This itinerary is designed for the typical images of Vietnam from the North to the South within 16 days. We provide lots of other discoveries, especially for taking the photograph during this grand trip.
Visit 4 World Heritages of Vietnam, City Tour in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Saigon, water puppet show, 2-night rest in the Halong Bay Junk and kayaking on the Bay, Thu Bon River boat trip and Cu Chi Tunnels discovery, My Son – sacred land of the Cham people, Cao Dai Temple and exclusive discovery, particularly for shooting throughout the grand trip.
Overland Vietnam Photography Tour in Details
Day 1: ARRIVAL – HANOI (-/-/-)
Take a flight to Hanoi. When arriving at the airport, the tour guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. If the times permit, you can start your 16-Day Vietnam Photography Tour by taking an orientation walk to get candid photo shooting in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: FULL-DAY HANOI CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
In the early morning, visit the wholesale flower market in Hanoi. This is a very special market just open from 1 AM to 6 AM every day for supplying flowers for the entire city. It is the very bustling and energetic place that can create uncountable photo opportunities when you are there. You also can see many local people, mostly are women on their bicycle going to the market for buying flowers. Then, they will spend the whole day selling the flowers in the city. The images of the local women on their bicycle with colorful flowers are the typical figures of Hanoi, which are also great photographic subjects to capture. Then, take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake where thousands of local people come for exercise, jogging and Tai Chi. This is one of Hanoi’s most striking sites, and the early morning is the best time for lighting as well as taking the photographs of many local people doing their exercise around the lake.
Come back to the hotel for breakfast, and then continue your day of photography in Hanoi. First, walk to see Ngoc Ha – the very special village positioned right in the center of Hanoi, just like the Oasis. This is ideal opportunity to set foot in the hidden and non-touristy local place in which you can take lots of exclusive photos of the locals’ daily life activities. Then, you will also be amazed by the relics of the wreckage of B52 in the middle of the village that was shot down from the historical Christmas Bombing in 1972.
After that, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which is Vietnam’s symbol, and the Presidential Palace, the Presidential Garden, the House on Stilts and the significant One Pillar Pagoda. The Ba Dinh Square in front of the Mausoleum is regarded as “Red Square of Russia”. Come there; you take numerous stunning photos of the symbol of Vietnam.
In the afternoon, Hanoi Photography Tour is followed by a visit to the Temple of Literature – the center of the culture in Hanoi. In the temple, you can take the wishful photos of the old architecture as well as extraordinary sculpture and the peaceful scenery herein. Then, return to the heart of the city for one-hour cyclo trip around the Hanoi Old Quarter – the most attractive area of Hanoi to witness the traditional daily life activities of the locals. When it comes to the sunset, visit Long Bien Bridge – the old bridge was designed and built by Eiffel and his company in 1903.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Photo moments of the day: The colorful flower market, the interesting morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake for photographing people enjoying exercise around the lake and also the stunning landscape of the lake, the enjoyable Hanoi City Tour, the elegant walk to Ngoc Ha Village to witness traditional daily life activities of local people, the exciting cyclo trip to Hanoi Old Quarter and photography on Long Bien Bridge.
Day 3: FULL DAY TO DUONG LAM VILLAGE – TAY PHUONG PAGODA (B/L/-)
In the morning, take one-hour drive to Tay Phuong Pagoda – Vietnam’s one of ten most beautiful pagodas. On the summit of the hill, this pagoda is very famous for the unique architecture and the admirable 17th-century collection of Buddha and Arhat statues. They are the two best photographic subjects to capture. Then, take a 45-minute bike ride in the rural area nearby the Pagoda through the green rice fields and the simple villages. This is the great occasion for you to discover and take photos of daily life activities of the people in the Red River Delta, interact with the locals and feel the real countryside atmosphere.
After that, come back to the car for driving toward Duong Lam Ancient Village, the so-called “Hoi An of the Red River Delta” because it preserves the hundred-year-old houses made by laterite stone which is the sole material only found in this region. That is the reason why Duong Lam is also named as “The Laterite Ancient Village”. Once arrived, just walk by the gate of the village to reach Mong Phu Communal House. Here, you see one of very few intact village gates nearby the old Banyan Tree, which together creates the typical image of the village in the Red River Delta.
After the visit to the Communal House, take a seat at the tea house nearby and savor the local green tea as well as the delicious candy made from the sticky rice flake. This is Vietnam’s oldest Tea House since the past villagers used the spare material from building the Communal House to construct this Tea House 400 years ago. Then, walk along some little alleys in the village with the tour guide by side. The village has constructed the very special system of alleys in “fishbone” pattern that each single alley comes to death end for the safety result. That could be the reason why lots of village families still cherish the old gate with the handle from outside to assist the guests in opening the gate by themselves. The walk will conclude with the visit to the most beautiful, oldest house in the village of Mr. Huyen family. Here, you savor the authentic lunch prepared by courteous family members of Mr. Huyen.
