Land of Enchantment
World Class Deluxe Myanmar Tour
Step Back in Time
DateJanuary 10th - 21st, 2021
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! Our Myanmar offering 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 Inle Lake photographing the fabled leg-rowing fishermen, 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 ✓
Let our experts guide you to all the perfect spots to capture the best photos you’ve ever taken. Your friends back home will be inspired by the images that you create and perhaps 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 are 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. Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is the former capital of Burma and was founded over 2000 years ago. The perfect place to start your journey.
On arrival day, you'll be transported to your luxury five-star hotel, situated among lush greenery, beside the Kandawgyi Lake, 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
This is the day is dedicated to Yangon streets, markets and cultural highlights. The best way to see and feel the city is on foot.
Among other sights and spots, we will stop by at the Bogoyke (Central) Market, The colossal Secretariat Building (recently reopened for visitors after over 50 years of closure) and the circular train line, the true essence of life in the city.
We complete the day with a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the Shwedagon Pagoda, a gleaming bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline. Legends state that the sacred hairs of the Buddha are enshrined here. The Shwedagon is an iconic symbol of the country, a sight not to be missed.
Land of mist and smoke
On this day, we fly to Loikaw town, the sleepy capital of Kayah State, which has only recently been opened to foreign visitors. Meaning 'island of the mountains' in Shan, Loikaw offers a rare glimpse into a culture and natural beauty seemingly untouched by the outside world. We are fortunate to get this rare glimpse into this authentic ancient ethnic state. Have your cameras at the ready at all times!
We visit the Loikaw market this afternoon to capture the daily life of the local merchants as they sell their goods and wares. The view over the surrounding town and farming lands with distant mountain range near the horizon is simply magical. Photography opportunities abound.
Kayah Hill Tribe Villages
Land of the long neck ladies
Today is a day of exploring and incredible cultural scenes for you to capture. Let your inner Nat Geo photographer shine.
Home to nine tribes, the most renowned of these being the long neck or 'giraffe women' of the Padaung tribe, the ethnographic and cultural diversity of Loikaw is incomparable. Today is your big chance to capture these lovely women during a portrait session in their village.
After a picnic lunch at a 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 handiwork.
Adrift On Inle Lake
A photographer’s dream
Rise early to catch the sunrise and have a morning photo shoot of the commanding Taung Kwe Pagoda, rising above the town on top of limestone karst outcrop. A mixture of fog and smoke blankets the Pagoda in the early morning light along with the surrounding town. The ethereal view will take your breath away.
The rest of this day comprises of a mixture of boat rides on the incredible Inle Lake, photographing as we go along. After your morning meal, you’ll visit a stunning pagoda complex, photograph young novice monks, and never be without a scene ready to b captured with your camera.
We’ll even visit a moonshine distillery where the locals brew strong alcohol derived from sticky rice. Stand aside Scotland and Kentucky, we’re doing it the Burmese way today
We will wrap up this long day of adventures with a scenic boat ride along narrow canals leading to wider Inle Lake. On the lake, we will see local fishermen and floating farms and more.
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.
At the crack of dawn, 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.
Arrival in Bagan
Land of pagodas and stupas
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?
In the early morning, our intrepid group of stalwart photographers transfers to Nyaung Shwe from where it is a short drive to Shwe Yan Pyae monastery iconic spot to photograph novice monks in oval windows. And then, we are off to Bagan!
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.
During the midday heat, we retreat into the temples and have a candlelight photography session with local novice monks. There will special guidance on how to best capture shots of the interiors of the temples, spaces that can be challenging to shoot due to low light and narrow corridors. 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!
Well before the sun rises, our group gets to partake in an epic experience and they enjoy an unforgettable hot air balloon ride above the temple plains. This once in a lifetime experience affords you a unique aerial view of the temples, stupas, and pagodas.
The day’s itinerary will be focused on the unique people and landscapes of Bagan. The specifics of the itinerary will be flexible and planned according to your desires. We will have opportunities to photograph and capture the local way of life at markets, workshops and interesting villages around Bagan with stops to photograph bullock carts and goat herders as they go about their daily life.
There will also be plenty of moments to capture the fantastic landscape of the area with photo sessions on the banks of the Irrawaddy River as well as other vantage points known only to those with in-depth knowledge of the area.
After breakfast, we transfer to Bagan boat jetty and board a private vessel to Yandabo. Yandabo’s famous peace treaty was signed by a former king and the British are a charming riverside village which has gotten a road only recently. It is essentially a riverside artisan community producing terracotta which is shipped to Mandalay and other parts of the country along the river.
Spend the afternoon exploring the village on foot. Observe how clay is worked by feet and hands and how ready pots are placed to dry and burned in kilns. You’ll treasure these moment years from now when you look at your photos and they bring you back in time to when life was simpler and kinder.
Rolling down the river
Ahoy mateys! Today we cast off on a river cruise as we follow the mighty Irrawaddy river all the way to historic Mandalay. After breakfast, we sail across the river to visit 1000 buffaloes village and to experience authentic countryside life in rural Burma and continue upstream towards Mandalay.
After our highlight six-hour journey on the Irrawaddy, we will visit one or two Mandalay's highlights on this late afternoon (time permitting). Mandalay is Myanmar's second largest city. To get the feel of local life we will take a ride with tuk-tuk taxis to our dinner place and can also explore some of the lively beer stations which are popular hangouts for the locals.
The end is near
We start the day with a visit to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, a compound housing Buddha’s teachings carved in the sacred Pali script on stone tablets and regarded the world’s largest book in terms of surface area and the Golden Palace Monastery, the sole surviving Royal Palace building in Mandalay, offering a glimpse of the original style and architecture of the Myanmar royals.
We continue to a jade market where mostly Chinese buyers flock to trade jade which is cut, processed and sent to China. In the artisan quarter, some of the oldest craftsmanship is showcased dating back to the last kingdom of Myanmar. We observe the process of pounding gold leaf, detailing teakwood carvings and embroidering Myanmar tapestry. Next, we proceed to the major highlights of the city: the sacred Mahamuni Pagoda, housing one of the most significant Buddha images covered in several tons of gold leaf and the crown prize in wars between competing kingdoms.
Our last photo shoot is an epic setting with sunset spotting by the iconic Ubein Bridge and take a boat on the Taungtaman lake.
We celebrate the last evening with a farewell dinner in one of the best restaurants in Mandalay.
This isn't goodbye but rather "Au Revoir!"
So long and farewell to our friends
Breakfast at hotel and leisure time until private transfer to Mandalay airport for your onward flight.
Remember, don't be sad because it's over be happy because it happened!
See you on the next adventure…
Get To Know
DateJanuary 10th - 21st, 2021
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."