5 independent reviews for Burma photography tour

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 7 Feb 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Difficult to choose.. but Sunrise looking over the ruins of Bagan watching many hot air balloons appear over the horizon.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for a lot of travelling on many different forms of transport.. This enables the capture on camera of many fabulous images..take lot of sd cards memory for your images and also good back up facilities. Good shoes and warm layers also helpful!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I felt the trip was helping to develop tourism in Mayanmar providing local people with employment, and being respectful to the local culture. The impact on the environment is being managed at present.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I would describe the holiday as a photographic adventure taking in many of the sights of Mayanmar! The accommodation was good standard and trip matched my expectations.

review 30 Jan 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The size and variety of this fabulous country and the warmth of the people plus the food! All great making Myanmar very special.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Have dollars to pay hotel bills in out of Yangon. Found it very irritating that they quoted hotel prices in dollar and then converted at disadvantageous rate to their own currency.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly good to meet so many locals and see them at work. Impressive too in terms of how hard they work, how resourceful and so skilled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Did not match up to hopes from photography tuition point of view but great place full of wonders/delights and photography opportunities. Loved the place.

review 11 Feb 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Balloon flight over Bagan

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring instant coffee and teabags, most hotels offer prepacked mixture with milk and sugar added

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The only benefits were the merchants received trade from us, but we all interacted well with the locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Good but would benefit by extending the duration from 10 to 15 days

Read the operator's response here:

We are so pleased that your photographic tour of Burma was a success and hope it produced many wonderful images as well as memories. We'd love it to be longer, but we do find that 14 day tours are often the most popular, despite 2 of those days having to be spent travelling. We are glad you were able to take the opportunity of doing one of our range of extensions and visit Bago and the Golden Rock. Interaction with local people is so important on our tours and we do want our customers and those we visit to be left with positive memories of each other. We support those local communities by exclusively staying in locally run hotels and guest houses, eating in local restaurants, using privately owned transport and visiting many markets. Our Tour Manager is currently identifying a school where she wishes to focus our support as part of our ongoing commitment to the local community. Thanks for your comment on the coffee/tea, you obviously enjoy an early morning cuppa in your room, unfortunately these can be the 3 in 1 type, but hotels offer regular tea and coffee at breakfast time.

review 9 Feb 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Traveling to remote places and visiting villages and watching people in their everyday lives. Our route was well planned by our agent. Also, it was fantastic to be in the company of our excellent small group led by an experienced photographer who showed us many different ways of using light and lenses and who was also relaxed and fun to be with. Our experiences felt real.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read about the country and be well prepared - some of the routes and the food! are demanding on the body. Have a completely open mind. The people of Myanmar are gentle and welcoming, steeped in the Buddhist dharma.Then relax and enjoy this emerging country and be as generous as they are!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I do hope so, they really need the sharing of whatever foreigners bring to their country.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a really interesting adventure and we learned a great deal about local life and about photography, a fine combination, and we were lucky enough to have four days relaxing at the beach at the end.

Read the operator's response here:

So pleased that you enjoyed your photography tour so much and that our photographer, Gary, met up to your expectations. We do everything we can to make sure that our tours benefit local people and indeed, this was our concern about Burma, and why we delayed going there for so many years. We very carefully selected our local partner to ensure they were a private organisation who thought along exactly the same lines as us when it came to responsible travel. We visit many off the beaten track places and thus take tourists (and our/your cash) to areas not widely visited. Our genuinely small groups enable us to select restaurants and guest houses which are locally owned.

review 29 Nov 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Having Nathan Horton on the trip gave a very interesting slant to an already enjoyable holiday. Nathan had a flair for taking the group to places which were not on the tourist trail and this was very much appreciated. His photographic tuition was well worth the premium paid for this service and my photography improved whilst enjoying the country and the people - Boom.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just enjoy it. One tip is that Nathan does not hike at a leisurely pace and, as a resident of Cambodia, is used to the heat and humidity. Unless you are able bodied (I have a worn knee joint so am not) and reasonably fit (my wife is not), group members might find the pace of hikes somewhat challenging. I would not, personally, categorize the treks as 'Easy' for those of mature years although they are very simple for anyone in their 30s. The categories might make this clearer perhaps.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It is difficult to answer this. I did feel that we were able to put money into some local places, such as restaurant and transport services and with donations made to monasteries. However, at Lake Inlay we were herded into very tourist orientated outlets and it was difficult to judge how much the locals benefited from our being there, or whether any money was going into the pockets of better-off entrepreneurs.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I believe that the Asia Plaza Hotel used on the first and last day of this holiday was sub-standard and provided a very disappointing gateway to each end of the holiday. On each visit we had to get rooms changed and the overall quality was very dismal - although the staff were friendly enough. It was also suggested that the hotel is, or perhaps was, owned by the Junta Government and, if this is true, goes against the ethos of Responsible Travel. In any event, I would have preferred to have paid more for the holiday and stayed in much better accommodation, especially after a long and tiring flight. The tour, overall, was terrific. It was exactly what I had hoped for although

Read the operator's response here:

We thank John for his comments and are pleased he enjoyed the tour and that his photography improved. Our Images tours are organised along the same lines as our regular tours and have other guest photographers - Gary Latham also leads tours (no idea whether he walks slower than Nathan, but we can ask him to as the tours should be suitable for all). Apologies that the hotel in Rangoon was not up to scratch - we have had difficulties with hotels in Burma as it is an increasingly popular destination, however we have noted John's comments and will endeavour to a different hotel whenever possible. Lake Inle is touristy as it is one of the most famous destinations in Burma. Like tourist attractions throughout the world, local people try and make some money from selling handicrafts to visitors as well as providing the boats and boat pilots that carry the visitors around. We try and avoid the least interesting and most blatantly commercial stops even though they are still run by local people and our trips generally include stops to see the following handicrafts; cheroot making, silk weaving, silver making and a Padaung handicraft shop. All are genuine village cottage industries run by locals and employing locals and of course each handicraft manufacturer has a shop attached if visitors want to buy and products. If we donít include such stops, then we are simply photographing the floating villages and local people and leave without the opportunity to contribute any money to the local people and handicraft makers.

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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