Mystical Myanmar - The Land of Golden Light Guided Photography Tour
Price: USD $6,550
11th - 18th Oct 2020
11/12 Places Available
Join award winning photographers and mentors Mike Browne & Simon Taplin on a photographic journey of a lifetime. Capture the magnificence of Myanmar, the mystical charms of Bagan and the grace and tranquility of Mandalay and Inle Lake through your lens.
Forge new friendships and make a positive difference in the lifes in Myanmar.
- 8 Days / 7 Nights - 11th to 18th October 2020
- US$6,550 (Twin Share) US$6,900 (Single Supplement) US$4,900 (Non-Participant)
- Limited to 12 Participants (Minimum 8)
To reserve a space , 50% non refundable deposit* is required and final payment by 1st May 2020.
*Deposit will be refunded if we do not meet our minimum requirement.
- Accommodation & Breakfast
- Photography Mentoring & Tuition
- Domestic Flights & Transfers
- Boat Rental - Inle Lake
- English Speaking Guides
- Room Tax & Baggage Handling
- Private Vehicle
- Entrance Fees
- Personal & Travel Insurance
- Meals & Drinks
- Visa Fees
- International Flights to/from Yangon
- Overweight Baggage
- Tips & Personal Expenses
Download the 2020 Itinerary.
Day 1: Yangon (11th October)
Arrive at Yangon airport by evening flight and be welcomed by our tour guides. Transfer to the hotel and check in only. Overnight in Yangon. Meet and greet in preparation for your photographic journey of discovery ahead.
Days 2+3: Nyaung U, Bagan (12-13th October)
After breakfast, take an early morning domestic flight to Bagan where thousands of ancient monuments await. Bagan, arguably Myanmar’s most renowned city founded in 1044 by King Anawrahta. There are over 2000 temples and stupas dotted around this 42 square km plain in central Myanmar.
Photography highlights include:
- The Shwezegon Pagoda, a 1,000 year old temple whose glittering bell-shape dome became a model for pagodas throughout Myanmar
- The Ananda temple built in the Pagan valley, is an architectural wonder fusing the Mon and Indian architectural styles. This Buddhist temple houses four standing Buddhas, each one facing the cardinal direction of East, North, West and South
- In the evening, you will witness the breath-taking view of Bagan red brick Pagodas from the top of an old Temple platform, be ready for an awe-inspiring panoramic view of ‘Old Bagan’ under the stunning rays of a golden Sunset
- Explore Thatbyinnyu temple, the highest building in the Bagan plain and Dhamma Yangyi temple, the most massive temple. In the evening, visit to Buu Phayar for another famous sunset viewing spot in Bagan which is located on the bank of the Ayerwaddy river
Here we will have time to consolidate all our beautiful pictures for group critique and open discussions.
Day 4: Bagan - Mandalay - Amarapura (14th October)
After early breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Mandalay. On arrival, drive to Amarapura, located 11km south of Mandalay.
Amarapura had been the royal city twice in Myanmar’s monarchic time.
Visit Bagaya Kyuang, the largest monastery in Burma. It is a huge 19th century, wooden monastery with a large population of monks. See the famous U Bein bridge, a magnificent teakwood structure spanning Taungthaman Lake for a distance of about 1 kilometer. Built in 1849, it comprises 1060 teak posts, most of which are original. Although historic, it is still in daily use by local villagers. Take a tour to the venerable Mahamuni Pagoda including a traditional gold leaf workshop.
Sightseeing tour includes:
- Shwe Inbin, one of the most outstanding monasteries in the country
- Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung or Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building
- Kuthodaw Pagoda known as the world’s largest book consisting of 729 marble slabs engraved with Buddhist scriptures
Day 5: Heho - Indaing, Inle Lake (15th October)
Inle lake is so rich for photography by popular demand we have added an extra day to the tour here. Upon your arrival at Heho airport, you will proceed on a comfortable 45 minutes to an hour ride by road to Inle Lake.
Inle lake is a fresh-water lake in the State of Shan with a surface area of 116 square km and is inhabited by about 70,000 majority ethnic Intha people, many living in simple stilt houses of timber or bamboo in villages bordering and on the lake. Here an excursion by long tail boat awaits you. You will be greeted by the stunning and serene beauty of Inle Lake and its friendly and obliging inhabitants.
The long tail boat weaves smoothly through floating gardens, Burmese cheroot making and traditional weaving ‘factories’ as well as numerous villages on stilts. See famed local fishermen rowing with one leg wrapped around the oar, and simulaneously fishing with the cone shaped net. All these opportunties will present countless magical moments to capture on camera.
