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!
Day 1 (Oct. 28):
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. 29):
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. 30):
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. 31):
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 (Nov. 1):
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 (Nov. 2):
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 (Nov. 3):
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 (Nov. 4):
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 (Nov. 5):
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 (Nov. 6):
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 (Nov. 7):
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 (Nov. 8):
Today we will explore Pintau, and shoot at different tribe villages, including the seldom-visited Silver Palaung. Overnight in Keng Tung.
Day 13 (Nov. 9):
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 (Nov. 10):
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 (Nov. 11):
Participants will be transferred to Yangon airport for departure flights out of Myanmar.