Rivers of Color – Bagan Photography Tour


from $169usd/person
Air-Con Boat Sunrise-Sunset 2+ Guests

Photo Adventure on the Irrawaddy

On this unique Bagan photo tour, we follow the magical Myanmar light along the Irrawaddy river from sunrise to sunset. Rather than shooting temples exclusively, this tour showcases the people, villages, and activities following the natural rhythm of the river and its surreal light. This tour includes sunrise balloon shooting among the ancient pagodas, close-up interactions with locals, and amazing cultural experiences. 

"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

We will explore several different communities and sites throughout the day, both inside and beyond the Bagan archaeological zone. Once in the villages, we will spend most of our time on foot, visiting our neighbors in their workshops and on their farms. An intimate look into the amazing lives of local people, their culture, and communities that make Myanmar such a unique place to visit.

Tour Highlights

  • maximize your limited time available in Bagan for capturing the epic sunrise, balloons, shrines, architecture, and amazing local people
  • get closer to real people and communities your tour fees support to capture the everyday beauty, culture, and colors of Myanmar on this Bagan village photo tour
  • late afternoon village life under warm pre-sunset light
  • sunset by private boat cruise on the Irrawaddy
"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."

Visit Bagan with Insiders

Uncover hidden sites and secret temples on our Bagan temples tour. Classic temples, as well as lesser-known and remote sites await as you travel comfortably by air-conditioned private taxi and driver. We take you to significant sites, monuments and locations rarely visited by tourists. A truly exceptional day out for the “Best of the Best” in Bagan!

Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for Bagan private tour experiences, we offer this compact showcase tour of Bagan’s must-see sites. For each, we provide as much detailed information as you are interested in, without making your tour a history lesson! The Bagan Archeological Zone is vast, and your time is limited. 

Sample Itinerary

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

05:45-07:30: Sunrise balloon shooting within the monument zone, location based on your subject and perspective preferences.

07:30-8:30: Visit to farming and bamboo crafting village within the monument zone for close-up photography and bushcraft knowledge sharing.

08:30-09:30: Al fresco light breakfast with local pastries, fruit, and fresh coffee/tea. Opportunity for sitting/walking meditation and shooting in secluded temple gardens. Relax with caretakers and shoot local agricultural activities.

09:30-12:00: Visit to rare irrigated village outside monument zone with terraced rice paddies in golden bloom, with little contact with foreigners. We have a small organic permaculture farm in the village that affords many close-up/portrait opportunities. This is an “oxcart village” with limited access to motor vehicles and feels like a journey to the bronze age.

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

13:30-16:30: Journey by taxi to remote village location on the Irrawaddy, a cluster of pagodas situated on an isolated clifftop. Visit remote sites and areas on foot, including many not listed on any map or guidebook. Amazing murals and panoramic views, visit to magical meditation caves and cliff monasteries. Fantastic late-period temples with murals and stone carvings, expansive views, and small monastic community.

17:00-18:30: Return to Old Bagan by private boat, including cold drinks and snacks. Views of mast notable Bagan monuments along riverside.

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

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