March 19th – 30th 2020
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) opened its doors to the world less than 10 years ago and we’ve been taking our travel club there ever since. From the bustling night markets and food stalls in the capital, to “The Land of 4 Million Pagodas” in Bagan, our 6 nights here will finish on the stunning Inle Lake, dotted with unique stilt villages, floating gardens, and arguably the most picturesque location in all of Myanmar! It’s time to keep exploring this country as much as possible before too many tourists taint the amazing culture, temples, people, & off the path adventures around every corner.
Next up, 5 nights in Northern Vietnam will take us through Hanoi, the country’s capital and cultural epicenter, the stunning countryside with valleys covered by ancient tribe’s bright green rice paddies among towering karst mountains, & a 3-day luxury cruise in Halong Bay to complete this once-in-a-lifetime journey the best way possible! The breathtaking secluded harbor has 2,000 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of the Bac Bo gulf. It is one of Vietnam’s most scenic regions and has been referred to as the eighth Wonder of the World. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind itinerary filled with the most authentic travel photography you’ll ever get!
* 11 nights/12 days of unforgettable Myanmar & Northern Vietnam
* Charming boutique hotels throughout
* Breakfast Everyday
* 7 Lunches & 7 Dinners Included
* 3 Domestic Flights INCLUDED! (Yangon –> Bagan / Bagan–> Inle Lake/ Inle Lake–> Yangon)
* 1 International Flight INCLUDED! (Myanmar –> Vietnam)
Myanmar (6 Nights)
“It’s a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.” – Lonely Planet
“Explore the gateway to Myanmar and the commercial & artistic hub. It’s Yangon that most reflects the changes that have occurred since the country reopened to the world. There’s a rash of new restaurants, bars, and shops but in many ways Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, has hardly changed at all. The city remains focused on Shwedagon Paya, an awe-inspiring golden Buddhist monument around which everything else revolves. Nearby, parks and lakes provide Yangonites with an escape from the surrounding chaos. Then there’s downtown, its pavements one vast open-air market, which is home to some of the most impressive colonial architecture in all Southeast Asia.” – Lonely Planet
*Shwedagon Pagoda: Experience and photograph the 2500-year-old Sule Pagoda, one of the former capital’s most endearing landmarks. This magnificent building is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the Stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds!
* Colonial Splendor: Stroll along and photograph the beautiful colonial buildings that still dot the city including City Hall and the High Court Building.
* Bogyoke Aung San Market: Commonly known by its old British name of Scott Market, it undoubtedly offers the largest selection of handicrafts in Myanmar. The market is a great place to discover a bargain and have fun haggling with the local traders.
Bagan: “City of Four Million Pagodas”
Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, and with over 2000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries to explore there is certainly plenty to keep us enthralled and snapping away. But there is more to this enchanting destination: rural village life, interesting markets, and artisan workshops just to name a few…
* Explore the Temples and Surroundings: Gubyauknge with its excellent stucco carvings, the impressive Htilominlo Pahto and Ananda Pahto which is one the best-preserved temples in the archeological zone
* Traditional horse cart ride through off the path temples not accessible by car or bus (optional)
* Sunset from the top of a temple! Excellent photograph opportunities while taking in the enormity of the surrounding area
* Optional Hot Air Balloon Ride over Bagan & Temples (World Famous Experience)
* Village visit to witness rural Burmese life (optional)
* Sunset Cruise on the Irrawaddy River.
Inle lake is literally dotted with hundreds of off the path villages and floating gardens. It is one of the most picturesque locations in all of Myanmar. We’ll have fantastic opportunities to explore local markets and interact with the local population. (Great cultural photography here!)
* Shwe Yaunghwe Kyaung Monastery: Famous for its unique oval windows.
* Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda: The holiest monastery on the lake with five ancient, gold-covered Buddha images.
* Floating Gardens: Witness the locals ingenious method for growing the plants that are so vital to their survival & daily life.
* The Leg Rowers: Witness and photograph the unique technique of leg-rowing, synonymous with the Intha fisherman throughout the lake.
* The Sagar Villages: Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the main lake we’ll get a glimpse of authentic lake-life as we pass villages, Chinese-style fishing nets, weaving factories, monasteries, stupas, bamboo forests & floating gardens.
