10 Photogenic Locations in Myanmar

You are here for something more than great photos

Super friendly people make for candid portraits, thousands of pagodas make for postcard shots, these are the two most compelling reasons why Myanmar is a treasure trove for photographers.


Why You'll Love It

  • Being a tropical country, long daylight hours and camera-friendly lighting make it an easy catch for photographers of any skillset.
  • Being self-content and fully-devoted to their faith, Burmese people are by far the most friendly people that we've ever known and they are not camera-shy.
  • Modernization hasn't yet torn down its colonial buildings or pagodas, street photography opportunity lies at every corner.
  • Photography means something more when you are traveling with Gatsby who knows the best lighting, locations, angles and locals like no one else.

Top 10 Photography Locations in Myanmar/Burma

Amazing photos or videos online give you the very impetus and you've decided to come. Excited to be a stranger in a strange land and looking forwards to awesome photos. Making your way throughout the country is pretty much like a treasure hunt but you know you will definitely come home with plenty.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda is included in every trip to Myanmar for a good reason: every single angle is splendid for photography. Close up, get the details of the temple or facial expression of the locals during rituals; distant or from above, you take in the whole city under its magical glittering.

Yangon Streets

Here comes a plater of mixed cultures and lifestyles. You will see teenagers in ripped jeans walking alongside with monks in orange robes, vendors hawking while man in suit and tie passes by. Chaotic, vibrant, sharp and galloping, it's almost impossible not to clicker the shutter.

Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun

Across the Irrawaddy River by boat, you will reach the ancient town of Mingun. The all-white Hsinbyume Pagoda is somehow a bleak under the spotlight of Mingun Pagoda but make no mistake it is a must for sharp contrast photos with novices in red standing on the stairs.

Bagan's Temples

Bagan is the very place that you can easily waste 3 days without any regrets. It has so much to offer: temples at dawn and dusk and even during nighttime, humble villagers who'd pose for you and you can get inside the temples playing tricks of lights with novices modeling for you.

Villages & Villagers

If you ask where is the most interesting place in Myanmar? Our answer goes to its rural side. Riverfront villages outside of Yangon, humble dwellings amoung Bagan's pagodas and Inle Lake's floating houses, genuinely captivating masterpieces are inspired.

Train Station & Train Ride in Yangon

Yangon's Circular Train runs through the city, bringing people from countryside to the city. The best time to do the ride and photo is in the morning, when people are heading to work, school or market. The slow movement of the train isn't that bad for shooting and you will enjoy it for sure.

Mahagandayon Monastery in Mandalay

Lunchtime at Mahagandayon Monastery has become a thing for travelers in general. You don't see thousands of monks and nuns dining in silence every day and make sure you capture the ones that impress you the most. An early start is a must to take a good spot for shooting.

U Bein Bridge at Sunset

Sunset over the U Bein Bridge draws a huge flock of travelers to flood the river with their boats. During the dry season when the water is lower, we would bring our gears to an islet where you will get a wider angle of the bridge. You have one hour of shooting before the light is completely out.

Ethinc Minority's Life and Cultures

There are 135 ethnic minority groups living in Myanmar and you will likely encounter some of them in Bagan and Inle Lake. Aside from mobile phones, modern life has little impact on them, which will be exhilarating to capture some great moments of their daily life.

Life over the Water in Inle Lake

Literally everything in Inle Lake is eye-catching. Floating gardens, floating houses, fisherman rowing boat with only one leg, bustling overwater market and interesting handicraft. After all the overland landscapes, it's a nice change of vista. Running out of your memory cards seems inevitable.


Suggested Itinerary

Our photography tours are designed to facilitate professional photographers or shutterbugs' passion by scooping out the best locations and time of the best lighting. Here's an example how it goes:

  • Day-01: Mandalay Arrival
    No activities arranged.
  • Day-02: Mandalay
    Shooting: Morning ritual at Mahamuni Pagoda, lunchtime at Mahagandayon Monastery and sunset at Mandalay Hill.
  • Day-03: Mandalay
    Shooting: Hsinbyume Pagoda with novices modeling, Bargaya Monastery and U Bein Bridge at sunset.
  • Day-04: Mandalay to Bagan by Air
    Shooting: Nighttime shooting at Bagan's major temples.
  • Day-05 to 07: Bagan
    Shooting: Bagan temple complex and nearby villages.
  • Day-08: Bagan to Inle Lake by Air
    Shooting: Sunset photos with fishermen posing for you.
  • Day-09 to 12: Inle Lake
    Shooting: Indein Pagoda Complex, markets, villages and floating gardens by boat.
  • Day-13: Inle Lake to Yangon by Air
    Shooting: Colonial Area by walking, inside of The Strand's and sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda.
  • Day-14: Yangon
    Shooting: Yangon's Circular Train, local markets and streets.
  • Day-15: Yangon Departure
    End of our services.

For more details, please check out our itinerary: Enchantment Myanmar: Myanmar Photography Tour. And keep in mind that your taste decides how the trip goes and we have more ideas to make it your own photo workshop of a lifetime.

Start Planning Your Trip to Myanmar

Contact an expert in Myanmar that will support you 1-1 from the initial chat, itinerary design, and even on the trip.


Gatsby Tips for Photographers

Weather, lighting and equipments are the basics for photography. Although weather can sometimes be tricky in Myanmar, our local knowledge and resources provide us more options given the itinerary is flexible enough to coordinate with alternatives. Nevertheless, we have some tips before you set out.

  • The best time for photography falls during August to December. It rains a lot from August to October but the sky before and after the rainstorm is worthwhile. Longer daylight, better lighting, and less rain from November to December, always pleasant.
  • You will definitely need these gears: tripod, filters, wide-angle lens, power adaptor and lots of memory cards. Yes, traveling with big bags is no fun; normally we will go with a lens of something like 24-70mm.
  • Be mentally prepared for early mornings. The sun is up much much earlier, say 0400am to 0500am, and you will have at most one hour before it gets too bright. This, goes without saying, means you need to allow some rest time between sites and cities.
  • Burmese are fairly friendly and wouldn't mind being photoed. However, it never hurts to be culturally aware. Ask for permission before taking photos, especially for kids, monks and nuns.
  • Be in the moment. Allow yourself some time to get comfortable with the surrounding, finding good angle or talk to the villagers whom you are shooting. Soulful photos tell great stories and they can only be taken by a photographer with keen eyes and a kind heart.

After so many trips to Myanmar, welcome to a understanding that this country deserves to be known by more. Awe-inspiring photos can be one way, yet the most important thing is you get underneath the country's layers and be connected. Yes, this is exactly what makes a photography tour more than just taking great photos.

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