MYANMAR & THAILAND November 2019
This trip offers the best of Myanmar and Thailand for photography. We’ll spend all the time needed exploring and capturing the images that make both locations unique for photography and for the traveler.
From temples to street scenes and everything in-between – this trip amazes as we hit Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, and Bangkok and more.
About the Tour
Per person double occupancy
International Airfare INCLUDED
Single Supplement Optional
$2000 due at time of booking
Tour Guest Limit
12 Guest Maximum
90 Days before departure
This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy airfare from USA gateway city. See below for more details.
Tour Pricing Info
M&M Guide Photographer
International RT economy airfare USA gateway city
All airport transfers
Tour program and services for official 14 days
Local Experienced English-speaking guides
Twin-shared 4 & 5 star hotels
All meals as mentioned in the itinerary
Mineral water provided in the bus
Any Admission fees as mentioned in the itinerary
Transportation will be in air conditioned buses
Tips to drivers/guides
Meals outside of those specified in the itinerary
Passport and visa fees
Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
Countless pagodas and stupas
Inle Lake and floating villages
We use local boutique hotels and other establishments that give us access to great photos, food, and transport.
More specific information on accommodations will be provided on a closer date to the tour.
Days 1, 2, & 3 — U.S./Yangon, Myanmar
Depart the U.S., cross the international date line, and arrive in Yangon on Day 3.
Day 4 — Yangon
Our introduction to Yangon begins at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, where a colossal reclining Buddha stretches more than 200 feet. Next, visit Botataung Pagoda, an unusual pagoda above a circular building, which was reconstructed after being destroyed by an Allied bomb during World War II. Examine royal artifacts at the National Museum and, in the afternoon light, photograph the gleaming stupas of Shwedagon Pagoda, a soaring, gilded pagoda tipped with more than 4,000 diamonds. Here, capture images of a candle-lighting ceremony during a special photo shoot with a small group of monks.
Day 5 — Yangon/Mandalay
A morning flight brings us to Mandalay, founded as a royal capital in 1857, now a hub of commerce and trade. Cross U Bein Bridge, a teak structure that spans nearly 4,000 feet across Taungthaman Lake and is perhaps one of the most photographed sites in Myanmar. Stop in at a silk weaving workshop and get a new angle on Mandalay's most important Buddha image at the Mahamuni Pagoda. After lunch, focus on the intricate teak carvings of the Shwenandaw Monastery and see the 729 chiseled marble slabs—each with its own stupa—of Kuthodaw Pagoda. End the day taking sunset shots from atop Mandalay Hill before continuing to Shwekyin Monastery for a private photography session with monks as they engage in a prayer ceremony.
Day 6 — Mandalay
Set out on a boat trip up the Irrawaddy River to Mingun village, documenting life along the river's edge. Exploring by oxcart, see the massive, unfinished Mingun Pagoda; the 18th-century Mingun Bell—the world's largest undamaged, working bell; and the pristine Hsinbyume Pagoda. In Sagaing, twice the capital of the Shan Kingdom, step into a silversmith's workshop to photograph artisans renowned for their engraving skills.
Day 7 — Mandalay/Bagan
Fly to the ancient capital of Bagan, which flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries, when over 10,000 temples, stupas, and monasteries were built on the Bagan plain. Today, more than 2,200 of these structures—from tiny stupas to towering temples—still dot the landscape, along with many piles of ruins. Head into the vibrant Nyaung U Market, where textiles and spices lure the photographer with their textures and hues. Visit gold-plated Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan's greatest reliquary, and examine 13th-century murals at Gubyaukgyi and Htilominlo Temples. This afternoon, take a horse-cart ride to Ananda Temple, home to four great, gilded Buddha statues. Stop in at a lacquer ware workshop to take shots of artisans plying their ancient craft. As the sun sets, climb to the top of a temple to photograph the ancient ruins of Bagan illuminated by golden light.
Day 8 — Mount Popa
Rise early to catch the evocative colors of dawn on Bagan’s temples, either shooting on foot or from the air on an optional hot-air balloon ride. Then set out on an excursion to Popa Hill, a volcanic peak that features prominently in Burmese mythology and is considered the home of powerful nats, or spirits. Spend the day exploring the area, then photograph graceful dancers in motion at a private performance during a special dinner at a temple.
Day 9 — Bagan
Visit the Mon-style Manuha Temple, built by a captive king— according to legend—in 1059, and see the massive Buddha figures inside. Continue to the Nanpaya Temple, known for its elegant masonry and decorative arts. After a visit to Shwesandaw Pagoda, whose gold-clad stupa rises above Bagan's many spires, take sunset shots during a cruise on the Ayeyarwady.
Day 10 — Heho/Inle Lake
Fly to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake, and travel overland and by boat to our hotel. Skimming along the waterways in a long-tail boat, catch a first glimpse of floating gardens, stilt houses, and fishermen poling their skiffs with one leg. Capture images of these traditional fishermen plying their picturesque trade during a specially arranged photo session for our group. Then settle into our hotel or chalet, and set out to explore this afternoon. At the Phaung Daw U Pagoda, see five Buddha images that worshippers have covered with so much gold leaf that they have lost all trace of their original forms. Stop by Ngaphechaung Monastery, set on stilts and teak planks in the lake, also known for its resident cats that have been trained by monks to perform tricks.
Day 11 — Inle Lake
Delve into the lively bustle of the roving Fifth Day Market, and photograph the colorful headdresses, jewelry, and clothing of the hill-tribe people who come to barter here. After lunch with a local Shan businessman, explore the floating gardens and stilt villages of Inle Lake and Nampan. Watch traditional weavers use ikat dyeing techniques, visit a Burmese cigar factory, and stop in at a boat builder's workshop and a traditional forge.
Day 12 — Heho/Yangon
Return to Yangon by air. This afternoon, stroll through the Bogyoke Aung San Market past merchants selling lacquer ware, silver, textiles, and other handicrafts. Then take a photo walk through the lively food and fruit markets of Chinatown. In the early evening light, set out on a cruise on the Yangon River to photograph everyday life at the water’s edge. Gather tonight to toast your photography adventure at a farewell dinner.
Day 13 — Yangon/U.S.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
What To Take (These are only suggestions, they are NOT required!)
Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour
· 2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses
· Camera battery charger and cords
· CompactFlash/SD Cards (bring as much memory as possible. At least 40 gigs)
· Card Reader for file transfer
· External hard drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 500GB drive)
· Black Rapid camera strap
· Extra batteries (lots!)—best packed in checked luggage even when traveling abroad
· Lenses (Depending on the tour) Medium telephoto, Fixed, Wide angle & Macro lens that give you a wide range
of length. 10mm to 500mm if possible
· 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens
· Tripod and head
· Flash—strobe with automatic TTL fill flash capabilities or Reflector
· Photo backpack
· Lens cloth and cleaning fluid
· Blower ball for dust
· Circular polarizing filter
· Grad ND filters
· Rain sleeve for camera and lens
· Cable or electronic shutter release
· Laptop computer (travel size such as a netbook)
· Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom
· International power adapter
· Multiple plug power strip & adaptor to gain electric outlets in your room for simultaneous downloading & recharging
· Sensor cleaning supplies
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE. M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO ( HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
Tour Difficulty = Easy
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months. We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended. M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time. In the even of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given. It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc. assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.
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