View over Bagan, Myanmar

At A Glance

  • Digital Photography : Myanmar
  • Last organized in 2015
  • Leisurely Touring
  • Maximum Group Size: 12 persons
  • Landcost: US$6,880
  • Single Supplement: US$1,240
  • Luxury Accommodation

Itinerary Brief

  • Arrive Yangon
  • Yangon
  • Inle Lake
  • Mandalay
  • Amarapura
  • Bagan
  • Mount Popa
  • Depart Yangon

Extended Travel

Myanmar in Focus Photography Tour

How do we develop a personal vision? With the advent of digital photography, everyone has become a "photographer" yet there are few who really see and create images that are compelling and dynamic. In this course, we will work with each participant to help them develop his or her unique vision; the workshop will culminate in a collection of images that will be visual gifts to us all.

There are two separate but interrelated processes: the first is being both conscious of what we choose to include in our viewfinder and of course, what we choose to exclude. We will learn to see the subtleties of light Mark Tuscman Myanmar Photo Tour Leaderand consider aspects of composition and gestures into making compelling images that express our unique points of view.   Secondly, once we have captured an image that speaks to us, what enhancements can we make using the tools of digital photography to either augment or transform the image so it coincides with the intention we had when we chose to click the shutter?

The destinations in Burma for this trip have been chosen to provide maximum visual possibilities.

In the pre-introductory meeting, we will review each participant's work, give feedback, and optionally, have each person write a short paragraph or two on what they like about photography, what is their purpose in making images and what are the themes that they want to express in their work. In the meeting after our trip to Burma we will review the images created. Each participant will be asked to pick between 6-10 of their favorite images to be discussed in a friendly critique (for participants not in the SF Bay Area, this work will be done over the Web).

Guatemala Global Health Project (Mark Tuschman)

The varied and unique landscapes of Inle Lake and Bagan will be balanced by our authentic people-to-people encounters during this twelve-day exploration of Myanmar. Here are among of the gentlest people in the world and we'll attempt to capture their warm endearing spirit and deep Buddhist beliefs, including spending time with novice to graduate-level monks. We will also visit two projects in the country whose work are focused on women's issues and empowerment.

Maximum group size on this trip is eight persons for a more intimate experience and that Mark may provide significant level of attention to each photographer. Accommodations are at the country's finest luxury hotels, including the Orient Express Governor's Residence in Yangon.

Mark Tuschman is a professional documentary photographer most recently focusing on issues surrounding women and girls in Africa, India and Latin America, including women's rights, both in reproductive health care, microfinance and girl's education, in such diverse locales as Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. Mark was recently awarded Global Health Council Photographer of the Year for 2009-2010.

In the last two years Mark has visited rural India as part of a long term project to document women’s and young girls’ lack of autonomy over their own lives. An exhibition of this project, India: Child Brides, Dowry Abuse and Girls’ Education, took place at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco and was co-sponsored by Educate Girls. Please view images from this project in Mark's India Web Gallery and interview on YouTube.

Mark Tuschman's blog and photos can be found here:

Mark also loves doing landscape photography, with work featured in a rangefinder publication:

For a full range of Mark Tuschman's work, please visit:

View Myanmar Photography Tour Itinerary      Tour Sign Up

Vietnam & Angkor Photography Tour

Vietnam & Angkor

Our last photography series tour of Vietnam & Angkor concentrated on places providing exceptional photography opportunities, including the stoic capital, Hanoi, two days on Halong Bay, colorful hilltribes and the high-mountain vistas in North Vietnam around Sapa, and the emerald-green rice paddies and unique river culture of the Mekong Delta.

In Cambodia, the now bustling capital city of Phnom Penh was visited, and the tour culminated in shooting at what was the center of a great civilization, the grand temples of Angkor.

View some of the the images taken by participants on the trip here: Vietnam & Angkor Images Gallery.


Myanmar Photography Tour

February 20

Mandalay Monk

Bangkok to Yangon, Yangon to Mandalay

After arrival Yangon International Airport (RGN), proceed to ground floor visa kiosk for visa processing (first-come, first-served), and after retrieving luggage, clear immigration (visa-on-arrival authorization required*), and meet escort in terminal and after introductions, transfer to domestic terminal for domestic flight to Mandalay.

