|Htay Win poses next to some of his photographs.|
"Local Guides" will be a recurring theme here at Global Goebel Travels, where I recommend local guides from the various locations that I visit around the world.
Burma, and especially Bagan, was a destination to which I wanted to travel since soon after I began traveling internationally in 2001. Like many travelers to Burma, I spent my time seeing the "Big Four" destinations of Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inle Lake when I was there. While researching the trip online, I came across some webpages advertising photography tours of Bagan. With my interests in old temples and in photography, I thought this sounded like a great way to spend a day or two of my trip. The dates mentioned online didn't fit into my travel schedule. Nevertheless, after sending a few emails, I was referred to a licensed Bagan guide named Htay Win, who happened to also be a photography enthusiast.
I wasn't sure what a personal photography tour would be like, but I found that I quite enjoyed it. It was interesting to go around with another photographer who was very knowledgeable of Bagan and its surroundings, including the times to be at each place for the best available natural lighting.
Although he prefers to think of photography as just a hobby, he is proud to point out that several of the postcards being sold around Bagan are his photos. He also has a book published with his photos and runs a gallery out of his house in New Bagan where you can buy large versions of his prints.
If you are heading to Bagan and are interested in photography, I strongly recommend using him as your guide. He's a genuinely nice guy and is thrilled to discuss photography. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, he shoots with a Canon 5D Mark I and is more than interested in upgrading both his camera and some of his lenses (especially anything with image stabilization). However, it's difficult to buy them in Burma or have them shipped there, so if you have any old gear around, you may be able to sell it to him when you get to Bagan.
You can see more of my photos from Bagan and from the rest of Burma here.