Myanmar is a golden land of breathtaking beauty, saffron-clad monks and friendly, charming locals, steeped in fascinating history and traditions. Explore the magical, mystical, off-the-beaten-track locations of “tribal Myanmar” on this epic two-week photographic journey, under the leadership of photojournalist Karl Grobl and his long-term experienced charming local guide.
Tribal Myanmar is a great trip for first timers to Myanmar, as well as for those who have already experienced more well-known locations in the country, and who are looking to dive deep into the remote, fascinating, vanishing cultural diversity of this amazing country. The tour concentrates less on the well-known landmarks, (although we do visit a few), and focuses more on the last remaining vestiges of tribal cultures that still cling to the traditional ways of life.
We will see and photograph the Padong Long-Neck women, the ornately decorated Akha tribal people. From there, we will make the long journey to the last remaining Tattoo-Faced Chin ladies, up river from Mrauk U, in the Rakhine State. But that’s not all, we will also explore and photograph the Silver Palung and Ta’Ang, and Eng black-teeth people. Then we will make several visits to Wa and Kun Shan villages, Lwe tribes in their distinctive longhouses, and the fascinating Lahu tribes.
During this trip, you’ll receive daily photographic instruction from Karl. Optional nightly image-sharing sessions will be offered to help ensure that your photography is on track. This is an intensive, immersive trip with several short, easy treks through some of the most scenic areas of Myanmar and through countless traditional villages.
If you are looking to get off the beaten track to capture unique, once in a lifetime images, then this is the trip for you!
Myanmar (Burma) is a developing country, full of natural beauty with primitive hill tribes, ancient pagodas and temples, silvery beaches, snow-capped mountains and untouched archipelagos. Myanmar’s iconic sights consist of what many refer to as ‘THE BIG FOUR’: Yangon with the Shwedagon Pagoda, British Colonial architecture, street vendors, and monks walking for their morning alms; Bagan with the Irrawaddy River and panoramic temple views from an optional hot air balloon; Mandalay’s monasteries and U Bein bridge; Inlay with it’s tranquil floating pagoda’s, gardens and local markets. This new itinerary now encompasses remote villages, rarely seen by other tourists, which provides a more in depth view of this amazing region and it’s people. Please join tour leaders, Eileen Muldoon and Win Kyaw Zan on this incredible cultural and photographic opportunity. The emphasis of the trip is on photography, yet this is much more, one that non-photographic travelers can enjoy just as well. While we maintain an active schedule, the pace will provide ample opportunity to explore and photograph villages, pagodas and markets, and it is an amazing journey.
WHAT TO EXPECT:On this tour you will have two photo instructors. The first being professional photographer and tour guide Eileen McCarney Muldoon, who has traveled the world leading international photography tours and is excited to be returning to Myanmar on this new itinerary. Secondly, Win Kyaw Zan is an accomplished professional photographer who is from Myanmar, and has been leading photo tours there for the last 15 years.
A note from Eileen ~
I've been told my teaching style is very fluid ~ it changes with each individual student. Everyone has their own method of learning, so I adapt to you, rather than you having to adapt to different intructors. That is one of the reasons I enjoy leading workshops. It allows me the opportunity to spend individual time with each student. Travel workshops attract beginner to advanced photographers and it is equally as exciting to see the beginner learn to master the controls of their camera as it is to see the proficient photographer leap to new creative heights. I have seen photography enhance the lives of many students, so I look for ways that each student can apply photography to enrich their life. ~ Eileen
Win has been voted Myanmar’s photographer of the year three times now. If you are a beginner, don’t let that intimidate you, as his second passion after photography is teaching others how to take great photos. He has been teaching for many years now, and conducts local weekend courses in Myanmar as a Nikon representative. Win knows the best places to capture just the right light on his countries iconic sights as well as get you off the beaten path, where you will be immersed in the culture and become part of the local scene.
