Bagan is an ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on a flat plain on the Irrawaddy River in the Mandalay Region. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 4,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive today. Our Bagan temples tours and photography experiences uncover the hidden gems of this unique site of global importance.
Bagan remains a magical and mysterious place in the minds of many. Drawing visitors from around the world to experience the sunrise panorama casting golden rays over the spires of thousands of temples. The enigmatic Ananda Temple and giant golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda attract fewer foreign visitors than Burmese pilgrims, offering rare opportunities to keen photographers. Rural villages travel to our festivals in nomadic oxcarts, to mix with local artisans. Among our favorite sites are the sandstone Ananda Pagoda, the five-sided Dhammayazaka stupa, and the many secret temples scattered along the riverside.
Explore Bagan with a knowledgeable local guide and see off the beaten path temples others miss. Customize your private day tour of Bagan and enjoy the most spectacular temples and authentic tastes of Burma. Our Bagan photography tours feature iconic temples and remote villages for an intimate and memorable photography experience in Bagan.
Our Bagan Photography Tours
Ethical Travel Photography
We understand that some visitors have concerns about staged photographs and paid models. These concerns are especially serious when photographing monks, monasteries and religious sites in Myanmar. What makes our Bagan photography tours unique is that we work directly with local communities in authentic settings.
Your Bagan photography tour fees go directly to local community projects, including monastery education programs for children. We offer these photo tours only after building long-term relationships with village leaders, including the abbots of local monasteries where we shoot. The monks who participate in our photography tours are not paid; a portion of your tour fees is donated to the monastery directly or into the monastery education fund. During your tour you are welcome to meet these village leaders who welcome your participation on our tours.
Capture the most photogenic Bagan temples in the best light! Photograph the most impressive Bagan temples, from the majestic Ananda to the golden spires of Shwezigon on our Bagan photo tour.
Why Choose Us?
Our company was born in Bagan in 2015 and we’re based there year-round. We have close ties to local communities here through our close collaboration with Myanmar SEEDS, our partner nonprofit. Part of what makes a day out with us so special is the direct contact with locals as we share our community connections with our tour guests. This allows our guests to experience Myanmar more authentically than any other tours on offer.
Bagan Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
“Bagan is an exceptional example of the living Buddhist beliefs and traditions of merit making, expressed through the remarkable number of surviving stupas, temples and monasteries, supported by continuing religious traditions and activities. While the evidence of practices of merit-making are common in many Buddhist sites and areas, the influences established in the Bagan period, and the scale and diversity of expressions, and continuing traditions make Bagan exceptional.” – UNESCO World Heritage Inscription, July 2019
I booked a day long photography and walking tour, which turned out to be one of the most amazing tourism experiences I’ve ever had!
LANNIE, USA (VIA TRIPADVISOR)
Bagan Photo Opportunities
From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 4,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive today. Our Bagan temples tours and photography experiences uncover the hidden gems of this unique site of global importance.
Built in 1105 during the height of Bagan’s splendour, Ananda Pagoda is the crown jewel of Bagan’s architectural wonders. This impressive temple has been called the “Westminster Abbey of Burma” and has recently been fully restored and is in excellent condition. The whitewashed walls and gilded spires of the temple are an unforgettable sight and versatile photo subject.
Traditional Burmese Village Life
Mobile phones and the Internet were introduced to the Myanmar people only in 2012. Change is slowly coming, but for the moment much of Burma remains like a time capsule from the bronze age where animals and manual labor, not machines, are the do most of the work. Here, our houses are grown from the earth and our roads and tools are made by hand. Step back in time on a visit to a remote Myanmar village rarely, if ever, seen by foreigners. Our Bagan Living Heritage Tour includes a rural village walk where you can meet and learn from traditional Burmese bush-knowledge.
Buddhist Monasteries, Monks & Nuns
Theravada Buddhism is practiced by a great majority of the Burmese population, where monasteries are respected education centers and monks are venerated in society. Myanmar daily life is characterized by personal merit-making rituals and community charity activities, or “donations” (dana), to accumulate good karmafor a favourable rebirth.