Mandalay, the historic old capital that remains the spiritual capital of Myanmar. It is also where traditional arts and crafts are centered, rich with historical sites, cultural memorials and Buddhist monuments which we will begin to explore after arrival. At dusk, we'll trek up Mandalay hill providing panoramic views over the palace and river, an ideal location for stunning landscape shots. In the evening, sightseeing in central Mandalay and orientation dinner featuring the unique blend of local Indian, Burmese and Chinese culinary influences. (D)

*Visa-on-arrival authorization is required in advance of arrival (arranged by Indochina Travel)

Mandalay Hill View

February 21

Silver Smith Mandalay

Mandalay & Amarapura

At dawn, sightseeing by car and boat outside Mandalay, visiting the former royal capital of Amarapura and strolling along nearby U Bein Bridge, a striking 200 year-old bridge and the longest teak one in the world. Although little is left of the old capital, Amarapura is today known for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting, an we'll pause to engage and watch local artisans in their craft.

Midday, return for lunch and sightseeing in central Mandalay, including notable temples, arts and crafts shops, and galleries, including Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwe Inbin Monastery, and Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings; Kuthodaw Pagoda, renowned for its stone slabs of the Buddhist scriptures, and local galleries (Maharnadi) and artisans, including highly-regarded gold-leaf producers and silversmiths.

Dinner and accommodation in Mandalay. (B,L)

Although Mandalay is well known for its literary fame from a colonial-era past, the city itself is largely newer construction. In the 1980s, the city was hit by two major fires that destroyed tens of thousands of buildings and much of the central area of the city are buildings erected since that time. Many of the recent inhabitants are also new, an estimated 300,000 ethnic Chinese have recently made the city their home.

February 22

Inle Lake Tour

Mandalay to Inle Lake

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, return to Mandalay airport for a short flight into the mountains of the Shan state (30 minutes by air). After arrival at Heho airport, continuing overland into the picturesque Inle basin. Following lunch overlooking the waters, we'll begin a half-day cruise over the lake, admiring and photographing the famous fisherman rowing in their one-legged style. Our boat will glide between the stilted homes of villages, and we'll pause to explore on foot as well. In the late afternoon, enjoying sunset on the lake before dinner. (B,L)

Aureum Inle Resort

Inle Lake, located nearly one thousand meters above sea level is nearly sixty miles long over three main bodies of water and with over two hundred villages noted for their unique stilt houses and "floating islands" over the water. Highlights in this tranquil setting include fisherman rowing in the one-legged style and the rich tapestry of hilltribes in the region.

Inle Lake is one of the most fascinating places in Southeast Asia, featuring beautiful natural landscapes and man made ones, including the striking "floating islands" if the Intha tribe who grow crops on buoyant beds water hyacinth (primarily tomatoes) and build their homes on stilts over the water. Please see our Inle Lake page for more on this special place.

Myanmar Photography Tour Inle Lake

February 23 & 24

Inle Lake

Inle Lake Home

We'll spend two full days exploring sublime Inle Lake, featuring the most fascinating natural and man made landscapes in all of Myanmar. We'll rise at dawn to capture fisherman rowing in the eccentric one-legged style, passing villages built over the water on stilts with their unique, vertical floating islands on which they raise tomatoes and other crops. Also exploring the Nan Pan "5-day market," and Indein, a village popular for it's collection of 17th century pagodas.

We'll also visit with and learn the differing customs and lifestyles of the Intha, Pa'o, and Palaung people who inhabit the lake area, as well as the Padaung, or "long-necks," learning about the unique custom of neck rings.

Each day, rising at dawn to witness fisherman rowing in the eccentric one-legged style; passing villages built over the water on stilts with their unique, "floating islands" and cruising by boat to visit villages, cottage industries, including one with women of the famous Padaung hill tribe. Here, local workshops also produce paper and traditional crafts we'll observe before visiting Indein, a village with hundreds of ruins scattered among the vegetation. We will also stop into to visit a local daycare, high school and monastery of the Intha tribe who inhabit the lake. Also exploring the Nan Pan "5-day market," and Indein, a village known for it's collection of 17th century pagodas, meeting with village elders, local families, and monks.



One morning, by preference, visiting the Inle Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary at sunrise, an area established in 1985 for the safety of migratory birds and their habitat. To date, 254 bird species have been recorded, including the rare Jerdon's Bushchat and Sarus Crane (the best time for viewing migratory birds is from December to May). (B,L)

We recommend dinner at the nearby Inle View Resort (about 1/2 mile south of the Pristine Lotus)

The Nan Pan Market, large and bustling, where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of produce from the lake but the real attraction at the market are the variety of hilltribes in the area who come to trade, including the Palaung, Pao, and striking Padaung ("long-necks") who collect their home-made products and come to trade and sell, traveling in boats to the market while others by land.

