Land of Enchantment
World Class Deluxe Myanmar Tour
Step Back in Time
DateDec 5th - 16th, 2019
Trip length12 Days
This is the newest addition to our roster of life-changing tours and we’re thrilled to be sharing it with you! This is one of our most luxurious tours where we offer deluxe accommodations paired with unrivaled and diverse photo ops for you. This is the land of thousands of temples, pagodas, and stupas and some of them literally glitter with gold.
Whether you’re photographing novice Buddhist monks in stunning settings, drifting along the fabled Irrawaddy river sipping gin and tonics on a river cruise, or flying high above the countless pagodas of historic Bagan in a hot air balloon at dawn… you’ll know that your experience will be cherished for a lifetime.
As with most of our tours, the Myanmar tour will revolve around the photography aspects but we built this tour to be enjoyed by absolutely any travel enthusiast with a thirst for exploration and discovery.
We’ve created a tour that is most welcoming to couples where one out of the pair is more of the photographer while the other just plain loves to travel for the experiences. After all, while we love photography, we also love all the other aspects of what travel does to enrich our lives and want to share that passion with you.
Discovery Gold Standard
Be prepared to meet some of the kindest and most gentle people you’ll ever have the good fortune to spend time with. From the young novice monks and nuns to the villagers and city dwellers, the Burmese people will offer you a sincere hospitality that is unique to Myanmar.
Our guests have the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting temples, remote villages, and town marketplaces, and everywhere you go, you will be welcomed with a smile, bow, or friendly gaze.
Myanmar offers a wide variety of locations and subject matter for our guests to see and photograph and we’ve nailed down the right places to visit at the right times. When you pair the photo-ops and subject matter with moments like riding in a hot air balloon at sunrise over the iconic temples of historic Bagan. All we can say is; bucket list item… Check ✓
Sit back and let our experts guide you to all the best spots to capture the best photos you’ve ever taken. Your friends back home will be inspired by the images that you create and maybe even a little jealous.
On this tour, our photographers even stage portrait sessions with novice monks in an ancient temple setting. The results are truly breathtaking. You may just want to bring a few extra memory cards. Just saying!
We love our photographers almost as much as they love photography. These guys and gals are not only chosen for their talent with a camera but also because they a ton of fun to spend time with. They will be taking photos right there with you but rest assured that our guests are their top priority and making sure that you’re having the time of your life is a Discovery photographer’s rule number one.
Got a question about gear, composition, or even that tough quantum physics problem you’ve been trying to figure out? Have no fear, our intrepid photographers are there to save the day. Well okay, they may not have a Ph.D. in quantum string theory but they sure are knowledgeable about photography and are eager to help. Heck, at the end of our tours, you’ll be thinking of them as family… family with a killer portfolio of awesome photographs.
They Journey of a Lifetime
Welcome to Myanmar
Your adventure awaits!
This is the day that you'll be saying: Pinch me, I'm here! Trust us, it only gets better from this point on. The former and last royal capital of Burma was founded on the 2,400th anniversary of Buddhism and it remains a must-see location for all travelers to Myanmar today. The perfect place to start your journey.
On arrival day, you'll be transported to your luxury five-star hotel where you can freshen up and unwind from your travels to south-east Asia. Take a dip in the beautiful pool or head to the spa where the miles will melt away before joining your new friends for a welcome feast.
The exploration begins in earnest
Well rested after a good night's sleep our group heads to Ava(Inwa) the ancient capital of the Shan and Burmese Kingdoms. By bus, ferry, and horse cart we continue the journey and visit the Bagaya Teak Monastery, over three hundred years old yet well preserved and still in use by local monks; the Nanmyin Watch Tower, the last standing structure of the Ava dynasty palace compound also known as the “Leaning Tower of Ava”; and the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery building with its graceful curves and archways.
Still craving more adventure, good there's more to be had as we continue to the Ancient Kingdom Of Sagaing located across the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River where we take the opportunity to visit a monastery or nunnery and learn about daily life to the devotees. To end this perfect day our group wraps up the day with a sunset photography session at the famous Ubein Teak Bridge.
Rolling down the river
River Cruise on the Irrawaddy
Ahoy mateys! Today we cast off on an overnight river cruise as we follow the mighty Irrawaddy river all the way to historic Bagan. This is the time to sit back and relax as the scenery (and photo opportunities) come to you. Keep your cameras handy as you never know what treasures will present themselves on our overnight adventure.
Along the way, we stop at the off-the-beaten-path picturesque village of Yandabo famed for its pottery making factories. In the evening, you'll be treated to gourmet fare as the boat moors overnight near the village of Shwe Nann Tint.
