Myanmar a photograpHy tour

At then end of October 2014, five friends from Malahide Camera Club headed to Myanmar to tour this fascinating country for 11 days. We visited 4 different parts of this fascinating country. In each destination we had excellent guides who were very knowledgable and extremely helpful.

Yangon, Myanmar

We started in the city of Yangon a former capital, where we visited one of the most sacred Burmese pagodas, Shwedagon. We also visited Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha statue and experienced part of the famous Myanmar circular railway which takes 3 hours in total to travel around the neighbourhoods of this city.

Traditional fishing methods on Inle Lake

Our second destination required a short domestic flight into the interior of Myanmar to Heho, from where we would travel to Inle Lake our second destination. Before arriving at Inle we stopped for a couple hours at the magnificent teak monastery of Shweyanpyay. In truth we were only supposed to spend a short while here, but there was a festival on and the light in the monastery was beautiful for photographs of the locals and monks based there. Eventually we made our way to the Lake.

Teak monastery of Shweyanpyay.
Village of Maing Tauk on the Lake Inle

Lake Inle is an amazing place. A large lake surrounded by gentle rolling hills, villages built on stilts in the lake, floating gardens of vegetables staked by bamboo poles to anchor them and to stop them floating away, fishermen working away on the lake using traditional methods of fishing and rowing their boats using their legs. Small narrow boats being the method of transport. We stayed in a small hotel of about 6 chalets, which were excellent with plenty of room, and a fantastic restaurant adjacent. Inle Lake was a true highlight for me. From the lake we visited some of the local villages, monasteries, pagodas, and local craft workshops.

Some of the sights around Inle Lake

Our next destination of Mandalay required another short domestic flight from Heho. In Mandalay we visited a gold leaf workshop, markets, monasteries and pagodas, had lunch served to us by nuns and took a boat trip on the Irrawaddy River. We also traveled in a traditional horse and carriage to the wooden Bagaya Monastery renowned for its extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings.


The highlight of Mandalay though was seeing the sunset over the U Bein Bridge from a boat on the lake. This legendary bridge was built in 1782 when Amarapura was the Royal center of attention. It spans 1.2 km across the shallow Taungthaman Lake and is said to be the longest teakwood bridge worldwide.

U Bein Bridge

Our final destination was Bagan which was a 250km trip by mini bus from Mandalay. Our trip was an interesting one with stops along the way for famous sights the most impressive of which was Mount Popa. Bagan came across as a vast green flat land populated by over 2,000 pagodas, monasteries, temples and stupas. What was amazing was our early morning balloon ride over the landscape and gave us magnificent views over the countryside.

Ballooning over Bagan with Oriental Balloons

There were other great sights too, a visit to a lacquer workshop to see how they make these beautiful items. A market around the Shwezigon Pagoda and the pagoda itself. A cruise at sunset on the Irrawaddy River. A lovely private afternoon high tea on an upper terrace of a secluded temple in the middle of shrub-land, prepared for us by our lovely guide Jo and his team.


Unfortunately all good things come to an end and from Bagan we flew back to Yangon for 1 last day before our long flights home. But for me it was an amazing trip with good friends that has provided me with memories for a lifetime and a few photographs to remind me of this great trip.

Created By
Shay Farrelly
All photographs are the work of Shay Farrelly and he has copyright over them.

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