It has been a long time since I last posted here, but I'm now relaxing on holidays and it's a good chance to catch up. I'm going to start with a few blogs about our trip late last year to Myanmar the former Burma.
Five of us from our local camera club decided it was time to get away again, following our previous trips to South Africa and Cuba. So after a lot of research we settled on Myanmar and headed out late October 2014 into November. We were concerned about the political situation but many more people are travelling to Myanmar these days. Lack of good medical facilities are also a concern, the best advice being to have good insurance and get to Thailand as quick as possible for any serious issues. Given we would be taking 3 internal flights this too was a worry. As it happened we need not have worried. We had excellent travel agents looking after us. Here in Ireland we made all our arrangements with a really good agency from Cork, Discover Travel. They looked after us very well, helping with visas, accommodation, transport, guides, internal flights and they were very reasonably priced. The agents that looked after us there was Exotic Voyages and they were excellent. Great guides, a good itinerary, good accommodation and they looked after us very well. On a daily basis the guides made sure the food and water we had was safe and we got regular calls from their head office to make contact with us to make sure we were happy with everything. This is not anything we had experienced before and it made us feel very safe and well looked after.
So for the trip itself, it was for 11 days in four different parts of the country and previously mentioned it required 3 internal/domestic flights between regions and one drive for 250km. We had four different guides and drivers as we had a minibus or boats at our disposal in each location. Each day we had an itinerary of sights to see and visit although this was very flexible.
We began with a couple of days in the old capital of Yangon to where we flew via Amsterdam. A flight took us to Heho in the centre of the country and a drive of an hour or so to our final destination of Inle Lake, which for me was probably the highlight of the tour. After a few days here another flight from Heho to Mandalay before a bus trip of 250km to our final destination of Bagan. Our last internal flight was back to Yangon before flying home.
Each destination had its own highlights with some amazing places to see. Our guides knew we were here for a photographic holiday and they were really helpful in getting us photographs of places and people. They were also very patient as a group of photographers can get very intense once they start taking shots and getting them to move on can be a challenge.