Interestingly, the Padaung are actually a Mongolian tribe who have been assimilated into the larger Karen ethnic group. The Padaung only number several thousand, but attract a lot of interest for their practice of neck stretching. The custom is more than just a rare and certainly strange expression of beauty — the number and value of the rings confers status and respect on the wearer's family. The process begins when girls or around five or six, then continues with successive ring being added every two years. Padaung women can wear up to 45 pounds of the heavy brass rings around their necks.

The Palaung hilltribe (not the Padaung long necks), common in the Inle area, derive their income from tea. It is said that about five hundred years ago the King of Shan state demanded tribute from the Palaung, who being animist, tribal and living a subsistence life could offer nothing. The king gave them tea and taught them how to cultivate it and today it is their cash crop. In recent history, the area was ideal for growing poppies for opium cultivation, but almost all growers have converted to other specialty crops unique to the high-altitude area, such as mandarin oranges, bananas, and tea (local Tea shops are typically the center of life and social activity in any town and a good place to sample the local product)

February 25

Bagan Monks

Inle to Bagan

After a leisurely breakfast watching the sunrise over the lake, we'll enjoy a final cruise on the lake before returning to Heho Airport for our short flight to Bagan.

Henri Yule, one of the first Westerners to see Bagan in 1855 wrote in his reflections: "The whole, as seen from the river, might pass for a scene in another planet, so fantastic and unearthly was the architecture."

You will savor this same view from above as we descend over the Bagan plain. After arrival, transfer to hotel and as the day wanes exploration of Bupaya, a Pyu-style stupa which is located on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River. At dusk, enjoy refreshments at resort while the sun sets over the temple plain. (B,L)

Aye Yar River View


Bagan was the capital of Burma for two and a half centuries (1044-1286 A.D.) under which a dynasty of temple-builders, the kingdom of Bagan became strong and powerful. During this period an estimate 4.500 temples were built of which just over 2,000 survive, spread over 40 square kilometers. Several of these monuments are still highly venerated by the population, and attract numerous pilgrims and devotees from all over the country, particularly at festival times. Obviously worthy of designation, as far back as 1996 UNESCO has attempted to designate Bagan a World Heritage site but has not succeeded in garnering cooperation from the government.

Myanmar Photo Tour - Bagan

February 26 & 27

Balloons over Bagan


During the next two days, exploring and photographing the ruins. At dawn, we'll enjoy spectacular views, photographing as the sun rises over the plain.

During our sightseeing tour of one of Asia's most renowned archaeological sites, visiting several of Bagan’s distinctive pagodas including Ananda Pagoda, one of the finest, largest and best preserved in Old Bagan, and next to it, Ananda Ok Kyaung, one of the few surviving brick monastery buildings from the Early Bagan period. Also Thatbyinnyu, Sulamani, 11th-century Shwezigon Pagoda , and Wetkyi-in- Gubyaukgyi , a 13th century ‘cave temple with interesting fine frescoes. We'll also visit the walled ruins of Old Bagan and local villages near the plain.

Balance of our days visiting primary or secondary temples, including the distinctive Dhammayangyi Pahto, a massive, later period temple with the finest brickwork in Bagan. As the sun goes down, At sunset, we'll commence a scenic boat ride on the Irrawaddy upstream, views on board. (B,L)

February 28

Myanmar Photo Tour Mandalay

Bagan to Yangon

This day, a final morning of sunrise shooting before returning to the resort for breakfast. Balance of day photographing temples and after lunch, brief time to relax before we board our flight to Yangon.

In the afternoon, strolling over to nearby Scott Market for our first glimpse of the busy city. The historic market, a sprawling 80 year-old complex is noted for its variety of handicrafts and other items from throughout the country. After freshening up, we'll enjoy dinner in town and then continue strolling the downtown area at night. (B,L)

At the moment, Yangon does not have many international restaurants. Top options include Le Planteur, offering pleasant tropical garden dining, the 50th Street bistro, Indian at Coriander Leaf (near the Governors) or sophisticated Thai at Sabai Sabai.

 Governor's Residence

March 1


Our last full day of exploring and photographing will be spent in the aged Yangon, where shanty towns front gleaming new office towers. Locations include rising at dawn to visit the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most sacred pagoda, well before the tour buses arrive. Also Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda, a colossal reclining Buddha; and the National Museum, rich with an abundance of artifacts and cultural exhibits of Myanmar, followed by exploration of Botataung Pagoda which retains many ancient relics.

Shwedagon Pagoda

Afterwards, lunch in Chinatown and in the afternoon, driving to the Bahan Township for a glimpse of rural Yangon and to visit the Myanmar Women's Development Association focused on education and training for women while providing for health care and other needs.