Arrival in Bagan
Land of pagodas and stupas
As if the last few days weren't already awesome enough, this is what you've been waiting for... really. Prepare to be blown away as you witness thousands of pagodas and stupas as far as the eye can see. These magnificent structures and Myanmar itself has only recently been opened up to western travelers. Shrouded in mystery for centuries, now you can revel in the moments where you'll capture spectacular photographs in one of the most special places on Earth.
Don't worry about the midday sun, we've got you covered, literally and figuratively. When the sun is blazing outside, we retreat indoors for a bespoke private candlelight photography session with young novice monks. The day will be capped off with a horse carriage ride and a magical sunset photography session atop one of Bagan’s most iconic temples with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding plains.
Up, up and away!
As if in a sunrise dream, on this morning you'll find yourself drifting above the temple plains of historic Bagan in an extraordinary hot air balloon. This is what travel is all about. Moments like these are what make life so special for those of us who dare to not just dream of adventure but choose to live it.
After this momentous morning escapade, we have a full day's worth of delightful cultural and landscape photography sessions at temples, workshops, markets and more. Today my friends, we live and we live large!
(Balloon ride is optional and weather permitting)
Hello Inle Lake
What's the best way to follow a day that you'll never forget? How about several more days full of breathtaking moments that will keep you smiling for weeks?
Let's bid adieu to Baga with one last optional sunrise photo shoot atop one of the ancient temples capturing mesmerizing shots of the balloons flying above the temple plains. Sure, this shoot is optional but who could resist getting that classic photo that you'll be showing off for years?
Enroute to Inle Lake, we will stop at Heho Market, where members of the various colorful hill tribes congregated to buy and sell goods (permitted that it’s a market day). Continuing on, we stop at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery for a photo shoot with monks at the monasteries distinct oval windows. Once we arrive at our hotel and freshen up, we conclude our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride and photography session with the famed Inle Lake boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg. How's that for an epic day?
Inle Lake Highlights
Optional Hot Air Balloon Ride over Inle
Can you believe that we've only just passed the halfway mark of our journey? There's still so much left to see and do, and of course photograph.
After breakfast, we begin the day with a photo session with leg rower fishermen silhouetted by the rising sun and early morning mist. We then embark by boat to discover the fascinating way of life on Inle Lake, beginning with the lakes lively and colorful morning market where members of the various ethnic tribes of Shan State come to trade their wares. Our next stop is Indein, a mesmerizing sight with many ancient whitewashed pagodas littering the hillside as far as the eye can see.
Lunch will be served on floating rice barges in the middle of the lake, a unique and unforgettable dining experience. We then make visits to the picturesque floating gardens as well as a weaving village for a photo session with local weavers working with silks, linens and lotus fabrics. We also observe local craftsman demonstrating how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled.
Optional Services: Sunrise Balloon ride over Inle Lake can be organized early in the morning.
Boat tour to Southern Lake
Our passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour...
After breakfast, we will embark on a boat journey to the rarely visited village of Sagar, an undiscovered gem located in the southern section of the majestic lake.
The three-hour boat trip is a scenic treat in itself, passing through unspoiled nature through the magnificent mountain range. You’ll drift by fishermen going about their daily duties and village-lined riverbanks with children from Pa-O hill tribes keen to demonstrate their diving abilities to any boat that goes by. Along the way, you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of many of the indigenous birds that call the lake home.
Despite the scenic trip, relatively few travelers make the journey to Sagar, which may surprise you given the beauty you’ll experience in the small Shan State region. Once you arrive in the Sagar you’ll begin your exploration with a series of stops at fascinating sites, such as over 100 half-submerged stupas from the 16-17th century, as well as a small local village to unearth the unique culture of the Pa-O people and pay a visit to the striking monastery.
In the afternoon continue the boat journey down to Mobye Lake until we arrive at the town of Phekon. From here we take 45 minutes car transfer to Loikaw, the sleepy capital of Kayah State, that has only recently opened for the foreign visitors, and a base of our explorations for the next days. Time permitting, we visit the major sight of Loikaw, Taung Kwe Pagoda, and climb to the top of the karst outcrop for sunset. The view over the surrounding flatlands with distant mountain ranges in every direction is simply amazing.
Kayah Hill Tribe Villages
Land of the long neck ladies
After breakfast at your hotel, we set off to visit the Kayan (Padaung) minority villages of Pan Pet. The Kayan ‘Long Neck’ Ladies are famous for their traditional brass ring necklaces that appear to elongate their necks. On arrival at Pan Pet, you will be received by a local community guide. Taking advantage of the cool morning weather, your guide will begin the visit with a leisurely hike along a scenic nature trail. As we climb the hill, your guide will stop to explain important cultural sites on the way. These include a monument which honors the village clan, an animist bird totem, and a guardian spirit cave.
