7 Myanmar Photography Tips to Capture Incredible Photos
For every photography addict, Myanmar is of huge allure that is hard to ignore. With fabulous pagodas and friendly locals amidst the beautiful landscape, Myanmar has so much photography inspiration to offer.
Yangon is the largest city with a mix of Buddhist culture and colonial history. Bagan is heaven with thousands of ancient temples. Mandalay sits the last royal palace of Burma, together with tons of marvelous cultural wonders. Inle Lake is a wonderland of nature.
Set foot on the land of enchantment to enjoy a photography tour. And there are some Myanmar photography tips to help you capture incredible photos.
Tip 1: Capture the Magic Hour of Shwedagon Pagoda
With a height of 112 meters, Shwedagon Pagoda is the largest and most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Yangon, towering the skyline. It is highly recommended to visit the pagoda in the late afternoon. Allow enough time to familiarize yourself with the area to find a good shooting angle.
The Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset offers a very different color tone. Use your camera to record the slow change of sky, from pale blue to lavender and deep blue, finally dark. While the sun is setting, candles and oil lamps around the pagoda are lit up. Golden pagoda shimmers the yellow lights, very impressive.
Capture the beautiful sunset over Shwedagon Pagoda.
The daytime Shwedagon Pagoda is also a nice camera subject. Every day, there are pilgrims coming for a pray. They walk anti-clockwise around the pagoda. Sometimes, monks and nuns dressed in red or pink robes come and go. With the golden pagoda as a background, it looks amazing.
Tip 2: Film the Locals on Yangon Circular Train
In downtown Yangon, the Central Railway Station locates, which is the largest railway station in Myanmar. The train will take you to rural outskirts around Yangon.
Do some shots around the central railway station before your train arrives. The long and meandering rails with one or two trains coming from the “old world” are very beautiful subjects for your camera.
On the slow and enjoyable train, through the window, film the locals' authentic daily life. You may see farmers farm the land, or children are reading in the shade.
Or focus your lens on the Burmese inside of the train compartment. Small vendors move around with carts of snacks or fruits. You may encounter the local kids that are on their short journey to Yangon.
Tip 3: Take an Expedition in the Mysterious Land of Bagan
Bagan is definitely a paradise for photographers. There are thousands of temples and pagodas dating back to centuries ago. Bagan is wider than you imagine, so we advise you to rent an e-scooter or e-bike to explore the plain. Stop by the pagodas and take photos for them that attracts you.
Bagan is a heaven for every photographer.
You may meet the herdsmen with their herds of cattle passing by, which is a great subject for photography. Also, pay attention to the horse carts in line at sunset. When the moment arrives, seize the opportunity and press the shutter.
The sunrises and sunsets in Bagan are spectacular. In other places of the world, you can hardly see the sun rise and set over a temple.
Nowadays, out of the protection of these ancient heritages, tourists are not allowed to climb many of the temples. So you must ride an e-scooter or e-bike through the plain to find a perfect spot for sunrise and sunset photography.
Tip 4: Shoot Inle Lake Fishermen at Sunset
With its peaceful and stunning lake scenery, Inle is an ideal spot for landscape photography. And one of the biggest highlights on Inle Lake is the sunset long-tail boat trip to capture the "dancing" fishermen.
These Intha fishermen insist on their traditional fishing technique inherited over the centuries. At first, they stand on one leg in the teakwood boat like a flamingo with a conical net at one hand and use the other leg and hand to paddle the oar. After a while, they suddenly plunge the net into the water and wait silently for the fish.
The sparkling lake reflects the fisherman's dim reflection when they draw their net, which is another gorgeous subject to photograph.
Photograph the Inle Lake fishermen silhouetted by the sunset.
Near Inle Lake, you take a further excursion to Indein village, where two groups of pagodas ruins - Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein deserve an exploration.
Tip 5: Photograph the Silhouette of U Bein Bridge
U Bein Bridge is a crossing with a length of 1.2 kilometers that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Mandalay. It was built in the 1850s and is believed to the oldest and longest teakwood bridge over the world.
The U Bein Bridge at sunset never disappoints any photographer. Taking a boat on the lake to shoot the silhouette of U Bein Bridge is highly advised. The long bridge itself is a big attraction already. And the walking monks with beautiful Burma umbrellas at their hands are the icing on a cake.
Sometimes, you can see the locals carrying baskets and boxes laden with goods on their heads. Take your camera to capture the moment. We believe your photos can speak!
Tip 6: Focus your Camera on Monks in Red or Pink Robes
The Buddhist monks in their remarkable robes are very photogenic. In Myanmar, male monks usually are dressed in red cassock while the female monks wear pink outfits. And you can find monks of all ages, from novice monks that are as young as seven to lifetime old monks.
Monks can be spotted everywhere across the country, naturally blending in with the day to day life of cities or remote villages. They even use the same transports to get around the country like all other Burmese, from a wood boat, e-bike, bus to train. You can head to monasteries to take photos of Myanmar monks.
Focus your lens on Myanmar monks in red robes.
Mandalay and Sagaing houses the most monasteries of Burma. Mahagandayon Monastery in Amarapura is so famous for morning alms giving that it is busy with tourists. It can be hard to see monks in Bagan. Inle Lake has a lot of small monasteries around the lake. In Yangon streets, you can find many monks.
Tip 7: Discover the Lost City of Mrauk U
Mrauk U, with over 700 spectacular temples and lush landscapes, is a real hidden gem of Burma. There are about 5000 foreigners that are allowed to enter annually. What an ideal spot for photography!
Different from Bagan's temples that are mostly made from stone, the temples in Mrauk U is built by brick and look smaller and newer. Mrauk temples scatter throughout the inhabited areas of small villages, rounded hillocks, and rice paddies with grazing cows.
You can capture both marvelous temples and authentic local village life, as well as beautiful lush hilly scenery. The tattoo-faced women with their legends are also waiting for your camera.
As you can see, with its enchanting natural beauty, rich culture and easy-going people, there are tons of photography opportunities in Myanmar. Travel to Myanmar for a wonderful photo tour. And with the Myanmar photography tips mentioned above, you can shoot amazing photos.
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