In the evening, we'll enjoy our farewell dinner with live, traditional musical performance. (B,L,D)

Yangon (Rangoon) is the largest city in Myanmar, with over four million inhabitants. Located in the Irrawaddy delta, it is surrounded by water on three sides. A legacy of the British presence in remains in structures that were built between the mid-19th century and the outbreak of World War II in 1940. Some Yangon hotels are located in old renovated buildings, including the Strand Hotel and Governors. The well-known Strand Hotel built in 1901 was at one time along with the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, was one of the top Hotels in Southeast Asia. Restored and furbished with some modern-day amenities, the Strand still retains some original fittings such as teak wainscoting, ceiling fans, marble bathrooms, canopied beds and Burmese works of art.

March 2

Depart Yangon

After farewell breakfast with escort staff and Mark Tuschman, return to airport for international flight home through Bangkok, Singapore or Taipei. Also, consider extending your trip out to the white sands of Ngapali beach, the southern Thai Islands or exploring the magnificent temples at Angkor. We can also arrange for a delightful city tour of Bangkok en route to Yangon or following this trip. (B)


Burmese Days

The classic colonial-era novel by George Orwell. “The Quiet American” for Myanmar, a historical drama about the British colonial period. "Imagine crossing E.M. Forster with Jane Austen. Stir in a bit of socialist doctrine, a sprig of satire, strong Indian curry, and a couple quarts of good English gin and you get something close to the flavor of George Orwell's intensely readable and deftly plotted Burmese Days. In 1930, Kyauktada, Upper Burma, is one of the least auspicious postings in the ailing British Empire--and then the order comes that the European Club, previously for whites only, must elect one token native member. This edict brings out the worst in this woefully enclosed society, not to mention among the natives who would become the One.

Orwell mines his own Anglo-Indian background to evoke both the suffocating heat and the stifling pettiness that are the central facts of colonial life: "Mr. MacGregor told his anecdote about Prome, which could be produced in almost any context. And then the conversation veered back to the old, never-palling subject--the insolence of the natives, the supineness of the Government, the dear dead days when the British Raj was the Raj and please give the bearer fifteen lashes. The topic was never let alone for long, partly because of Ellis's obsession. Besides, you could forgive the Europeans a great deal of their bitterness. Living and working among Orientals would try the temper of a saint."

Indochina Travel comments: "Were the colonial British really that uptight? Evidently, for Orwell served for five years in Myanmar as a police officer.  His very first novel and a classic. Good backdrop of the country’s colonial period from the one of the strongest critics of Britain’s colonial past. This fictional story reads very much as if they were Orwell's personal experiences during his five years in the country" ~Doug Graham

[Amazon Link]

The River of Lost Footsteps

By Thant Myint-U (grandson of former UN Secretary-General U Thant) . "In The River of Lost Footsteps, Thant Myint-U tells the story of modern Burma, in part through a telling of his own family’s history, in an interwoven narrative that  is by turns lyrical, dramatic, and appalling. His maternal grandfather, U Thant, rose from being the schoolmaster of a small town in the Irrawaddy Delta to become the UN secretary-general in the 1960s. And on his father’s side, the author is descended from a long line of courtiers who served at Burma’s Court of Ava for nearly two centuries.

Through their stories and others, he portrays Burma’s rise and decline in the modern world, from the time of Portuguese pirates and renegade Mughal princes through the decades of British colonialism, the devastation of World War II, and a sixty-year civil war that continues today and is the longest-running war anywhere in the world."

Indochina Travel Comments: "I met Thant at a book reading in San Francisco and was immediately taken by his story. Exceptionally well written, scholarly while entertaining. Covering Burma's past and present. A perfect introduction to the country. The most recent and complete history of Myanmar, and the region, set against Thant’s own family history. " ~Patrick Morris

[Amazon Link]

The Glass Palace

Rising Indian writer Ghosh's epic novel of Burma and Malaya over a span of 115 years is the kind of "sweep of history" that readers can appreciate, even love, despite its demands. There is almost too much here for one book, as over the years the lives and deaths of principal characters go flying by. Yet Ghosh (The Calcutta Chromosome; Shadow Lines) is a beguiling and endlessly resourceful storyteller, and he boasts one of the most arresting openings in recent fiction: in the marketplace of Mandalay, only the 11-year-old Indian boy Rajkumar recognizes the booming sounds beyond the curve of the river as English cannon fire.

The year is 1885, and the British have used a trade dispute to justify the invasion and seizure of Burma's capital. As a crowd of looters pours into the fabled Glass Palace, the dazzling throne room of the nine-roofed golden spire that was the great hit of Burma's kings, Rajkumar catches sight of Dolly, then only 10, nursemaid to the Second Princess. Rajkumar carries the memory of their brief meeting through the years to come, while he rises to fame and riches in the teak trade and Dolly travels into exile to India with King Thebaw, Burma's last king; Queen Supayalat; and their three daughters.