All breakfasts and lunches are included in the tour program, Win will provide recommendations for dinners to be taken on your own or enjoy with Eileen and other fellow tour participants.
Day 1: (Oct 14)
Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. In the evening, orientation will be presented in the hotel lobby, followed by a welcome dinner. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 2: (Oct 15)
In the morning, we will fly from Yangon to Sittwe. There we’ll photograph the town’s monasteries, the central market, and the bustling cottage industries. Later, we will enjoy sunset photography from a local viewpoint. Overnight in Sittwe.
Day 3: (Oct 16)
While in Sittwe, we will have an early-morning shoot at the busy local fish market. Then, after breakfast at the hotel, we will go by car to the jetty, and board a private boat for a trip to the ancient capital Mrauk-U. If we arrive on schedule, we’ll head to a hilltop for what usually is some amazing sunset photography. Overnight in Mrauk-U.
Day 4: (Oct 17)
This morning in Mrauk-U, we will photograph a misty sunrise from our favorite hilltop location. After breakfast, we will spend the day photographing the local markets and most beautiful ancient temples around Mrauk-U. A sunset shoot from different venues will include women gathering water in distinctive Bangladeshi style pots. Overnight in Mrauk-U.
Day 5: (Oct 18)
Today we will take a private boat journey up the Lay Mro River to visit the last remaining tattooed women of remote tribal Chin villages. We’ll spend the day photographing these vanishing tattooed-face women at several different villages along this river. Overnight in Mrauk-U.
Day 6: (Oct 19)
Today, an early-morning boat ride will take us from Mrauk-U to Sittwe. The departure time may vary depending on the tidal conditions and our flight time. In the afternoon, we will fly to Yangon, where there will be time to photograph and explore the iconic Shwedagon pagoda before sunset through the incredible, but fleeting, cobalt-blue twilight sky. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 7: (Oct 20)
We will fly to Heho this morning. A five-hour journey by private coach will take us to Loikaw. Then, on the ride from the airport, we can shoot along the way. The scenic beauty with rice paddies, typical ethnic villages, and colorful farms, will add charm to your portfolio. We will reach Loikaw in the late afternoon. Overnight in Loikaw.
Day 8 : (Oct 21)
Today we will explore and photograph at Panpet Padaung longneck village in Dee Maw So township, which is about 2 hours away from Loikaw. Overnight in Loikaw.
Day 9 : (Oct 22)
After breakfast, there will be an opportunity for street shooting and photography at Loikaw central market and the town’s most revered Taungkwe Zedi. Afterwards, we will ride in a coach to Hpe Hkon town, then a enjoy a long-tailed boat ride to Inle Lake. On the way, we will visit and shoot at Sagar ancient Shand kingdom ruin. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 10 : (Oct 23)
We have arranged a shoot, from the hotel deck, of Inle’s famous leg rowers. Then we will have a full day of photographing on and around the lake. The day’s shoot will conclude with sunset photography of fishermen on the water. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 11 : (Oct 24)
Before we leave Inle Lake, we will have a half-day shoot at different 5-day markets. Then we take a boat to Nyaungshwew, where we will transfer by coach to Heho airport. This morning’s activities will depend on the flight time from Heho to Keng Tung. We will fly to Keng Tung around noon, then explore and shoot at the town’s many Wats (monasteries). Overnight in Keng Tung.
Day 12 : (Oct 25)
Today we will explore Pintau, and shoot at different tribe villages, including the seldom-visited Silver Palaung. Overnight in Keng Tung.
Day 13 : (Oct 26)
From Keng Tung, we’ll drive northeast towards the China border and explore Wennyut Loi longhouses and a centuries-old village monastery. We will also have a chance to explore ethnic Khun Shan villages on the way. Overnight in Keng Tung.
Day 14 : (Oct 27)
We will make a morning visit to Wan Sai village of the adorned Akhu tribal people. Then we will fly to Yangon in the afternoon. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 15: (Oct 28)
Participants will be transferred to Yangon airport for departure flights out of Myanmar.
