Iconic Temples of Bagan Photography Tour


from $159USD/person
Sunrise-Sunset 2+ Guests Aircon

Capture Bagan with Insiders

We live, work, and shoot in Bagan year-round, so we have an intimate understanding of the temple and village locations and lighting conditions. Our Bagan photo tours are more than just staged shoots with paid models. We visit friends and family we work with throughout the year, enabling us to experience, share, and photograph authentic, intimate scenes of Burmese daily life on our tours. Join us!
Balloons over Bagan at sunrise

UNESCO World Heritage

Bagan contains an extraordinary ensemble of Buddhist monumental architecture, reflecting the strength of religious devotion of an early major Buddhist empire. Within the context of the rich expressions and traditions of Buddhist architecture and art found throughout Asia, Bagan is distinctive and outstanding.

What to Expect

Explore 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. Let our team of professional guides and photographers show you the secrets of unforgettable Bagan. We all live here, and we know the optimal times of the day to see the temples in the best light with the fewest crowds—and we’re sharing our secrets with you! Your Bagan photography tour includes sunrise balloon shooting among the ancient pagodas and photography of village people and farming activities during “blue hour” after sunrise. 

Bagan's temple panorama

Tour Highlights

  • pre-sunrise pickup and orientation to position ourselves to make the most of available light during the sunrise/sunset “golden hour”
  • get closer to real people and communities your tour fees support to capture the everyday beauty, culture, and colors of Myanmar
  • late afternoon village life under warm pre-sunset light
  • sunset in intimate location for capturing exceptional moments otherwise inaccessible
  • journey by horse cart, ebike, or taxi
"The tour with our incredible guide Thandar hit the spot. From the sunrise on Bagan temples, to the sandpainting workshop, to the handycraft village... she brings you to places off the beaten tracks and is very knowledgable about the place and people living there. Moreover, part of the money you paid is going toward helping out community and that brings the feel good factor."

Sample Itinerary

05:30: Pickup from your hotel by air-conditioned private taxi to position for sunrise

06:00-07:30: Sunrise balloon shooting at location within the monument zone. Due to changing regulations and to avoid crowds, specific site will be chosen shortly before tour date.

07:30-8:30: Photography of village people and farming activities during “blue hour” after sunrise.

08:30-09:30: Al fresco light breakfast with local pastries, fruit, and fresh coffee/tea at our “home” pagoda situated within harvest area of local community. Orientation to Bagan, its historical significance, topography, agriculture. Discussion of shooting goals and confirm the day’s shooting plan. Return to hotel for breakfast by request. 

09:30-12:00: Shooting largest and most iconic pagodas, most of which are clustered along the riverside from Old Bagan to Nyaung U. Emphasis on exterior landscapes, dramatic interiors, significant structures, and murals. 

12:00-13:30: Lunch break and travel time

13:30-15:30: Rest time at hotel OR interior tours of main (and less-visited) pagodas in riverside section of Old Bagan-Nyaung U to avoid harshest light. 

15:30-17:00: Shooting late-period ruins in northeastern sector against tourist traffic, situated adjacent to agricultural village and reservoirs with amazing golden light in late afternoon. Sunset shooting among village ruins OR position for classic shots among Old Bagan pagodas.

17:00-18:30: Complete your Bagan photo tour with sunset shooting at a secluded pagoda in northeast section or Old Bagan based on your desired subjects and perspectives.

18:30-19:00: Return to your hotel or drop-off at local restaurant by private taxi

Private Tour
Exclusive Bagan Experience
$159/per person
  • Your day, your way
  • Sunrise-to-sunset tour
  • Includes Hotel Pickup/Drop-off
  • Min 2 guests
Private Solo Tour
Exclusive Bagan Experience
$249/per person
  • Your day, your way
  • Sunrise-to-sunset tour
  • Includes Hotel Pickup/Drop-off
  • Free handmade gift

Price includes:

  • Air-conditioned private taxi and driver
  • Experienced English-speaking licensed tour guide
  • Outdoor breakfast
  • Chilled drinks all day

Price excludes:

  • Bagan Archaeological Zone fees
  • Lunch

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Bagan's Most Authentic Photo Tour

Photograph the iconic pagodas and villages in comfort on our premium Bagan photography tour. For example, drinks and refreshments are provided throughout the day. A large, air-conditioned private vehicle is always on hand to transport your gear and provide a break from the heat. All our Bagan photography tours allow you the flexibility to design your own itinerary. We will apply our local knowledge of sites and contacts in the community each day. Visit local farmer and artisans for close-up photography of daily life in Myanmar. Practice your portrait photography with children on their way home from school. Have a laugh with local monks as they sit for their portraits. We know the light and how to position ourselves to capture village life, landscapes, portraits, ancient temples, sunrise or sunset.

Why Choose Us?

Part of what makes our Bagan photography tours 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, and to capture better, more intimate photos of local people and activities. Our photography tours are operated in cooperation with Myanmar SEEDS, our development nonprofit and founding partner.

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.