the beauty of it. The gravity defying rock has unique shades at dawn and at sunset. The only way of getting to the top is to go with a public open top truck from the foot of the mountain. It is quite an experience. Overnight at Mountain Top Hotel in Kyaikhtiyo, near the Golden Rock.
Day 10: Golden Rock – Bago – Yangon (B, L, D)
In the morning, we will take a stroll along the main pathway. A great chance to photograph pilgrims who are slowly crowding the way up to make their morning offerings and prayers. After breakfast, we will head back to the foot of the mountain and continue our journey to Bago central market and the Shwethalyaung Pagoda, known for its 55 metres long reclining Buddha. We are expected to arrive Yangon in the late afternoon. Tonight, we gather for a farewell dinner with cultural show. Overnight at Taw Win Garden Hotel in Yangon.
Day 11: Departure (B)
Free and easy until its time to transfer to the airport for your flight.
Virtual Journey Of Myanmar
In the Media
Caroline Pang Photography is one of the TENS mentioned in 10 Places to sign up for photography workshops in Singapore by Marie France Asia.
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Pre-Trip Notes Before You Book
1. Trip Starts / Ends
2. Minimum / Maximum Participants
4 persons to go / 6 persons
US$ 3,999.00 per person (based on twin sharing), add US$ 850.00 per person for single occupancy.
10 nights in deluxe rooms at 3 stars hotels, meals as stated, activities as stated, private air conditioned car, private boat in Mingun & Inle Lake, economy class domestic flight from Yangon to Mandalay and Heho to Yangon, horse carriage in Ava, ticket for passenger cruise from Mandalay to Bagan, public open top truck to Golden Rock, entrance fees and English speaking guide at each location.
International airfare, airport tax, camera and video fees, excess baggage, visa, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at meal time, laundry, tips to guide and drivers, personal travel insurance, additional expenses incurred should there be any re-routing due to weather, floods, political disruptions, strikes, riots and other disturbances, and any items and services not mentioned on cost inclusions.
October to February are the coolest months in Myanmar which makes travelling quite pleasant. Average temperature is between 20 degrees celsius to 24 degrees celsius. Mandalay and Bagan are the hottest places in Myanmar. Even during the winter season, temperature may rise to above 35 degrees celsius in these two places.
8. Passports & Visas
Visa to Myanmar can be applied through this website: http://www.evisa.moip.gov.mm Please read this section http://www.evisa.moip.gov.mm/NoticetoTourists.aspx to find out the required document for your visa application, and which are the countries that are allowed to apply the visa online. Please make sure that your passport has at least 6 months validity until the day you return to your home country.
9. Health Conditions
Participants must be in good physical health for this programme. It involved some walking and hiking at manageable terrain.
We stay at 3 STARS hotels in deluxe rooms as listed or equivalent.
11. Travel Photography
We will spend as much time out there to capture great photographs and moments. The priority is to take advantage of all photographic opportunities especially when the weather and light permit. Having a small group of 6 allows ample opportunities to work side by side for instruction, advice and sharing of knowledge as well as to discuss all aspects of photography throughout this journey.
12. Itinerary & Changes
Some part of Myanmar is still under-developed. Therefore, it is important that you participate with a spirit of adventure, an open mind, ability to go with the flow when itinerary changes or interruptions occur..
13. Recommended Equipments
It is recommended that you have one camera with wide angle lens for general shots including landscape and another with telephoto lens (70-200 mm fast lens). However, you are not restricted to use any type of camera you have. All of these should be fitted into your day pack with your spare batteries, ample storage cards and tripod. You are encouraged to bring a laptop so that you can transfer your day’s shots for storage and also that we can have a review and discuss your day’s work.
US$1,000.00 per person deposit is required to book a spot.
15. Final Payment:
Final payment is due 90 days prior to travel date.
16. Bookings made less than 90 days prior to travel:
Full payment is required upon confirmation of booking.
17. Mode of Payment:
We accept cheque issued under any local banks in Singapore only and telegraphic transfer for our overseas participants. Bank details will be provided in the invoice. Credit card payment via Pay Pal.
18. Cancellation Policy:
a) Deposited amount is non refundable.
b) Fully paid bookings cancelled more than 60 days prior to travel date - 50% refund
c) Fully paid bookings cancelled less than 60 days prior to travel date - non refundable.