The story of the exiled king and his family in Ratnagiri, a sleepy port town south of Bombay, is worth a novel in itself, and the first two of the story's seven parts, which relate that history and Rajkumar's rise to wealth in Burma's teak forests, are marvelously told. Inspired by tales handed down to him by his father and uncle, Ghosh vividly brings to life the history of Burma and Malaya over a century of momentous change in this teeming, multi-generational saga."

Indochina Travel comments: "My favorite read on Myanmar." ~Mark Tuschman

[Amazon Link]

The Piano Tuner

By Daniel Mason. "In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning,

The Piano Tuner launches its protagonist into a world of seductive loveliness and nightmarish intrigue. And as he follows Drake’s journey, Mason dazzles readers with his erudition, moves them with his vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in the unbreakable spell of his storytelling."

Indochina Travel Comments: "Made into film as well. An extravagant if not contrived story of rescuing a piano in inner Burma during the colonial period. Engaging with vivid descriptions. Trivia note: Mason was in medical school when he wrote this." ~ Patrick Morris

[Amazon Link]

The Stone of Heaven

"Levy and Scott-Clark are excellent story tellers, and do they ever have a story to tell. Tracing the history of imperial green jade, or jadeite, they begin in the late 18th century with Chinese emperor Qianlong and 400 riveting pages later end in present day Myanmar. Along the way the reader is exposed to the unrestrained profligacy of the Chinese emperors and the equally unrestrained ignorance and arrogance of the British colonialists. There is scheming and plots within plots as players in the Chinese dynasties kill their own progeny to ensure a malleable emperor will succeed.

The plundering by the British of the old Imperial summer palace is shocking, and the primitive warfare of the Kachin in Burma is horrifying. Levy and Scott-Clark's descriptions put the reader right into the midst of the action: the writing is so effective that you can feel the clinging humidity of the Burmese jungle as 19th century British explorers plod along in search for the mines from whence the jadeite is extracted."

Indochina Travel Comments: "A semi-fictional story about Chinese emperors and the jade mines in Myanmar. Action adventure, but in-depth historical content and descriptions of the country. Muddled and trivial in some parts, nonetheless a rare chronicle of China and Myanmar's history in such detail." ~ Todd Hanson

[Amazon Link]

Golden Earth

By Norman Lewis

Like most travelers in Burma, Norman Lewis fell in love with the land and its people. Although much of the countryside was under the control of insurgent armies-the book was originally published in 1952-he managed, by steamboat, decrepit lorry, and dacoit-besieged train, to travel almost everywhere he wanted.

This perseverance enabled him to see brilliant spectacles that are still out of our reach, and to meet all types of Burmese, from District officers to the inmates of Rangoon's jail. All the color, gaiety, and charm of the East spring to life with this master storyteller.

[Amazon Link]

Burma : Rivers of Flavor

By Naomi Duguid.

Interspersed throughout the book's 125 recipes are intriguing tales from the author’s many trips to this fascinating but little-known land. One such captivating essay shows how Burmese women adorn themselves with thanaka, a white paste used to protect and decorate the skin. Buddhism is a central fact of Burmese life: we meet barefoot monks on their morning quest for alms, as well as nuns with shaved heads; and Duguid takes us on tours of Shwedagon, the amazingly grand temple complex on a hill in Rangoon, the former capital. She takes boats up Burma’s huge rivers, highways to places inaccessible by road; spends time in village markets and home kitchens; and takes us to the farthest reaches of the country, along the way introducing us to the fascinating people she encounters on her travels.


From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey

A Burmese Odyssey by Pascal Khoo Thwe (autobiography). The incredible and unlikely tale of a Padaung hilltribe boy who went on to become a rebel and eventually make his way to England to attend college. "In 1988 Dr John Casey, a Cambridge don visiting Burma, was told of a waiter in Mandalay with a passion for the works of James Joyce. Intrigued by this unlikely story, he visited the restaurant, where he met Pascal Khoo Thwe. The encounter was to change both their lives.

Pascal grew up as a member of the tiny, remote Kayan Padaung tribe, famous for their 'giraffenecked' or long-necked women. The Padaung practiced a combination of ancient animist and Buddhist customs mixed with the Catholicism introduced by Italian missionaries. Theirs was a dream culture, a world in which ancestors were worshiped and ghosts were a constant presence. Pascal was the first member of his community ever to study English at university. But in Burma, English books were rare, and independent thought was discouraged. Photocopies of the few approved texts would be passed from student to student, while tuition consisted of lecturers reciting essays that the students learned by rote."