After lunchtime, take another bike ride around the rustic village to enjoy sightseeing the green rice field, the interesting resting house built hundred years ago for the local people who work on the field to rest and avoid the summer heat. You also can visit the thousand-year-old tree line that had been acknowledged as Heritage Trees in Vietnam before returning to the village for the drive back to Hanoi. Come back to the city in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Photo moments of the day: The special Tay Phuong Pagoda, the interesting bike ride in the rural area around Tay Phuong and Duong Lam Ancient Village to take the pictures of the countryside area, people working in the field and their local daily life, the historical and picturesque Duong Lam village, the landscapes of the unique villages with great architecture in the Red River Delta.
Day 4: HANOI – HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
In the morning, drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Along the ride, pass by the Red River Delta with the stunning rice fields and many interesting activities of the local people. Once arrived at Halong, embark to Dragon Pearl Junk. The hospitable cruise will greet you warmly. Experience the welcome drink and listen to cruise instructions. Then, check in the attractive room and enjoy lunch while the Junk begins sailing toward Bai Tu Long Bay where has the stunning topography and fantastic scenery of the limestone mountains. The Junk will sail to Cap La and anchor in the attractive fishing village. From here, you view a beautiful seascape and experience the half-hour discovery of Halong Bay via kayaking. After that, return to the Junk to enjoy dipping yourself into the emerald seawater of Halong Bay. Then, relax on the sun deck and enjoy the charm of Halong in the sunset while the Junk is sailing to Cong Do. The Dragon Pearl offers the unique itinerary that promises to present the great scenery of Halong Bay for you to shoot the admirable photos on the first day Halong Bay Photography Tour onboard.
Overnight on the Junk.
Photo moments of the day: The delightful drive from Hanoi to Halong, the glimpse of Red River Delta, and the marvelous scenery of Halong Bay on the cruise.
Day 5: HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
Enjoy the incredible sunrise on Halong Bay while you are relaxing on the sun deck while savoring a cup of tea or coffee. Then, have breakfast in the pure air and gorgeous scenery of Halong. The Junk will start sailing to Cong Dam, and you can discover geological values of Bai Tu Long Bay along the way. Once arrived, enjoy kayaking through the secluded lagoons and the exceptional geological park in Cong Dam. After that, come back to the Junk for sailing to Tra Gioi Beach to delight the self by sunbathing, relaxing or swimming. In this pristine beach, you find it ideal to relax and savor BBQ seafood lunch. After the succulent lunch, sail to Cong Dam Fishing Village. The villagers will invite you to their lovely villages via the traditional basket boats. Visit the impressive lagoon, the local school, the fishing farm, and interact with the friendly fishermen in the village. After that, the basket boat will take you back to the Junk. Then, we sail back to Cong Dam area. The rest-of-the-day relaxation is all about swimming and also relaxing right on the Junk. In the evening, enjoy the awesome high-class dinner in Thien Canh Son Cave.
Overnight on the Junk in Halong.
Photo moments of the day: The magnificent scenery of Halong Bay during the cruise trip is before eyes in the most detailed manner.
Day 6: HALONG BAY – HANOI – THO HA VILLAGE – HUE (B/L/-)
In the morning, cruise around Bai Tu Long Bay. The Junk will anchor in a scenic place for you to enjoy swimming – this is the last swim in Halong Bay included in the tour. Then, cruise to the harbor while A la carte lunch is ready to serve. On the route back to Hanoi, stop by Tho Ha Village, which is famous for the terracotta items before the 20th century. Once arrived, experience a short ferry to the concerned village. Travel to a local home of Mr. Viet to witness how rice paper is produced and also have the interesting talk with Mr. Viet about his family as well as his life. Mr. Viet was an NVA (Northern Vietnamese Army) who contributed to liberating Saigon in 1975. The experience teaches you much about the life of the local villagers. Then, come to visit the 400-year-old pagoda that preserves all primary architecture and Buddha statues, with the greatly divine and serene atmosphere that has not been touched by the tourists. Also, come to discover the village through the narrow and zigzag alleys in which the old houses had been built from the broken parts of terracotta in the past. Walk to the end of the village to reach the dike, where to see the whole village from a distance over the pretty lake. The great attractions for taking photos here are the narrow alleys, ancient Pagoda and the interesting daily life activities of the locals. Take a ferry back for the drive to Noi Bai Airport and the short flight to Hue. Once landing at Phu Bai Airport, transfer to the scheduled hotel in Hue.
Overnight in Hue.
Photo moments of the day: The joyful walking tour to Tho Ha Village to photograph the ordinary village of the Red River Delta region, the informative visit to a local family and unique pagoda in the village.
Day 7: HUE PHOTO TOUR (B/-/-)
In the morning, take a beautiful walk over Trang Tien Bridge to Dong Ba – the biggest wholesale market located on the bank of Perfume River, where you can see the most interesting morning activities before local people starting their business. As in the morning, everyone is preparing for the new day of sales in the market; so, everything is so lifelike and fresh, and the spirit of the market is entirely different to the rest of the day. The walk across Trang Tien Bridge also provides you lots of photos possibilities as people come to the market and carry their goods on the cyclo, bicycle or basket with the bamboo pole.