The hike ends at a beautiful viewpoint, with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, rice fields and the five hamlets of Pan Pet. After a picnic lunch at the scenic spot, we continue to the hamlet of Salong Kana where you will be able to meet with members of the Kayan community to get an insight into the local life and culture. During your time at the village, you will also have a chance to visit traditional Kayan homes and observe artisans making Kayan bracelets, weaving traditional textiles, carving wooden statues and other handwork. After a full day spent with these fun-loving and artistic people, we say our farewells and return to Loikaw in the late afternoon.
Arriving in Yangon
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The afternoon program will be planned according to your wishes. Interesting sites and activities around the city include the Bogoyke (Central) Market, The colossal Secretariat Building (recently reopened for visitors after over 50 years of closure) and the circular train line, a true essence of life in the city. In the evening we enjoy a final dinner to conclude our trip and reminisce about all the amazing experiences we have shared together.
This isn't goodbye but rather "Au Revoir!"
So long and farewell to our friends
For those with afternoon and evening flights, we begin the day with a dawn visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, a gold-covered bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline. Ancient legends state that the sacred hairs of the Buddha are enshrined here. There will be countless photography opportunities at this iconic site as the sun rises but this is also the perfect place and ideal moment to stand in silence and reflect upon the journey we just shared and the memories that we built with gratitude in our hearts.
In the afternoon we transfer to Yangon airport for your onward flight home or wherever the road leads you next.
Get To Know
DateDec 5th - 16th, 2019
Trip length12 Days
Max group size12
We like to eat delicious food and we know that our guests do too. This is why on our Myanmar tour we make sure that you’ll have an opportunity to sample a variety of local Asian fare. You’ll get a chance to tickle your taste buds with Thai, Chinese, and of course Burmese and Shan dishes. We also offer some good old western food once in a while for those feeling like a bit of variety. There will be a few fun dining experience surprises along the way as well. We take our dining experiences seriously and want you to take home some great culinary memories!
On this epic journey, we will be staying at some of Myanmar’s most luxurious hotels, villas, lodges, resorts, and river cruise ships where you will be pampered like the King and Queen of Siam. We carefully select the deluxe lodging for our guests in order to ensure that they are never left wanting for any of the finer things that the should expect on a luxury tour such as this. After a long day of taking spectacular photos, why not wind down at the spa, treat yourself to a well-deserved massage, or join other guests for an after-dinner libation? If you’re a fitness enthusiast, we’ve got you covered with hotel fitness centres and swimming pools. You’re in good hands with Discovery.
Overview of shooting locations
Photography skill level
Recommended photography equipment
- DSLR or Mirrorless camera(s)
- Carbon Fibre Tripod
- Super wide angle lens 15mm or less (full frame)
- Zoom lens 24-70mm
- Zoom Lens 70-200mm
- Cable release
Join us in Myanmar
Single Room Supplement
There is a $980 single supplement fee.
This tour was so much more than I could ever have hoped for. The variety and splendor was wonderful. We had great hotels and good food and even better company. Ken and Pat were amazing - I saw all the sights I was hoping for and so much more. They always took us into consideration and gave the ladies most probably a little more shopping time than they were expecting. If you are traveling for memories - Myanmar with Discovery Photo Tours should give you amazing lifelong memories.
Brad and Laura Duggan
Ken and Patrick took us on a magical photo tour of Myanmar, a place we had been before and wanted to return. Although we aren't photographers, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the country through the eyes of a photographer and appreciated the pace that we had to explore and photograph the things we were seeing. The guides gave us great instruction on the use of our eye phones to create some pretty jaw dropping photographs as we learned about light, depth and composition alongside the experts. The hotels were fabulous, mostly resorts that were perfect at the end of the day and made great places to relax and enjoy with our fellow travellers. We experienced the culture of the country like no other opportunity because we had a chance to see so many places and really mingle with the people, explore the landscapes and experience the food like locals. The group of travellers was an excellent combination of professionals, hobbyists and neophytes that all enjoyed learning more and broadening our skills all the while exploring a new place that tourists haven't really discovered. It was a magical experience and we highly recommend it. We look forward to our next adventure with Discovery Photo Tours.
If you want awesome experiences and photo opportunities join a Discovery Photo Tour. Your creative juices will get a boost and you will meet and travel with a wonderful group of people.
Burmese Adventure Awaits!
Glynn Lavender, owner and lead creative from Australia's Creative Photo Workshops, is a dynamic passionate tour leader who specialises in people photography.
Glynn has the great ability to demonstrate the best ways to light and photograph subjects and help you get the best from each of the many opportunities that happen on tour.
Di Fruscia is a World Visionary Fine Art Nature & Landscape Photographer. His work has won many awards, has been published and displayed thru a multitude of Medias (books, calendars, magazines, travel guides etc.) and by many prestigious companies such as, National Geographic, Time Magazine and Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Constantly searching for those rare magical moments when the Perfect Light embraces nature in all its glory, you can rest assured – that this is only the beginning of a long and dedicated quest to capture the breathtaking beauty of nature."