Day 1 – Arrival in Yangon and visit of the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda After making your way to Yangon you will be greeted by our local tour guide at the international airport after your arrival. Today's program will be flexible depending of the arrival time of all participants.
After you have stored your luggage in the hotel, you can join for a relaxed arrival day’s program. Depending on the arrival time of all the guests, you will be taken to Yangon station from where we will take a short ride with a typical local train, which drives all around Yangon. The train is extremely slow due to its age but gives us an opportunity to experience vividly the everyday life of the locals.
As the first highlight of the tour we will visit Myanmar's most magnificent monument - the Shwedagon Pagoda. The most sacred building in the country, with its 90-metre-high main stupa covered with gold leaves, will delight you. Here you'll enjoy and photograph the sunset in this unique and beautiful scenery.
Day 2 – Yangon in a different way– photographing day with a local professional photographer A local photographer is waiting for us early in the morning.
Today’s focus will be on on photographing people, colourful markets, monasteries, colonial architecture and manufactories off the beaten tourist tracks. Our professional photographer from Yangon will be on our side with advice and deed, and will show us his city from a completely different perspective. The exact daily plan will be flexibly arranged.
Day 3 and 4 – The impressive Golden Rock In the morning we will drive to south of the country, to the Golden Rock. On the way we will stop in Bago, the capital of the 6th century Mon kingdom. Here we will visit different temples and pagodas such as a 55m long lying Buddha, the Shwemawdaw Pagoda as well as the Kambozathadi Palace with its four sitting Buddhas.
After that we will continue to Kyaikhtiyo and will reach the base camp in Kinpun. Here we will change to a local means of transport (the loading area of a truck) and will drive uphill for about 1 hour to the "Golden Rock". The extraordinary location of this temple will amaze you. The golden pagoda stands on a rock covered with golden leaves, which gives an impression that it could fall down at any moment. According to legend, a Buddha's hair is supposed to keep the granite foundling and thus also the pagoda in balance, so that both can remain in this place forever. Numerous pilgrims come daily to Kyaikhtiyo to glue a small golden leaf on the rocks.
You will stay in this area for two nights. Thanks to the perfect location of our hotel the Golden Rock area can be reached within a couple of footsteps. While here you'll be photographing the sunsets and sunrises. Also the numerous pilgrims will provide countless photo motives.
Day 5 - Return to Yangon and flight to Heho, Inle Lake Early birds will have a chance to enjoy the sunrise and the sacred atmosphere of the country's most important pilgrimage site before descending to the base camp after breakfast. From the loading area of the truck, we will change for a more comfortable vehicle and travel back to Yangon Airport.
From here we will fly to Heho, the starting point for our trip to Inle Lake. From Heho a pleasant drive takes us through the Shan Plateau to Nyaung Shwe and onwards to our hotel.
The Intha, "the lake people" have inhabited the region for centuries and have oriented their way of life towards the lake. 70,000 people live on stilts and plant floating beds, which they can move and transport as they like. Particularly striking are the unique fishing nets and the very special way of rowing, because the Inthas use the "one-leg rowing technique" to get ahead with their boats.
Day 6 – Explore the villages around the lake and visit a morning market Today’s program begins with a visit to the morning market to see the inhabitants and visitors of the surrounding mountain tribes at trading. The place of the market changes in the 5-day rhythm of the moon calendar, so that almost every day the shopping can be done in a different village. After visiting the morning market, we will drive by boat along a canal to other small villages, temples and pagodas. Many of the pagodas have been magically wrapped by the vegetation over the years. You'll also have the opportunity to capture beautiful portraits of the local people.
In the afternoon you'll be photographing the famous leg rowers of the Inle Lake. Shortly after sunset you'll head back to the hotel where you'll enjoying a delicious dinner.
Day 7 – More exploring on the Inle lake We will undertake a photo shooting session with the leg rowers in the early morning by the blue hour and afterwards at sunrise.
After breakfast we will visit more various villages in the area and learn more about local handicrafts such as lotus weaving and umbrella production or visit other interesting destinations such as monastery.
In the afternoon we will return to the hotel where you can enjoy the sunset or have a drink at the bar.
Day 8 – Mandalay After breakfast we will be driven back to the airport of Heho and fly to Mandalay. Mandalay was the last capital of the country before the British finally took over the region and so the city still has great cultural and historical importance. The Buddhist monasteries in and around Mandalay belong among the most important in the country. More than half of all monks in Myanmar lives here.
You'll visit various handicraft quarters such as leaf producers for example. The production of gold leafs is very interesting, as the applied technique has not changed for centuries. Later you'll also visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as the largest book in the world. This pagoda is georgous with its numerous tiny white temples. Perfect to capture beautiful images such as local pilgrims or simply the stunning architecture.
At the end of an eventful day, during sunset time, we will visit the 2 km long U-leg bridge. It is over 200 years old and made of teak.
Day 9 - Sunrise in Mandalay and exploring Mingun Early in the morning we will have a sunrise photograph session near the Mandalay Palace.
Afterwards we'll search for monks who are on the road for their daily alms. In their red robes the monks walk one after the other through the streets of Mandalay to collect small meals from the local population with their donation pots.
Later we will take about 1h boat drive up the Ayeyarwady (=Irrawaddy) river to Mingun. Here we will visit the most important sights, like the famous Mingun Pahtodawqyi. The construction of this large brick building was never completed, because an astrologer predicted that the king would die if the temple was completed.
We will of course also visit the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda, which has an uncanny resemblance to the mystical mountain Meru, the "seat of the gods". The pagoda is also known as the Taj Mahal of Myanmar.
Day 10 - Day cruise from Mandalay to Bagan After breakfast we will be picked up and taken to the small ferry port of Mandalay. Today you can relax on board on a day cruise on the way to Bagan.
In the early evening the first pagodas appear on the horizon and we willreach Bagan. For 230 years, from the 11th to the 13th century, when Bagan was the capital of the country, over thousand stupas, temples and monasteries were built and most of them are still preserved as ruins. Bagan is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and offers countless photographic subjects.
Day 11 – The temple field of Bagan Our tour guide will lead us through the "Wonders of Bagan". When Bagan was the capital of Myanmar from the 11th to the 13th century, the rulers of the country had thousands of beautiful stupas and small temples built. These are still preserved in their splendour today. The impressive temple world on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river has already enchanted countless visitors. Among other things we will visit the impressive Shwezigon Pagoda and the beautiful Ananda Temple. In the evening we will photograph the sunset in Bagan.
Day 12 – A day with local professional photographer in Bagan A local photographer will accompany us for a whole day and will show us hidden vaults, temples and monasteries. We will also have opportunity to photograph young novices’ monks. The result is unique, sensitive images with special lighting moods. Look forward to an extraordinary day!
Day 13- Hot air balloon flight over Bagan Early in the morning, by the sunrise, we will take a hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan. Seeing the unique temple world of Bagan from a bird's eye view is certainly an impressive experience. We offer you the opportunity to float with a hot air balloon over the extraordinary temple landscape and experience the peaceful atmosphere of this region. You will glide slowly through the air and enjoy the views of the pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. You will remember this impressive experience for a long time and look back again and again with enthusiasm.
In the afternoon we will fly back to Yangon.
Day 14- Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and flight home in the evening In early morning we will visit the Shwedagon Pagoda again, which was earlier allowed to experience only in the evening light.
We have arranged a late checkout with the hotel. You can use the rooms until 18 o'clock. In the evening we will say goodbye. You will be then driven to the airport in time for your flight back home or onward travel.