Indochina Travel Comments: "My favorite book on Myanmar. Nobody should visit Inle before reading this biography. Wonderful descriptions of rural life in and around Inle Lake and the Shan State and struggle of the people during a time of revolution and upheaval." ~ Patrick Morris

[Amazon Link]

Myanmar Touring Map

Departure Notes

P R E  D E P A R T U R E
All visitors to Southeast Asia must be in possession of a valid passport, with at least 6 months unexpired validity from the date of your departure from the area. A visa or visa on arrival (VOA) must be obtained before entering Myanmar. Although Indochina Travel may facilitate the securing of visas, it is ultimately the responsibility of each individual traveler to ensure that they are in possession of any necessary and valid visa and/or documentation and Indochina Travel assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply.

When traveling in a developing country, preparation is our hedge against unexpected but common issues that may arise during a trip. Enclosed in your pre-tour packet is a Tour Guide booklet, which provides useful information about Myanmar and your tour, please read the enclosed documentation carefully to prepare for your trip. Despite careful prep era ti on and planning, please be prepared for events which may change our plans.

Note: Visas or visa authorization forms for Myanmar, Bhutan, China and Vietnam are required in advance of arrival (application and instructions mailed with preparation packet). A multiple-entry visa required for more than one entry into any of these countries. Cambodia and Laos visas are issued upon arrival (approximately US$25 and $35 respectively with one passport-sized photo for each). No visa is required for Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan or Singapore. Click here for more information on visas.

A I R  A R R A N G E M E N T S
Myanmar remains one of the few countries in Asia still using paper, not electronic tickets. If you have domestic air travel with us, your air tickets will be given to you by our staff, who will be at the airport in Yangon on the day of your arrival to join the Indochina Travel.

Due to airline restrictions luggage is limited to a weight of 20 Kilograms per person. Your passport, travel documents, jewelry, money, camera, fragile items and any medication should be hand-carried and not checked in. On domestic flights, each passenger is allowed one piece of hand luggage. When planning your packing, please bear in mind on your trip may be constantly on the go, staying in a new hotel at least every other day and you'll want to pack lightly for mobility and convenience as well as have a day pack for your van. Checked luggage is required by the local authorities to be at the airport two hours prior to your flight departure. If we are arranging check-in for you, then we need to arrange collection of all bags before your departure in order to complete all check in formalities for you. Please leave your luggage outside your cabin the evening prior to your departure or before 06:00 Saturday morning. Please remember to retain your travel documents and any hand baggage.

Some road conditions in Myanmar are still quite poor and traveling by car, bus, and bike can be bumpy. Most available cars and coaches are quite old and therefore not in perfect condition, however rest assured we will always do our utmost to arrange cars or buses of the best possible local quality available for your transfers and tours.

H E A L T H  &  I M M U N I Z A T I O N S
Malaria occurs throughout Myanmar, please take appropriate measures. While no immunizations are formally required, malaria prophylaxis is often recommended. As well as typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis vaccinations. Drink only bottled or boiled water and food should not be purchased from sidewalk vendors. Insect repellent should be brought, especially up-country and in wooded areas. Recent news articles have mentioned a general increase in Dengue fever risk in SE. Asian countries. All travelers are required to have medical-evacuation insurance. Hospitals in Myanmar are inadequate for advanced medical care. Although a few private clinics may provide emergency care, in the event of serious illness or injury, medical evacuation to Bangkok or Singapore will be recommended.

 E M E R G E N C I E S 
Indochina Travel is the only touring company to provide International SOS Emergency evacuation insurance. Since 1998 we have experience using their emergency clinics and have used their private jet emergency evacuation services a few times. Although guides and local managers are trained in the procedures of working with SOS in the event of an emergency, travelers may also contact International SOS independently and use our contract number MEMBERSHIP #: 12148-B. Click to view [International SOS Alarm Centers and Clinics in Asia]

M O N E Y  M A T T E R S 
Important! Plan to bring enough US cash for your trip (in mint-condition bills), there are no ATM machines, credit cards are not widely accepted, and foreign currencies (other than US dollars) and travelers checks are not accepted in Myanmar. If you intend shopping for souvenirs, you will need to ensure that you are carrying sufficient US Dollars in small denomination notes that are in mint condition. Only payment for extra charges in larger hotels may be made by Visa and MasterCard. Payment for extra charges at the Governors Residence may be made by Visa or MasterCard (Note: American Express is not accepted in Myanmar nor much of Asia). On tour your expenses will be limited to visa on arrival fees (US$25), some meals, souvenirs, airline departure fees, and gratuities (about $20-50 per day for your guide, about half that for your driver). Myanmar currency is known as the 'kyat' (pronounced 'chaat'). The official rate is about six kyat to the dollar but the market rate is far higher at around 995 to one USD as of Feb, 2010. Dollars may be changed into kyat at the local market rate. Major hotels and a few restaurants will charge in USD but most other expenses in Myanmar will be in kyats.