Saturday (Day 1) - Yangon Arrival
Upon arrival at Yangon international Airport you'll be greeted by your Trip Leader and Local Guide for transfer to the hotel. A group orientation will be held in the lobby at 3:30pm. Next we proceed to dThen we head downtown witness daily life in this former capitol city. oon photography to downtown area , Maha Bandula Park , Sule pagoda ,City hall , High court and Immanuel Baptist Church and old building . Proceed to Sin Oo Dan Jetty and photograph the long tail boats in the river people working by the river big ferry boats and sunset from there. Back to the Hotel. Over night at Hotel.
Sunday (Day 2) - Yangon
Early morning photography: Thirimingalar Sanpya fish market photograph the people carrying fish, selling fish, unloading fish from the boat, steaming ice machines and local market. Back to the Hotel for breakfast. Proceed to Kalaywatawya Nagahlainggu monastery and nunnery for photo shoot , Chaukhtetgyi Reclining Buddha and photograph the lady praying , monk meditating by Buddha .Lunch at Padonmar restaurant .Back to hotel and take a rest. Afternoon proceed to 2500 years old great Shwedagon Pagoda with 60 tons of gold .The Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon's most famous landmark. And you can see the pilgrim praying to Buddha ,water , Flower , candle light and incent stick are offering to the Buddha. We will stay at Shwedagon Pagoda until sunset. Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the Hotel and Overnight at Hotel.
Monday (Day 3) - Yangon / Bagan
Early morning check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan. Arrived Bagan stop at Nan Mying Tower .Visit a small temple , Nyaung U market and Shwezigon Pagoda . Lunch at restaurant .After lunch check in hotel and have a break. Afternoon went to get the monks and photograph the monks with Umbrellas by Shwezigon entrance . By Sulamani temple photograph the cows coming for water ,proceed to Phaya thonezu area for goat hurters .Went to the tower for sunset. Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the hotel and over night at the Hotel.
Tuesday (Day 4) - Bagan
Early morning 05 :15 Am pick up by balloon ride. After tea and coffee by the balloon field, enjoy the most amazing flight. Back to the hotel. Enjoy breakfast. Morning photography : Nattaung teak monastery , Ananda Temple know as the temple with the most beautiful Buddha Images . Lunch at restaurant. After lunch : Photography : Bagan traditional lacquerware making families . Dhammayangi temple with reclining Buddha and twin Buddhas and proceed to photograph the best sunset area . Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the hotel and over night at the Hotel.
Wednesday (Day 5) - Bagan / Mandalay
After breakfast and prepare for the flight to Mandalay. Check put and fly to Mandalay. Arrived Mandalay Airport and on the road to Mandalay , we'll visit to farmers , Palaik monastery in Palaik . Proceed to Mandalay and lunch at restaurant . Check in Hotel. After a break, drive to gold leaf making families workshop and wood carvings . Afternoon photography drive to Amarapura and photograph the U Bein Bridge area. We'll also have a chance to shoot the models with decorative Thanaka on the faces of young girls there. Walk through the bridge and from the ground level halfway, we'll photograph the sunset over U Bein Bridge . Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the Hotel .Overnight at Hotel.
Thursday (Day 6) - Mandalay / Mingun / Amarapura
Early morning drive again to Amarapura and sunrise from U Bein Bridge. Back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast photography to Marble Buddha making street and Sandamuni Pagoda with many small pagodas. Lunch at restaurant. Drive to harbor and take a boat ride to Mingun . Arrived at Mingun Myatehindan Pagoda good light and photograph the monks / nuns/ villagers by the Myatheindan Pagoda. We'll also walk to the famous world's biggest Pagoda with the big crack with monks and nuns with umbrellas. We'll also have a chance to photograph the world's biggest ringing bell too. Back to Mandalay across by Ayeyarwaddy river . Sunset from Ayeyarwaddy river .Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the Hotel .Overnight at Hotel.
