Burma photography vacation

“Join pro-photographer Stephen Studd for a fortnight in Myanmar and benefit from 26yrs' experience and first-hand knowledge of Burma's best locations.”

Highlights

Tour led by Stephen Studd | professional photography tips | Buddhist temples | Shwedagon Paya | sunrise and sunset over Bagan | Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe | Umin Thounzeh cave | stilt villages on Inle Lake | leg rowing Intha fishermen | sunset from Saigang Hill | Myingyan to Mandalay | photography review |

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Date
Price
Basis
05 Nov 2017
2995
including domestic flights only
Full
 
18 Feb 2018
2995
including domestic flights only
4 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Feb 2018 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Burma photography vacation

Environment

Our Environmental Policy in Burma.
We provide authentic, real travel photography experiences for small groups of guests (maximum 8 people), supporting local projects and charities where we can. In each location we visit we incorporate walking tours in to the itinerary, visiting local markets and artisans getting a real feel for the area at street level.

Free safe drinking water.
In Burma you need to drink plenty of water due to the hot and humid climatic conditions. To minimise the use of bottled water we recommend all guests bring with them a water bottle filtration system, made from BPA free plastics. These filtration systems convert tap water in to safe drinking water, eliminating the need to use countless plastic water bottles.

We have chosen not to fly between each location where time and distance permit, as Stephen feels the best way to see a country is from ground level.

From Bagan to Myingyan we take the Mandalay express train. At Myingyan we stop to take lunch and then take the 'Road to Mandalay'.
From Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe (Lake Inle), we have permits to travel overland through the Shan State, a true classic journey on the road less travelled.

All our accommodation in Burma was sourced by Stephen so that there are great photo opportunities straight outside the front door and within easy walking distance to local restaurants, bars and markets.

In Nyaung Shwe (Lake Inle) we stay at an eco-lodge that is built with local limestone, mud and rice straw, and reinforced with wooden beams. No concrete is used. Only paints made from laterite mud and natural wax decorate the lodge. Rooms are both thermal and sound insulated, and windows use double insulated glass. Air conditioners are not used. You can drink the water straight from the tap in the rom as it is all filtered. All toiletries are handmade locally using organic products. There are no fridges in the rooms instead a haybox which remains cool is utilised instead. In addition the lodge mentors young people training in the hospitality industry.

In our office we use a 100% renewable energy supplier. We buy organic and fair trade goods, as well as growing our own food. We use A+ appliances and power saving computers and hard drivers. We use very little paper as we don't send out brochures, the paper we do use is recycled.

Community

Before the start of the trip we email an information sheet which details, any dress code, or other etiquette that is required to respect the local customs and traditions. We also include the words for hello and thank you in Burmese to encourage our guests to use these phrases as a starter. We also hold an orientation session on the welcome evening to remind people of the particular sensibilities of the country we are in, which reiterates dress code, appropriate behaviour in public and religious buildings, and includes such things as where to find local services, appropriate tipping (by giving an insight into average local wages) and bartering. Further to that on a daily basis guests are advised what they can expect to encounter that day with regards to dress codes, removal of footwear, etc.

Stephen and Rachel have been traveling to the area since 2006 and have forged strong links and friendships with local people and businesses. As Burma has started to open up to the outside world, Stephen on each visit is constantly looking at new projects and community projects to support.

Stephen sources all of the accommodation himself to ensure that they are not owned or connected to the military junta, and that the transportation we use is independent, benefitting local people. We pay all our drivers and boat captains a fair wage and Ko Ko our driver in Bagan is a keen photographer himself and a close personal friend to Stephen.

By encouraging our groups to sample the local cuisine and eat at local restaurants our trips also aim to benefit local businesses and individuals by putting our money into the local economy. We also encourage our guests to buy local handmade crafts and products as this gives confidence and pride to the local artisans, keeping traditional crafts alive by supporting them economically.

We recommend buying books from local sellers about the local history, culture and customs.

5 Reviews of Burma photography vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 09 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The serenity of watching the sunrise over the plains of Bagan. Myanmar is a truly beautiful place with delightful people

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


For women, ensure that you pack skirts that cover your knees. We visited temples most days so appropriate clothing is necessary. Be prepared for early
starts to catch the sunrises - well worth the effort - and that is from a confirmed night owl!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The vacation used local guides/drivers all the time. Stephen and Rachel had a good relationship with all of the locals that they used. We ate in local restaurants most of the time. Clearly, tourism is becoming important to the Myanmar economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent vacation. Not only did I travel around a beautiful and mesmerising country, I learnt a huge amount about photography. Stephen is an enthusiastic
and patient teacher. He did not photograph whilst on vacation, but spent time moving between his students offering help and advice. I would highly
recommend the vacation and will be taking other vacations with this company again in the future.

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Arrival in Yangon - the excitement of the future

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Come relaxed with an open mind and curiosity.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, many local partners and traders engaged throughout.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good

Reviewed on 18 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Stephen's knowledge of the People and the Country of Myanmar (Burma) made the trip an outstanding experience from day one. Each day brought new
experiences and photographic opportunities that, together with Stephen's guidance, saw my photography develop as the trip went on. The day spent traveling from Bagan to Mandalay was amazing as it allowed our group to immerse ourselves in the people and culture. Credit also to Rachel, who kept us all on track and mothered those of us clumsy enough to get cuts and grazes.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring half the clothes you plan for and twice the bug spray. Also, read the information pdf document that Stephen sends out in advance to guide you through what to bring.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Most definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was, without question, the best and most rewarding vacation I have ever been on.

Reviewed on 27 Nov 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


This was an excellent vacation which was well organised by Stephen and Rachel. Traveling across this amazing country by different types of transport and of
course stopping to take lots of photographs. Having the guidance of a professional photographer.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take USA Dollars to exchange to the local currency. GBP is not of interest as a currency to exchange with and you may find that you are unable to obtain monies from an ATM. Don't expect to be able to use a credit card either!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Through buying produce that was made by local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S

Reviewed on 18 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Many memorable highlights from sunrise to sunset photo sessions, city life, rural life, train ride, boat ride, not forgetting the horse and carriage ride through the dusty plains of Bagan.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take a laptop or at least an external hard drive with you, invaluable for the "show & tell" sessions.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - Well thought through itinerary staying long enough to explore each base. Excellent - personal photographic tuition. Excellent - allround care when needed. Thanks Stephen & Rachel for a truly unforgetable vacation.

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