Your mobile phone will not work in Myanmar. An inexpensive, international handset may be rented at an airport kiosk in Yangon upon arrival. The rental service, Yadanarpon Teleport, is located within the airport terminal where mobile phones with international capability may now be rented as well as GSM SIM cards* for your own handset (note that you may not currently use international roaming in Myanmar). Current rental rates from this vendor as of September, 2011 are $4/day for phone and $2/day for domestic SIM card, in additional to pre-paid cards from US$12 to $50 for international. Coverage is quite good along the "classic" route (not remote areas).

Internet is widely available at hotels with decent bandwidth, but is unreliable in remote areas. Please plan accordingly.

Electricity in Yangon and most of Myanmar is 220-230V. Electric power sockets come in varieties, including two round pins, English three-prong and round three-prong with dual US style outlets. Your Kindle, camera, laptop or other device should automatically accept 220v, but check your adapter fine print. Sporadic power outages are common.

W H A T  TO  W E A R
Light clothing is adequate for Yangon and most low land tourist areas. High elevations around Inle Lake may reach near freezing at night during the 'winter' season but is usually pleasant during the day. Travelers should bring appropriate cold weather clothing. Revealing clothing is not welcome in this conservative and largely Buddhist culture. When visiting religious shrines and temples, modest dress is required and easily removable footwear is recommended since such sacred grounds must be visited only in bare feet (no socks). A sarong is handy for covering up before entering religious sites. Bring a hat and sunglasses, and umbrella for rainy season.

W H A T  T O  E X P E C T
This is not a luxury tour of Tuscany, but hopefully why you have come — for an authentic, deep cultural experience in a country closed off to the world for decades. You will be very safe, always looked after, and expect wonderful service, comfortable and a typically pleasant if not exceptional trip. However, Myanmar remains a primitive, undeveloped country with the inconveniences are random issues that arise with travel in such places.

F R E Q U E N T L Y  A S K E D  Q U E S T I O N S
Is Myanmar safe for travel?
Very much so. Our past travelers always cite how warm and friendly the Burmese are one of their strongest impressions. Past tragic events associated with political unrest have been largely centered in Yangon and have never affected travelers. Almost all of our travel is in remote areas in the central part of the country, places tourists have visited for decades without any issues. Rather, almost every traveler on our Myanmar tours has been struck how tranquil the country is and how warm and gracious the Burmese are to visitors and whose hospitality we've been enjoying since 2001. We'd be happy to put you in contact with our past travelers for their impressions.

What is the weather like? 
Daytime temperatures can reach the high 70s between September through December. In January through April, temperatures steadily climb and at lower elevations we can expect 80 to 90s F. Higher elevations like Kalaw Highlands and Inle Lake located at nearly 1,000 meters are temperate and cooler this time of year.

- For our private tours, all services, transport, sightseeing on private basis. 
- Comprehensive pre-tour packet, including medical and health information, visa applications, destination details and other trip information.
- All airport transfers per itinerary on private basis (Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore by prior arrangement only). 
- Professional English-speaking guides and dedicated in-country tour manager.
- 24-hour concierge and support services provided by local regional office and tour manager.
- Meals according to itinerary (recommendations, reservations, and transport provided by request).
- Airlines specified in the itinerary, except when noted. Air tickets delivered in-country or e-ticket confirmation number noted on itinerary. 
- Ground transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle (complimentary cold towels and drinking water).
- Sightseeing per itinerary including all services, transport, admission, and other related fees.
- Accommodation per itinerary. Note: the quality of local hotels ("4-star or boutique" or lesser) in Southeast Asia may not meet international standards. Indochina Travel does not warrant nor bears any responsibility for the condition of any such properties, without exception. 
- Emergency air evacuation services coverage in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia through SOS International (membership no: 012148B).  Please note: Indochina Travel assumes no responsibility for services provided by International SOS.
- 24-hour office support.
- Traditional hand-made souvenir.