Day 6: Heho - Indaing, Inle Lake (16th October)
After breakfast, take a boat for a cruise on the lake. Pass villages built on stilts in the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Along the way observe the leg‐rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built from strips of water hyacinth and mud, anchored to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles.
In the afternoon, visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses dozens of Shan Buddhastatues. Continue on to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf.
Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where typical Burmese cigars are made by hand.
Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.
Day 7: Heho - Indaing, Inle Lake (17th October)
After breakfast, early morning proceed to Sagar which is the main attraction in Sagar is the sunken stupas, 108 old stupas often flooded by water, but it is the natural beauty, friendly people, local lifestyles and serene waterways that make this day trip an unforgettable adventure.
Set off this morning for your lakeside hotel for Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. Very few tourists make the trip down to this region yet it is one of the most beautiful places in the Shan State with the mountains forming a backdrop for the small villages and fishermen on the water. The area was only recently opened to tourists in 2003.
The boat journey takes 2.5‐3 hours but is full of fabulous views and home to many unique species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Around 2.30 the boat will begin its journey back to the main section of Inle Lake. Traveling back in the afternoon the light has shifted and the route looks much different on the return, with different activities occurring on the water and in the villages.
Transfer to Nyaung Shwe and overnight at hotel in Nyaung Shwe.
Day 8: Heho -Yangon (18th October)
Sadly, all good things come to an end. After breakfast, you will return to Yangon via a domestic flight from Heho. In Yangon, our tour guide will be at your disposal until your connecting international departure in the later afternoon or evening.
If you wish to extend your stay either side of the tour dates we will happily provide you with our local tour operators contact details to make your own bookings in advance.
Your Guides and Tutors
I’ve been a social, industrial and commercial photographer since 1993, have always had a love of travel and new cultures - and passion for sharing my knowledge with others. Which, according to the 1000’s of lovely emails and comments I receive - I’m very good at.
I have worked for all kinds of clients from high end weddings to hotels and electronics manufacturers. I have awards from Kodak and Fuji, been sponsored by FujiFilm, had exhibitions displayed by the Romanian Ambassador in London, The Master Photographer’s Association and the Royal Photographic society.
Travel photography is my no 1 passion because it involves all photographic disciplines, landscape, portraits, candid, food, close ups – all of it.
17,500 hours of video is watched on my youtube channel each month, I have a teaching qualification and a sense of mischief ;-)
Simon Taplin - SimonTaplin.Com
Patient and sensitive to his students’ needs, he has a knack for transforming the most technical jargon into easy-to-understand analogies that help ensure their learning is memorable and fun at the same time.
Simon’s career began in London, where he worked with some of the finest photographers from whom he gained holistic knowledge and skills across extensive areas of photography.
Moving to Asia in 2002, Simon then worked for Shooting Gallery Asia, one of Southeast Asia’s premier photography studios where his unique marriage of technical and creative skills were sought by the world’s leading advertising agencies including JWT, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBDO and Corbis. His clients’ also include Unilever, P&G, Nokia, Cathay Paciﬁc, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, MasterCard and Heineken.
Where is Myanmar?
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) borders Thailand, Bangladesh and China. It is a land of exceptionally friendly and welcoming people, I have never felt worried or the need to hold my camera bag a bit tightly during my travels there.
If you'd like to speak to me, leave your details and I'll call you back.
Please book below by filling in the details on the booking form. We have to instruct our tour managers on numbers well in advance so they can book flights etc so we have a booking deadline of 1st May 2020.
- Pay 50% deposit or in full to secure your booking
- We will contact you 1st week of May to confirm so you can make travel arrangements
- We will refund your fee in full if there are not enough confirmed bookings
- Please do NOT book travel to Myanmar until we confirm on 2nd May 2020
Myanma (Burma) - Land of Golden Light
11-18th October 2020
US$6,550 (£5,084 approx) twin share for 7 nights
US$6,900 (£5,356 approx) inc. single supplement for 7 nights
US$4,900 (£3,803 approx) non photographer partners
Myanmar Travel Photography Workshop Gallery
Images by students and tutors
In association with Aperture Asia
Some homework before you come
The Workshop Prep page has a few specially chosen videos for you to watch to ensure we go straight to work and everyone gets the most out of our location and the training. If we all have a basic understanding of camera controls it helps everyone get the most out of the photo training.