Exploratory Journey to Exotic, Maritime Myanmar (Sea Gypsy Floating Villages)

The Saloni (Sea Gypsies) of Myanmar 
Saloni  live in boats and small stilted homes in the Andaman sea. They are fishermen and speak their own language.

Date and Price

Dates: December 5th to 15th, 2019.

Cost: 4560.00 USD

Trip Leader: Gavriel Jecan

Trip limited to 6 participants

Day 1-5th Dec: Yangon

Welcome transfer upon airport arrival to hotel. Meet late afternoon, and then depart for a sunset photographic shot of Shwedagon Pagoda.  This is Yangon’s “Must see-must photograph”, as the sunset turns everything pink and golden, and Buddhist practitioners plus nuns and monks commence their devotions. The pagoda, officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw is also called the Great Dagon Pagoda, and is 326-foot-tall pagoda situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline. Historians and archaeologists maintain that the pagoda was built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. However, as legend has it, the Shwedagon was built more than 2,600 years ago, which would make it the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world. This evening’s photo shoot presents numerous occasions to interact and photograph locals, observe performances of Buddhist  religious observances.

(Meals: D) Hotel:Esperado – Yangon

Day 2 – 6th Dec  – Dala

One of the highlights for photographers when in Yangon is to visit Dala. Only a ten to fifteen minute ferry trip from Pansodan Jetty in downtown Yangon will bring us to Dala Township just across the Yangon River. The ride offers good views of the city’s riverfront and one can enjoy the bustle from the cheery vendors on board the ferry. Screeching seagulls will flock around the craft as passengers toss away crumbs.  In Dala will explore and photograph the village and observing the daily life of the people that live there.  live on this side is completely opposite to the busy Yagon, Small narrow streets, river canals with colorful fishing boats and Fishing villages.  From Dala will travel to Twante ,  Twante is enjoyable in itself, passing through a landscape of paddy fields. At the Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds one can see some of the finest Myanmar pottery. You will be able to photograph how the pots found all across the delta are created. Then visit to Mwe Pagoda, this is known as the ‘Snake Pagoda’ due to the Burmese Pythons that reside here, sleeping on the window sills and in the bowers of the tree in the center. In the late afternoon will get back to Yangon by ferry.

(Meals: B,L,D) Hotel: Esperado – Yangon

Day 3 – 7th Dec. Yangon to Mawlamyine (6-hour drive)

Be sure to pack a few snacks, today has a long drive.  Following breakfast, we are off to Mawlamyine with frequent stops to photograph the rural communities. Mawlamyine was the first capital of British Burma between 1826 and 1852 and it was the home to Messrs Orwell and Kipling, both of them waxed lyrical about its natural and man-made beauty. Arrive late afternoon, check in and prepare to photograph blue-hour through the evening.  Late dinner  (Meals:B,L,D) Hotel: STRAND HOTEL

Day 4: 8th Dec.Mawlamyine – Dawei

Once breakfast has finished, we leave for Dawei, with many frequent stops to photograph local small villages,  rural lifestyle and historical – religious sites. Arrive early evening, around sunset time at your hotel in Dawei – the capital of Tanintharyi.  Dawei was one of the first cities, where the English settled after the 1st Anglo-Burmese in 1826.  As a result, the town has a long lasting history and picturesque buildings from the colonial times, with many old wooden, thatch-roofed bungalows and some brick and stucco mansions. Under British rule, Dawei was known as Tavoy and is still sometimes referred to by that name. (Meals:B,L,D) Hotel HOTEL DAWEI

Day 5: 9th Dec. Dawei & Surroundings

After breakfast, sightseeing around the Dawei town   -The Shwe Taung Zar Pagoda is the main religious site in Dawei, and is set in a charming little complex following streets lined with colonial era-buildings. In the centre of town, the busy Si Pin Tharyar and Minagalar markets that provides a large opportunity for great photographs. In the afternoon will visit the Maungmagan beach and fishing villages, it is 12 kilometers west of Dawei with its beautiful setting of hills rising straight up from the shoreline with small boats nestled in its harbor (Meals: B,L,D) Hotel: HOTEL DAWEI

Day 6: 10 Dec. Dawei – Myeik

After breakfast, we leave for Myeik. These 230 kilometers of road have been closed for foreigners for decades. In times past, even locals needed a permit to pass that road. Just a few miles after Dawei we visit the Shin Mok Hti pagoda, which can be dated back to 1438 and houses original pieces of the bodhi tree. Then followed by frequent stops to visit tiny ethnic villages and document the daily lives of the rural community.   (Meals: B,L,D) Hotel: EAIN TAW PHYU