N O T  I N C L U D E D
- International or regional airlines not specified in itinerary. 
- International and domestic airport tax (US$12-24 per person). Airline fuel increases and other air travel-related surcharges.
- Visas and fees unless specified (visa issued in advance required for Bhutan, Myanmar and Vietnam). 
- Trip cancellation insurance (required). Click to Request a quote.
- Items of personal nature, including laundry and telephone.
- Gratuities (customary).
- Electable changes to confirmed itinerary, including hotel, room class, airlines, services, activities, and any other alterations (any itinerary changes are subject to cancellation, change and other fees).
- Caveat emptor. The purchase and import of goods is a top complaint about travel in the region. Traveler assumes all responsibility for the purchase and import of souvenirs, objet d'art, goods as well as services during their trip. Without exception, Indochina Travel will not accept any responsibility, in any way, for any services or items purchased by a traveler during their trip, regardless of implied or direct staff recommendations or endorsement. 
- Adjustments to itinerary are at additional expense, whether elective or other events beyond the control of Indochina Travel, including delayed or canceled flights, hotel maintenance, adverse weather conditions, and illness.

No doubt you will be moved by the wonderful people you meet along the way. many who live in poverty. It may be hard not to feel compelled to give something, but think about doing so will change the dynamic of your people encounters and those who follow you. If you do feel compelled to give, we recommend pens, simple to carry with you, useful and beyond the budget of most families. We never encourage giving money, candy or the like. For giving before or after your trip, we recommend these charities.

From the Land of Green GhostsG O O D  B O O K?
We'll send you a reading list, but start with this one and there are two others below. Our tour begins in Inle, home to the Padaung ("long-necks") and one of our favorite reads is From the Land of Green Ghosts, written by a Pascal Khoo Thwe, born into a Padaung tribe who's life's odyssey lead him to a graduating college in England.

Pascal does provides a concise history of Myanmar in his book, for a comprehensive and contemporary book, the standout is The River of Lost Footsteps by Thant Myint-U, which like Pascal's book details a vivid personal history. The classic colonial-era read is Burmese Days by George Orwell, the "Quiet American" for Myanmar. Orwell spent five years in Myanmar working as a policeman for the British government.

T E R M S  &  C O N D I T I O N S
Please note our Term and Conditions apply to all bookings and tours [READ TERMS AND CONDITIONS]

L O C A L  C O N T A C T S

No.15, 6th Floor Nawaday Street 
Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: (951) 371-935/6 & (951) 255-723/724/725
Fax: (951) 371-935, press ext 21
Manager: Douglas Graham, Mobile (959) 506-3248 (24-hours)
[in country, dial: 09 506 3248] 
Aung Naing, Mobile (959) 500-1620  [in country: 09 500 1620] 
Han Su, Mobile (959) 541 9226 [in country: 09 541 9226]

Manthana Village Soi 9/14, Prawet District, 
Bangkok 10250 Thailand. 
Tel: (66 2) 3466119, 3466120 
Fax: +66 2 3467245 (24/7) 
Ms. Ruay Kwantongthum, Tour Manager ( 24-hour): (66-81) 455-9990 
Mr. Supakorn Saripha, Managing Director (66-81) 797-1722 (24-hour)

Laos Mr. Chitthavone (Chit) Philavanh | Managing Director 
107 Nongxai, Luang Prabang 
Tel: (856-20) 5577-1646 Fax: (856-71) 5254675 Mobile: (856 20) 5577-1646 (24-hour)

Phnom Penh 
128 Norodom Blvd, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, 
Khan Chamkar Mon
Phom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
Tel: [855-23] 218 356 / 218 396
Fax: [855-23] 210 418 / 218 398
Emergency Contact (24-hours):
Outside Cambodia (855) 17 444 554 
Inside Cambodia 017 444 554 
Tour Manager: Jason Blackwell (855) 99 718 695 (mobile)

Hanoi, Vietnam (Headquarters)
No 8/67 Thai Thinh Street
Tel: [84-4] 3562-6665 (8AM to 6PM, M-F, Vietnam hours)
Fax: [84-4] 3853-7920 (24-hour)

Ms. Hien Truong, Managing Director 
Mobile (24-hour): [84-91] 324-8542 

C O N T A C T  U S !
With 20 years experience in Indochina, we know our stuff! Please contact us with any questions you may have, either in our San Francisco reservations office at (415) 731-4377 or our headquarters in Hanoi at 011 (84-4) 3562-6665.

Why choose Indochina Travel? We take you to places, organize experiences, and introduce you to local people that no one else does. Whether celebrating an anniversary or planning a family journey, our journeys offer unforgettable experiences in Myanmar, the Land of Gold.

Read on to plan your perfect Myanmar tour? Contact us by clicking below or calling us in San Francisco at (415) 731-4377.