Myanmar Photo Tour – Kyaw Kyaw Winn
Journey to the Lost City
Feb 15 – 28, 2018
Designed & Led by 3-Time Myanmar Photographer of the Year,
Kyaw Kyaw Winn
Hotels: 4 & 5 Star (best available in Mrauk U & Sittwe)
Golden Rock + Hpa An Buddha Caves 5-Day/4 Night Extension Option – $2195(3 pax minimum)
Highlights: Magical Inle Lake & Intha Fishermen – The Lost City of Mrauk U – Remote “Tattoo Tribes” of Rakhine – The Mandalay Array – Irrawaddy River Cruise to Mingun – Hot Air Balloon over Bagan – Shwedagon Pagoda – The Wonderful People of Myanmar!
Kyaw Kyaw Winn is a 3-time Myanmar Photographer of the Year and winner of over 500 local and international photography awards, including the Smithsonian’s grand prize for photography. As uniquely special as Myanmar travel photography is, what makes this photo tour even more special is the gentleman who will be leading you. With professional knowledge, insight, patience, good humor and overall generosity of spirit, K.K.’s effect on his participant’s photography is not only inspirational, but often transformational as well. For evidence of this, please see it in his participant’s own words below.
The goal of any Luminous Journeys Myanmar photo tour workshop – and it’s an earnest one – is to deliver everything you need and more to have one of, if not THE greatest travel photography experiences of your life. No hype. A key aspect of this, and often the highlight of the trip, is taking you off the beaten path to places the competition is neither willing or able to.
For Luminous Myanmar, the place is the “lost city” of Mrauk U. Not only does the ancient, dynastic kingdom offer its otherworldly collection of some 700 unique, and often jungle clad temples, but also the rare opportunity to photograph three vanishing Chin “tattoo tribes”, who live along the Lay Myo river.
Myanmar photo tours are uniquely hard to beat. High impact image making opportunities abound in Iconic Myanmar’s “Big 4″ destinations, and you’ll be taken to inside locations at each. Free shoots will be generously mixed with model shoots, both impromptu and prearranged. K.K. doesn’t just settle for types of Myanmar images you see all over the internet these days, but is always looking for new angles and new ways of interpreting his country’s remarkable photogenics.
As with ALL our publicly available photo holidays, they are open to ALL skill levels. It’s not an issue mixing beginners, intermediates, advanced and even professionals, at least not with Luminous Journeys. Our guys look after you!
For more location information and a look at the itinerary, just hit the Game Plan tab above. For pricing & details, see Pricing & Details. If you have questions and you may well, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We promise a prompt response!
Luminous Myanmar Photo Tour, Feb 15 – 28, 2018
Feb 15: Yangon – Orientation – Shwedagon Pagoda & Environs
Feb 16: Yangon – Bagan – Novice Monastery – Temple-scapes
Feb 17: Bagan – Hot Air Balloon Aerials – Low Light Portraits – Sunset Temples
Feb 18: Bagan – Mandalay Array – Sunset @ U Bein Bridge
Feb 19: Mandalay Hill Sunrise Landscapes – River Cruise to Mingun – Temple Monks
Feb 20: Mandalay – Lake Inle – Novice Monastery – Fishermen Sunset
Feb 21: Lake Inle – Indein – Ruins of Nyaung Oak
Feb 22: Lake Inle – Sunrise of the Fishermen! – Sittwe – Local Bengali Village
Feb 23: Sittwe Fish Market Shoot – Riverboat to Mrauk U
Feb 24: Mrauk U – Fortress Temple Landscapes & Portraits
Feb 25: Mrauk U – Chin Vanishing ‘Tattoo Tribe’ Villages
Feb 26: Mrauk U Sunrise Temple-scape 2 – Sittwe – Yangon
Feb 27: Yangon – Circle Train – Novice Nunnery – Free Time – Farewell Dinner
Feb 28: Yangon – Departure Day
Feb 28 : Yangon – Golden Rock – Sunset at the Rock
March 1: Golden Rock Dawn – Hpa An Afternoon
March 2: Hpa An – Buddha Caves and Rice Paddies
March 3: Hpa An Sunrise w/ Karst Rock Formations – Buddha Caves
March 4: Hpa an Sunrise – Return Yangon w/ Photo Ops, arrive Yangon late afternoon)
*Note – All photo travelers will receive a detailed 40+ page photo travel info kit with detailed itinerary approximately 100 days prior to departure. (Visas are available only within 90 days of arrival).
Hotels: Kandawgyi Palace, Amazing Bagan, Eastern Palace, Golden Island Cottages, Narawat, Sule Shangri La. Best available in Sittwe. Extension hotel in Chin State: Mindat Hotel (new).