Friday (Day 7) - Mandalay / Heho / Inle
After breakfast check out from the Hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight to Heho (30 minutes flight) . Arrived Heho proceed to Nyaung Shwe round about 1 hour drive . On the way to Naung shwe you can take to photograph Shwe Yan Pye Pagoda & Shwe Yan Pye monastery. Arrived Nyaung Shwe proceed to Jetty and transfer into long tail boat. All the transportation in Inle lake by boat. Check in Hotel. All day photography in Inle lake. Visit Nampam village to photograph the long neck tribe Pa daung family and photograph them weaving and portraits. We'll also have a chance to visit the Jumping cat monastery , Paungdawoo Oo pagoda too. Sunset with fisher men. Back to the hotel .Dinner at the hotel and overnight at Hotel.
Saturday Day (8) - Inle / Inndein
Early morning photography : Inle Lake sunrise with fishermen in the early morning most before breakfast. Back to the Hotel for breakfast. Inle lake photography: take a boat ride to the local five day to photograph the market life with the Pa O, Palaung tribes. Proceed to Inndein to photograph the Shwe Inndein Pagoda with over 1000 Stupas .We'll have Pa O tribes and monks model for us to be in between the old stupas. Lunch at restaurant. Inle lake photography: Head to weaving factory .Visit Cheroot making house floating villages and floating garden . Sunset on the way back to Hotel. Dinner at the hotel .Overnight at Hotel.
Sunday (Day 9) - Inle / Heho / Yangon
After breakfast check out from Hotel and boat ride to Nyaung Shwe. Drive to Heho for the flight back to Yangon. Arrive Yangon and shopping in Yangon. Lunch at best local restaurant. Check in Hotel and take a rest. Afternoon proceed to the Kandawgyi Lake it means “Great royal lake” and you can walk around in the garden. The Karaweik hall also known as Karaweik Palace is one of Yangon's many landmarks. From a distance the Karaweik hall looks like a huge golden barge floating on Kandawgyi Lake, glittering in the sun. After dark the Karaweik barge is lit up in spotlights, the golden stupa reflecting in the water of Lake Kandawgyi . Dinner at the restaurant . Back to the Hotel and Overnight at Hotel.
Monday (Day 10) - Yangon Departure
After breakfast check out from Hotel. Transfer to the Yangon International airport for the departure flight home and say good bye to Win.
- Itinerary designed to include Full Moon Festival and photography session.
- Optional hot air balloon ride over Bagan.
- Wander remote villages rarely visited by foreigners, temples, pagodas and markets in search of images of daily life and interact with the people.
- Visit locations in the best light for making dramatic scenic photographs.
- Learn to capture the magic light & create meaningful portraits with Win’s guidance.
- Observe daily activities that define Myanmar’s culture. Learn to capture the essence or spirit of place through your lens.
- Twelve days with acclaimed tour guides and professional photographers.
Dates and Prices
Dates: October 14-28, 2018
Trip Leader: Karl Grobl. Trip limited to 10 participants.
Cost includes: All hotel accommodation, all modes of transportation such as Car/Coach for all transfers and sightseeing programs (Sittwe/Mrauk-U and Keng Tung do not have A/C cars), private chartered boats for Sittwe/Mrauk-U and Chin villages visit; Inle Lake sightseeing / transfers, all domestic flights using private airlines only (Air KBZ, Yangon Airways, Asian Wings, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan), 14 dinners or lunches, all breakfasts, English Speaking guides, all entrance fees, (excluding museum admission fees), current domestic airlines fuel surcharges and all prevailing taxes.
Price is based on double occupancy. A single supplement of $885 applies.*
*Note: We will make every effort to connect you with a roommate should you like to share a room. However, if we’re unable to make a match, the single supplement will apply.
A deposit of $800. is required to hold your spot.