Myanmar certainly is an interesting country to visit. For bird lovers, it is relatively new and not very much explored so far but it really has great potential.
We started our birding tour with a visit to the Hlawga Park on the outskirts of the city, to look for the Davison’s Bulbul, which actually is just a Stripe-throated Bulbul. From here we drove to the Irrawaddy Delta. I found this a very interesting place where all the transport is going over water. Surprisingly, being in a remote place, we even stayed in a very acceptable hotel in a small town Wakhema. Birding by boat was productive and we were happy to find Sarus Cranes and we had good options to photograph Jerdon’s Babbler. After a couple of days, we went back to Yangon and from there to Moe Yin Gyi Wetland Resort. Many tourists here to have a weekend out, but in spite of this, we had some interesting and productive days with a lot of Photographic opportunities.
We had a 4-night stay in Bagan, which is one of the most frequented tourist places in Myanmar. A famous place, because of its more than 2000 temples. We did not know what to expect, but certainly, tourist activity was not disturbing at all our attempts to photograph birds. A nice stay with a boat-ride on the Irrawaddy River and visits to several places around the city. We photographed all “specialties”.
The next 4 nights we stayed at Mount Victoria at an altitude of 1.400 m. Typically forest birding, dense vegetation and small birds far away. Altogether we did not do that bad, but getting quality photographs was a real struggle. Although the temperature went down in the evening to levels below 10 ºC, no heating systems were in place to keep us warm in the restaurant or in the bedroom. The first time I experienced being served by waiters with gloves and a warm scarf and hat.
We drove back to Bagan and flew to Heho, the gateway to Shan State. We stayed in Pindaya, Kalaw and at the Inle Lake. An interesting area with a lot of agriculture activities. Although the Inle lake is another major tourist center, it did not disturb us when we were looking for birds. It is very interesting to see how the local people are living, with their houses built on posts over the water. Even the agriculture is done on small floating islands built up with aquatic plants.
Altogether Myanmar was a very pleasant experience, extremely helpful and friendly people, superb food, very good infrastructure, and very nice hotels. I can really recommend a visit to everyone.
Below a selection of photographs taken during this trip. Hovering over the image you will see a toolbar at the bottom where you can start a slideshow if you wish to do so.