Yangon is best known for the golden magnificence of Shwedagon Pagoda and it’s crumbling British colonial architecture, much of it now under renovation. What most people miss is the intriguing street shooting opportunities around every corner. It’s people are as warm and welcoming as can be, once engaged. No other major city on earth opens up to a traveler more — especially one with a camera — than Yangon!
Bagan, one of the great archaeological sites of the world, once boasted a temple-scape of more than 13,000 temples, pagodas and zedis. 2,220 are still standing today. The site offers surreal panoramas, aerial shooting from hot air balloons, and some awe inspiring, beautifully preserved temple interiors. Low light and chiaroscuro portraits are awesome!
Mandalay is often given short shrift as just a dusty economic hub, is filled and surrounded with more than enough of interest to take up the entire two weeks! We call it the Mandalay Array, and will just touch on it here: Ornately carved teakwood monasteries; the longest teak bridge in the world for incredible sunsets and silhouettes; the ancient rock temple edifice at Mingun made famous by Steve McCurry in National Geographic; the 600 monasteries and nunneries of holy Sagaing perched above the Irrawaddy River; and the intriguing ruins and “leaning tower” of the ancient capital, Inwa. To name a few!
Inle Lake: Whatever you may have heard about magical Inle Lake is not hyperbole, even if the increase in floating garden farming has made it more of a canal system that the wide open lake it was a decade ago. There is just something so tranquil about the place that it seeps into your pores, and never really leaves you. Photo opportunities include the mysterious 1054 zedi ruins of Nyaung Oak, colorful floating markets and pagodas, and the ever photogenic Intha fishermen, who row their skiffs with one leg wrapped around a single oar.
Off the Beaten Path: The Lost City of Mrauk U is the stuff of legend. It was virtually unknown outside Asia in its prime; and remains so even now. It was as wealthy as Amsterdam or London by 1635, with a population of 160,000 including thousands of foreign traders, merchants & mercenaries. The Arakan Kings even employed Japanese Samurai as trusted bodyguards!
Legendary Photo Holidays Bonus: Mrauk U is included at no extra charge. Try that at Nat Geo, who not only charges an extra $3K for Mrauk U, but uses one of our guys’ — David Lazar– photos to promote it!
Brief History: The kingdom controlled vast coastal regions from western Myanmar well into eastern India, its reign lasting 354 years. When the city finally fell to the Bamar in 1784, it was abandoned and largely forgotten. Grand palaces, 19-miles of fortifications, and some 700 uniquely designed Buddhist temples were slowly swallowed by the jungle.Today the jungle is thick only with irony; these grand symbols of a once bustling Dynastic Capital serving as little more than an exotic backdrop for what is now a sleepy rural village. The world still doesn’t know it’s here. You do, and you’ll have the rare opportunity to photograph it with two Mrauk U veterans, who will also take you to visit a “vanishing tribe” of Chin people, whose women have adorned their faces with intricate tattoos for centuries. The practice is dying out. To find another photo tour that journeys to Mrauk U, please check our list of Myanmar photo tours.
Designed & Led by
Kyaw Kyaw Winn
Feb 15 – 28, 2018
$6495 (10 persons max*)
Single Supplement – $1100
Extension – $2295
Minimum Deposit – $1500
Program Director – Benn Stevens
Travel Director – Soe Soe Lwin
*4 person minimum to run this photo tour. If only 4, a $485 supplement will apply. The average number of participants for a K.K. Winn photo tour is 8.
Top Rated English speaking station guides
All Meals, except arrival/departure days
All in-country airfare, airport taxes, air porter fees
All transport, including airport welcome and send-off
All entrance, zone and camera fees
Model fees & “Set Donations” to Monasteries
Ample bottled water & refresh towels throughout
Donations to Luminous Journeys Charities
– international airfare
– Balloons over Bagan
– any private transportation
– trip/medical insurance
– medical expenses
– extra drinks or food
– personal purchases and services
– hotel porter or wait staff gratuities
– local driver/station guide gratuities
– Myanmar visa fee
– end-of-trip gratuities for photography tour leader
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Testimonials - K.K. Winn & Luminous Journeys Photo Tours
“I’ve been on quite a number of photo tours all over the world, and Luminous Journeys has been the best –BY FAR. Kyaw Kyaw Winn and the people of Myanmar will always be in my heart.” — Benny Hanigal, Israel
“I’m sitting in the airport lounge in Yangon waiting for departure to Bangkok. I just wanted to tell you that our tour was fabulous and the organization perfect and far beyond expectations. On top of all, we had the pleasure to meet KK, who is not only an exceptionally talented photographer but also a very empathetic and friendly person. To sum up: we are more than happy with your services and wanted to thank you personally and the Luminous team for all your efforts. We will certainly come back!” – Heini Rüdisühli, Switzerland
“I cannot think of a word in my own language that captures how great my photo tour workshop with KK (Kyaw Kyaw Winn) was. More than great, it was an honor and a privilege to work with such an outstanding photographer and wonderful teacher. He is always thinking ahead and working hard to make sure his clients get every opportunity to capture extraordinary photos of Myanmar, including going well beyond the postcard shots.
