Photogenic Places Around Myanmar
By Heavenly Yu
Photography and the World
As the world becomes globalized, people love to travel more often and take photos as a way of saving memories. The memories that live in our minds and hearts are powerful and unique, but they tend to fade with time. Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What we have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after we have forgotten everything. Nowadays, in the globalized world, we can upload our photos to different social media as a means of saving memories digitally. Photography becomes an essential part of the tour during our travel.
Instagrammable Places in Myanmar
Myanmar offers a variety of wonderful landscapes and unique cultures like bustling local markets, tri-shaw and thanaka which can be new and striking among tourists. Here in Myanmar, you can get the most superb pictures you will ever take in your life. Here is a brief of scenic spots around Myanmar recommended for a photography tour.
Kalaw is a hill town located in Taunggyi District, Shan State of Myanmar. The town was popular among the British during colonial rule. It still feels like a high-altitude holiday resort- the cooling air, the calming atmosphere, the tree-lined streets. Kalaw is famous for hiking and trekking. It offers an interesting and scenic route to another one of the Myanmar’s tourist highlights, the route to Inle Lake. Trekking in the Shan hills can be enjoyed at any time of year although the cool season is perhaps the most pleasant in terms of weather. At other times the occasional shower can sometimes make the going a bit tougher. On the way of trekking, it offers an amazing views with a mixture of the green filed, mountains and foggy weather; the best time for photography.
Chin State is located in western Myanmar. It is a mountainous region with densely forested hills and home to traditional villages inhibited by the friendly Chin people. It is the best places for those who interested in taking the road less travelled. Chin State has a variety of nature such as Khaw Nuu Sum Mountain ( Mount Victoria) , red rhododendrons, cherry trees, various orchid species, rare bird species, a strange heart-shaped lake named Rih, hornbills and Chin women with tattoos on their cheeks. Chin State is the place for those who love something new and extraordinary.
Taung Wine Mountain
Taung Wine Mountain is locted 13km east of Hpa An city centre, Kayin State. Hiking to the top of Taung Wine Mountain for sunrise was by far the best adventure you would have. If you are an adventure enthusiast and looking for a bang-for-buck hike then you can’t go past an unforgettable journey to the summit of Taung Wine Mountain! You would be in complete awe of the insane panoramic views from the Taung Wine Pagoda as the sun started to rise and light up the Hpa An region. The stairway on Taung Wine Mountain has a slight resemblance to the Stairway to Heaven stairs in Hawaii and it is the best spot to take photos.
Kyaing Tong, a Golden Triangle area, offers a picturesque mountain backdrop located in the north east of Shan State. Head to the Kyaing Tong main market where colourful minority tribes gather. Then photo-trek the main rice terrace area and observe the tribes living in the area who are Akha and Lahu, each with their distinctive clothing, weaving and religious practices. Also, photo drive and trek into the hills to the mysteriously wonderful En people who are considered as a vanishing tribe. The En are animists who wear all black and colour their teeth black both by a natural die or betel nut.
Mya Thein Tan Pagoda
Mya Thein Tan Pagoda is a large pagoda on the northern side of Mingun in Sagaing Region, on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Capturing a moment at the white pagoda called Mya Thein Tan is very popular on Instagram. A lot of Instagrammers and social influencers come here to take stunning photos.
Myeik Archipelago is composed of over 800 islands located in the Southernmost part of Myanmar; part of Tanintharyi Region. It offers an amazing diversity of flora & fauna and beautiful underwater scenes with unspoiled coral reefs. It offers a heaven for Instagrammers who look for photogenic places and the best views with a blue sky reflection on the crystal clear water surface. Lampi Island, Island 115, Cocks Comb Island, Bo Cho Island and Nyaung Oo Phee Island are most recommended for nature lovers.
Yangon is a vibrant and busy commercial city of Myanmar. In the downtown area(a great area for street photography) , you can observe the colonial buildings, vendors selling local food, Chinese Temples around China Town area and the most unusual group of different religious buildings (Sule Buddhist Pagoda, Immanuel Baptist Church and Jameh Mosque near the City Hall). For those who are looking for a better city view to capture a good photo of Yangon downtown, the Sky Bar at the top of Sakura Tower can be an excellent choice. Then heading to the Strand Hotel, Central Post Office and the Secretariat( a giant red-brick pile). A visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda is a must-do experience and capture the religious customs and traditions of Myanmar people.
Bagan hosts over 3,500 temples, stupas, temples, monasteries and other monuments and has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 6th July 2019 out of 36 nominations. Bagan is not only a place of sublime beauty but a place of tremendous historical importance. In Bagan, everywhere you turn, there are temples to see and it would be impossible to see all of them at any other place. The Nan Myint Viewing Tower must not be missed which allows you to get great photos and see how magical the Bagan area is. The best season to go to Bagan is from October to February to escape from extreme Bagan heat and to see the Hot Air Balloons fly over Bagan. Take numerous photos with landscapes of Bagan which you would never get from anywhere else. Drone-shooters would inevitably fall in love with Bagan’s aerial views.
Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State. It is the second-largest lake in Myanmar and is home to the world-renowned leg-rowers. Local fishermen are known for their distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. However, this unique rowing style is only practiced by men. Inle Lake was labeled as one of the ASEAN Wildlife Heritage Park in 2003 and was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) in June 2015. It is bountiful with admiring nature, floating garden, wildlife sanctuary and other landmarks like Sakar Village and Shwe Indein Pagoda and floating markets. Wake up before sunrise and take a position to photograph Intha fisherman as the sun breaks over the mountain and across the water to reveal a misty scene. “Fisherman at Inle Lake” by Yinzhi won 2018 Siena International Photo Awards.
So grab your bag and start your tour around Myanmar which can offer a unique mixture of photography including architecture, indigenous people, religions, nature, cultures and traditions.