- On arrival, we’ll witness the town flooded after the construction of a new damn which left numerous stupas and pagodas partially submerged (Amazing photographs!). Once onshore explore the small village’s temples, crumbling stupas, and large monastery. We’ll walk through the center of town, observing local life and photographing smiling locals and schoolchildren from this charming village.
- In the morning join our local community guide for a walking tour around Thar Kaung Pagoda and Thar Ya Khone village to explore the temples, crumbling stupas, and their large monastery. Then we’ll get to learn how they make rice crackers at a small workshop and make some ourselves!
- Enjoy a home-cooked traditional lunch at a local family’s home in Samkar village.
- Relax with a 1-hour trip aboard our unique bamboo raft to admire the beautiful scenery and discover an ancient aqueduct near Khon Thar village with a local community guide and pilot.
Northern Vietnam (5 Nights)
6 days in Northern Vietnam will take us through the Old Quarter of Hanoi on a delicious street food tour, into the stunning countryside to meet the hill tribes among the mountains, and a 3-day exotic cruise in Halong Bay to complete the journey the best way possible! The breathtaking secluded harbor has 2,000 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of the Bac Bo gulf. It is one of Vietnam’s most scenic regions and has been referred to as the eighth Wonder of the World.
* Hanoi Highlights City Tour: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Temple of Literature (Awesome photographs of the grounds and architecture here!
* Unique Street Food Experience: Lunch and privately guided tour of the hidden but true taste of Hanoi on a discovery walk-through of Vietnamese street cuisine and culture.
* Vintage Motorbike Adventure: Experience the real Hanoi on the back of a motorbike to parts-unknown, with slices of life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, and black markets. There’s no better way to see where & how locals live, work, and play!
* Explore the Old Quarter: Lots of great photos to be taken along the old streets, each well-known for a specialized industry. Silk clothing ready-made and tailored, embroidery, silver products, and so much more can be found at the different merchants.
* Hill Tribes & Rice Paddies: A full day adventure to Hoa Binh province filled with bright green rice paddies and colorful lowland ethnic minority tribes, mostly of nomadic Thai origin. We’ll visit the “White Thai” Minority village of Mai Chau. Amazing cultural and landscape photos to be captured here!
Cruise Halong Bay!
A great way to see spectacular Halong Bay is a slow cruise through the seemingly never-ending bay of islands. Lay in the sun, enjoy a selection of the freshest seafood and take photograph after photograph. On our itinerary, the aim is to get off the beaten track while maintaining a leisurely pace. The size of the vessel allows passengers to get much closer to Halong Bay’s natural wonders, such as its pocket lagoons and small fishing communities.
* 2 night/3 Day all-inclusive cruise to the best off the path destinations in Halong Bay
* Deluxe cabins w/ ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning on a traditional Vietnamese style “Junk Boat”
* Explore Bai Tu Long Bay: The largest part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, most beautiful, off the path, and by far least crowded!
* Explore, kayak, and swim among hidden beaches, lagoons, and magical sea caves!
* PhotoFly Travel Club adventures are laid back when it comes to photography. They are not workshop style based tours and you do not need to be an avid photographer to join. All are welcome!
* All transfers & taxes Included
* International Airfare is not included. We are happy to help you find a good flight as always! (Flying into Yangon (RGN) on March 19th, 2020 and departing from Hanoi International Airport (HAN) on March 30th, 2020)
*Don’t forget to e-mail us for the daily itinerary of our Myanmar & Vietnam small group tours (firstname.lastname@example.org)
*For our solo travelers, we will pair you up with someone of the same sex unless single occupancy is requested.
Single Supplement: $745.00
*Notice: Payment online incurs 3.2% processing fee (automatically added to shopping cart). Payments from outside the USA incur a 4.5% processing fee. Please mail payment to avoid fee.
*Refundable Deposit: 600.00
*Notice: Payment online incurs 3.2% processing fee (automatically added to shopping cart). Payments from outside the USA incur a 4.5% processing fee. Please mail payment to avoid fee to:
Local Planet Travel
1754 Woodruff Road, #211
Greenville, SC 29607
Cancellation Policy & Refunds
There is a $100.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 120 days or more prior to departure are fully refundable except for the $100 fee. Cancellations less than 120 days prior to departure date will receive no refund of the full amount due. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. Credit card fees and paypal processing fees cannot be refunded. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price.
*Hotels subject to change based on availability
CST # 2101181-40