One surprising highlight for me how really funny some of our photo sessions turned out to be. KK has such a friendly and fun personality that sometimes he would make the people we were photographing laugh and laugh until tears came down everyone’s faces! I got caught in the laughter as well, even though I didn’t understand a word of Burmese!
I just love KK and it was such a big honour and unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Millions of thanks, and I can only repeat, I loved it soooooooooooo much!!!” – Kerstin Glassner, Germany
“There is simply nobody like K.K. Winn. His smile and laughter are infectious. We laughed so hard that our bellies hurt! We also captured phenomenal images in between! When KK smiles his eyes crinkle up and he his knees compress. I guess you could call this a whole body experience! KK you were the best possible guide we could ever of hoped for, but most of all I loved your joyous energy!” — Carolyn Angus, Judge Member – Canadian Association for Photographic Art
“Kyaw Kyaw Winn is the perfect manifestation of the Burmese ethos. He is a great photographer, yet humble, accommodating, adaptive, and a great human being to be around. During our trip I was amazed at how coolly and successfully he handled different personalities from around the world. K.K. Winn and Luminous Journeys gave us a fantastic opportunity to make great photographs day in and day out. This experience has definitely raised the bar for me.” — Sesh Sareday, USA, from his “Luminous Diary”
“We traveled with K.K. Winn on a two weeks photo tour last January. Great tour with a great photographer! We got the advantage of his vast experience from all over Myanmar, and he went the extra mile for us to succeed… And K.K. is blessed with good humor. Laughter was never far away. He gave inspiration to numerous exciting shooting possibilities, as well as ideas on useful camera settings in the various situations. We got a lot of interesting images from this trip, most of which would not have been possible from an ordinary photo tour. We will go with Kyaw Kyaw Winn again, no doubt about it! — Asbjorn Olsen, Norway
“I am always impressed when a company actively seeks feedback. The organisation during the photo tour was seamless & very impressive… KK & AP Soe are tremendous photographers and the standard of their work was amazing. There is no doubt this was the real deal. Care also was obviously taken over restaurant choice as none of our group was ill at all… Overall, this was a fantastic & memorable holiday – it is going to take me ages to sort out all the photographs!” – Steve S., United Kingdom
“It was a great photo tour. K.K. was really always there to show us how he sees things and his tips in taking a fantastic image. He would show us how he would approach a scene and was always willing to show us his compositions. He is truly one of the most genuine persons we have ever met. He really cared about how we were doing and made sure we learnt as much as possible. Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to your staff, especially K.K. They are truly professional and extremely helpful.” – Yvonne Ho and Andrew Chow, Canada
“Boothee [K.K. Winn’s assistant] is a warm, personable type who one quickly considers a friend. He was quick to attend to our every need and ensured a comfortable, pleasurable trip. His photographic skills are superb. His has excellent technical skills in all types/makes of camera and proved a valuable asset to our team.” – David Fleeger, USA
“I had the pleasure of travelling with Kyaw Kyaw Winn as part of a Luminous Journeys photo tour (Photographers Gone Wild, 2014, and again a year later on an LJ custom photo tour to more remote regions.) A humble, friendly and unassuming man, his enthusiasm always shone through with the joy and excitement of finding those conditions that could produce the perfect photograph. It was soon clear to all of us why he had won so many photographic awards. His local knowledge and contacts around the country proved invaluable throughout.” — K.S. Matharu, United Kingdom
“The photo trip was fantastic!! We had a great time! K.K. Winn and Boothie were extremely helpful and able to assist everyone with any issues that came up. They were genuinely interested in every one’s shooting experience, and did thier best to accommodate. Logistically, you guys were spot on….from the airport p/u to the transport and hotels, everything went very smoothly. The hotels were also very nice. We went with Luminous Journeys thinking of your local knowledge in Myanmar and we were right to have done so!” – Ralph Quinonez, USA
“A recent photo tour to Myanmar with Luminous Journeys constituted what one dreams about – the trip of a life time. Photo opportunities were spectacular! Our two Burmese photography guides – Kyaw Kyaw Winn and Boothie – were invaluable with their use of the native language combined with their photo skills. Hotels and meals were fully satisfying. I would recommend this adventure to anyone with an interest in Myanmar and photography!” – Wilfred Geshke, USA