Our route through Burma not only includes visits to the iconic sites but also goes out of the way to stop at markets in small towns along the route and to explore villages rarely visited by tourists. The long distances involved in touring Burma do necessitate using mini buses and domestic flights. However, when we reach our destinations we prefer to use boats, bicycles and horse and cart as well as our feet. Using these various forms of transport is more environmentally friendly, allows more contact with the people we meet on the way and also puts money into the local economy. Our small group size, never more than 8 photographers, minimizes our impact on the environment. We can use a smaller bus and when we visit people in the homes and workplaces we do not overwhelm them with numbers. On the trek through the hills of the Shan state we pick up the litter we encounter on the way so that it can be disposed of properly. Unfortunately, littering is a problem so we do what we can to help keep the path clear of litter. We think it better to remove any rubbish on the spot rather than clone it out later in Photoshop!
Nathan has been running tours in South East Asia for seven years now. He has made numerous trips to Burma and has now fine-tuned an itinerary which takes you into the heart of the country. An important element of our photography tours is that our clients get out and about and engage with the people. Nathanís experience in the region is invaluable in helping you overcome any barriers between you and your subject. In developing our Burma tour with our Myanmar -based partner we have asked that, accommodation is booked into non-government hotels which support the local community. Similarly we eat out at locally owned restaurants and have established a few favorites along the way. This gives our clients the opportunity to sample the local cuisine and we consider it very much a part of experiencing the country. We encourage our clients to buy handicrafts directly from the villagers and handicraft makers. We give tips on bargaining but make sure that a fair price is paid for what is, for many, an essential part of their income. We encourage our clients to bring materials suitable for the schools we regularly visit. We find that we are warmly welcomed by the people who do not normally benefit from the tourist dollar Our local guide advises on correct behaviour and teaches our clients a little of the language. This will go some way to build bridges with people who rarely encounter foreigners. We feel that this helps our clients to get the best photos and leave a positive impression behind. For our regular stops we return with photos taken on the previous tour which is guaranteed to delight the recipients who are always thrilled to received pictures of themselves as a token gift.