The northern region of Vietnam & Laos is the most comprehensive photography tours for any beginners and advanced photographers.....
This photo tour is handled by Vietnam’s hobby shooter & logistics master Diep Van. Diep is constantly working to have you in the right location with the best light for any particular photo shoot.
There’s always a mix of free & street shooting, portraits & people, landscapes & landmarks, and providential surprises! There are also a number of arranged shoots in stunning settings, both with professional and impromptu local models. You’ll get the chance to photograph in places both on & off the beaten path, with unparalleled inside access and an extraordinary number of impact image making opportunities.
Note: Price's per person in US dollar, based on double/twin occupancy
Upon arrival at Noi Bai (Hanoi) airport, our guide &driver will pick you up then transfer to hotel for check-in (While some of you will arrive a day early to get acclimated). A short meeting will be happened by late aftertoon & then sumptuous Vietnamese Welcome Dinner follows at evening.
Hanoi is one of the biggest city in Vietnam. This is the great place you should visit at least once. In order to discover many beauty of culture and sightseeing, a destination you should consider is Handicraft villages. Some of most photogenic villages are incense & bamboo fish traps making where we will has opportunities to photograph the locals drying the red incense sticks and bamboo fish traps making will be followed.
By the noon we will head to Ninh Binh, Also known as “Ha Long among the rice paddies”, the impressive limestone structures and green rice fields form the landscape.
We arise early to commence our long journey to Ha Giang (7 to 8hrs), through stunning countryside with valleys and mountains opening up on all sides and then along the remote Chay River Valley. Numerous stops will be provided along the way for landscape photography and we will also stop to capture some portrait of hill tribes along the way.
Our aim will be at Thong Nguyen before sunset, affording us an opportunity to take photos of layers of rolling hills & rice terraces at the end of day's light.
Hoang Su Phi in Ha Giang Province is the most spectacular rice terrace region in Vietnam, and certainly among the most beautiful on the planet. Time for an whole day rice terrace exploration in and around a very peaceful little village with a little river running through it.
There are several rice terrace locations we won’t name here, but that you will get the opportunity to photograph to your heart’s content, both all day today and tomorrow morning. If school is in session, we’ll visit a picturesque one room schoolhouse full of very happy kids and stunning backdrops for environmental portraits.
Another morning to fantastic stunning area of Hoang Su Phi – San Sa Ho & Ban Phung village & where will photograph rice terrace in the morning’s light.
Then we will transfer to Bac Ha town for market in next day.
While most people who come to Bac Ha do so to attend the Sunday market. Here we will have the chance to photograph several tribal groups selling exotic fruits, vegetables, textiles, goats, pigs, buffalo and much more! Tribes include Flower Hmong, Nung and Tay.
After this very colorful and enjoyable market shoot, it’s off for Sapa, which are the another spectacular rice terrace region & colorful tribes in Vietnam
Heading out of town to go to Dien Bien, we spend a full day travelling into Vietnam’s northwest most mountainous region. The roads are difficult at times, but the spectacular landscape with a mixture of terraced fields and colorful local population makes the hardship all worthwhile.
After breakfast in the hotel, drive down south through the peaceful Muong Thanh Valley to the Tay Trang border gate to Laos where our Laos guide and driver are await you.
Crossing the border, you will continue through one of Laos’ most remote regions to Muang Khua, a one-horse border town located on the banks of the Nam Ou River. It depends on the time you may choose the lunch stop at Pak Nam Noy or drive further to Ban Na My.
Then continue the journey to Nong Khiaw – a charming rustic little town on the bank of the Ou River. It is squeezed in between some of the most fantastic limestone mountains north of Laos.
Note: The Tay Trang border gate immigration normally closes for lunch between12.00 - 13.30. (It may take some 30 minutes for Immigration and customs processes)
Have breakfast in the hotel then take a pleasant walk around the village enjoying the village feel with great views over the Nam Ou river or visit a small temple complex in the center of town. Continue the journey of 2 hours drive passing picturesque scenery along the Nam Ou River and beautiful mountainous setting heading to Pak Ou Caves - a pantheon of gold Buddha statues tucked into the nooks of the limestone cliffs. Enjoy the cruise along Mekong from the cave to village of Ban Xang Hai. Stop here to learn how local make LauLao (Lao whisky) and LauHai (Lao wine), before continuing this river way down the Mekong to head the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, which could not be more charming or picturesque. Golden hour free shoot in around a cluster of beautiful temples and monasteries before a glorious dinner and adult beverages overlooking the Mekong River.
Every morning all over Laos Buddhist monks leave the monastery with their alms bowls in single file lines to receive alms of rice, other foods, or money. In Luang Prabang, with so many monasteries in close proximity, the number of monks is in the hundreds! Then head for the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls and its numerous turquoise pools set in the rainforest. Built for silky slow shutter speed waterscapes. Have lunch at the falls and on the return, photograph at our favorite little Hmong village. Free time and/or afternoon shoot in Luang Prabang.
We meet with the mahouts & their marvelous Asian elephants this morning for their bath in the Mekong River. This is a private photo shoot near the retreat, and not open to the public. Once the exciting photography at the river is over, it will be time to feed & commune with the gentle giants. This includes Lao’s only White Elephant, who has quite the funny personality. These are rescue elephants (except for the baby) and very well taken care of.
Return to the hotel for check-out and then it’s back to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap and the mind blowing temples of the ancient Khmer Empire.
There were some amazing temples built by the Khmer before Angkor, which today are seldom visited. Some are clad in great tree roots similar to Ta Prohm, only there are no obstacles to good photography. We’ll photograph with locals and/or monks at two such temples today, as well as explore a rural delta village & take a relaxing sunset photo cruise to wrap the shooting day.
Today is about learning the strategies & techniques of shooting effectively in and around the maddening crowd. We go against the flow as much as possible, and otherwise dodge & weave various locations to offer you the very best image opportunities available. For those who want to capture the classic Angkor Wat sunrise, we depart the hotel at 4:30 am to secure the prime shooting positions. We also have a little known angle for sunrise shortly after the classic.
Return to the road less traveled and some stunning, rarely visited forest temples, with local monks. In between are some rural villages to explore Khmer life in the authentic. Arrive back in time for an afternoon at the Bayon to get those “must have” shots. Nearby where tourists take no notice, water blessings of locals (and even their motorbikes!) are performed by monks, which are fun captures to get.
There’s free time for you at leisure or further exploring the city by your own. Then transfer to airport for departure. (not including late check-out for hotel). End of service!