Day 7: 11 Dec.  Myeik & Surroundings

Today we explore Myeik, which is one of the biggest fishing towns in Myanmar. This area has an incredibly interesting history, as the early 17th century, East Indian Trading was unloading the ships at the ports of Myeik. In the afternoon we transit via a traditional wooden fishing boat to Pahtaw Island (10mins) and visit the reclining Buddha. A small walk up the hill offers panoramic sunset views on the Mergui Archipelago and Myeik.  (Meals: B,L,D) Hotel: EAIN TAW PHUY

Day 8: 12 Dec. Myeik – Kawthaung

After breakfast, we have an exceptionally long day ahead as we drive from Myeik to Kawthaung, stopping frequently in diverse, small, rural villages along the road to photograph many ethnic groups. Prepare yourself with snacks and water, our day will take about 9-11 hours. Arriving early evening, overnight at Kawthaung.  As evening hours allow, we’ll visit Pyi Taw aye Pagoda located on the top of the hill. We continue to Victoria point named for King Bayinnaung, a Burmese monarch who invaded Thailand several times between 1548 and 1569. A bronze statue of Bayinnaung stands at the top of a hill on the cape. (Meals B,L,D)  Hotel: VICTORIA CLIFF

Day 9: 13th Dec. Kawthaung

Visit the Salone ( Moken) or ( Sea Gypsies ) We’ll explore via small boats to the various Floating villages of Salon ( Sea Gypsies ) ethnic group. These exotic Sea Gypsies are from Ma Gyun Galet and Nyaungwee Salon (Moken) villages. As time allows we’ll also add in a visit the Lumpi Marine National Park opposite Ma Gyun Galet Salon village. Along this coast of Southern Myanmar Tanintharyi region, the Salon ethnic group live on houseboats.  During the monsoon season, these groups migrate ashore to reside on the islands in bamboo huts to avoid frequent rains and rough, wild heavy seas. Further, the Salons, (Moken)are a nomadic people who roam the seas in their friable canoes looking for sea cucumbers, pearls and various maritime methods for their livelihood. Frequently, Salon families hop from island to island, making their canoes their home, never touching land except when the seas get rough during monsoon time. Their small boats contain all the family’s worldly possessions,as they wander from one deserted island to another, in search of food (often fish, sea urchins), and fresh water.  We will photograph these diverse peoples in situations much like their forefathers have lived for thousands of years. Their maritime homeland covers more than 800 islands. (Meals:B,L, D) Hotel: VICTORIA CLIFF

Day 10: 14th Dec. Kawthaung

Sightseeing and photographing around Kawthaung.

Palane

Tone Tone island and Maliwun waterfall. A great way to the Myeik Archipelago is to visit

Palane

Tone Tone island, five kilometers to the north of Kawthaung. Attached to the mainland by an impressively long wooden bridge, the east side of the island is made up of mangroves and vast sandbanks and on the west side, you will find a pleasant sandy beach, lined with a number of simple seafood restaurants and beverage stations. (Meals: B,L,D) Hotel: VICTORIA CLIFF

KAWTHOUNG

Day 11: 15th Dec. Kawthaung to Ranong (15th December)

Today we will transfer from Kawthaung to Ranong, Ranong to Bangkok by plane.You can plane your return air flights late evening or the following a.m. (Meals: B,L,)

Price includes:

    • Hotels 10 nights accommodation
    • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
    • Ground transportation
    • English speaking local guide throughout
    • All transfers
    • Driver and private air-conditioned van
    • Boat Rides
    • Permits and museum fees
    • Mineral water on drives
    • Tour leader fee Government tax & Service charges.

Price does not include:

      • International Airfare
      • Visa
      • Guide and driver tip
      • Laundry charges
      • International Calls
      • Other Beverages except for water
      • Travel Insurance

Please print out and complete the following forms. Send the completed and signed forms via email to:

International Photo Tours: internationalphototours@gmail.com

Registration Form

Release and Assumption of Risk Form

Payments can be done through Bank Transfer ( wire transfer ):  

Deposit 1,000.00 USD

Remaining trip fee:  USD

Single accommodation: 495.00 USD

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Myanmar