Then, return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, take a cyclo trip along the river to the hidden sections around Hue Imperial Citadel to take the photos of the regular but spectacular streets where the local people are living hundred of years ago. Stop at Noon Gate of Imperial Citadel to experience the unique walking tour to the inner sections of the Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The eminent places to see are Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, and Forbidden Purple City. They provide you with numerous photographic subjects of the antique architecture and art from Royal Palace of the King.
In the afternoon, come to see Tu Duc and Minh Mang Tombs, explore the scenic and attractive architecture of these unusual constructions in Hue as well as listening to the mystic stories of the Kings. After that, travel to Thien Mu Pagoda – the symbol of Hue. Positioned on Ha Khe Hill by Perfume River, this is one of the most picturesque places of Hue, and you can take the exceptional photos of the river as well as the amazing pagoda here. Then, enjoy a walk around Kim Long Village to get the great opportunity to learn about the local lifestyle. Visit the hundred-year-old ancient house that belongs to the Mandarin of Royal Court in the village, and talk to 84-year-old lady – the granddaughter of the Mandarin in the house. Here, you can take many great shots of the traditional garden house in Hue and the daily activities of the people in the house.
Overnight in Hue.
Photo moments of the day: The great walking tour to Dong Ba Market, the exceptional cyclo tour in Hue, the spectacular tour to Citadel and Tombs of the Kings, and the peaceful walking tour to Kim Long Village.
Day 8: HUE PHOTO SHOOTING (B/-/-)
The second day reserved to Hue Photography Tour – Spend the whole day for shooting the hidden place away from tourism. In the morning, explore the ancient town of Bao Vinh; then, take the pleasant drive along the tranquil green countryside to Thanh Toan Covered Bridge. In the afternoon, take the boat to Tam Giang that has the magnificent hidden lagoon and many fascinating local activities in the fishing village. Enjoy photographing the golden sunset on the lagoon before you come back to Hue
Overnight in Hue.
Photo moments of the day: The pristine corners of Hue and countryside tranquil scenery of Bao Vinh and Thanh Toan Bridge, the interesting daily life activities, and the fascinating landscape on Tam Giang Lagoon in the sunset.
Day 9: HUE – DANANG – HOIAN (B/-/-)
In the morning, depart to Danang and stop by the well-known Hai Van Pass to take pictures of Lap An Lagoon in Lang Co. Once arrived, visit Cham Museum to witness the big collection of sandstone artifacts from the 4th century to the 13th century. Then, drive to the attractive little Hoi An Town. Hoi An is very famous as the living museum that originally was one of main trading hubs of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. On the way, stop for shooting the famous Marble Mountain. After that, check in to the hotel; then, take the orientation walk around the town with the first photo opportunity in Hoi An at night.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Photo moments of the day: The exciting drive over Hai Van Pass and the spectacular drive along the sea coast.
Day 10: HOI AN PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR (B/-/-)
Visit Thanh Ha Fish Market in Hoi An in the early morning. About 3 km from the town by the side of Thu Bon River, the fish market is amongst the most attractive sites for taking the photographs of Hoi An. The lighting and the busy activities at the fish market as well as the gorgeous scenery on the river is perfect for the first shooting in the daytime. Come back to the hotel for breakfast, and then take a walk for photo shooting in Hoi An Ancient Town. The walk will start within the little alley from the Phan Chu Trinh Street to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. This is the typical old street of Hoi An, which can show you the exceptional atmosphere of the antique town. Travel to the Japanese Cover Bridge – the indispensable symbol of Hoi An. Then, come to Tan Ky, the most reputable and authentic old house in the town. Then, you take a walk along the Nguyen Thai Hoc Street – the ancient street of Hoi An to reach the town market. Spend time in the local market and also Phuc Kien Congressional Assembly Hall. The Hall is the great communal venue for the Chinese community from Fukien province in China, and the critical temple to Thien Hau (the Goddess protecting people on the sea – that was very meaningful in the belief of the Chinese Merchant and Fishman in the past). Then, enjoy noontime at leisure.
In the afternoon, walk to Tra Que – the well-known village for growing herbs and vegetables to supply for the whole Hoi An Town. Enjoy photographing there. Then, take the cyclo trip to Cam Nam Village. The cyclo will drive you from the town to Cam Nam Bridge. You will have the first stop to capture photos of the local activities and landscape on the Thu Bon River. The cyclo will continue taking you along the Thu Bon River bank, where you can have another photo stop for the panoramic view of Hoi An from another side of the river. Just travel along the riverside and also cycle through the local villages of Cam Nam. This is the untouched area with very friendly and hospitable people. You can observe their daily life activities or even surveying the interior of their houses and their life via the always opened doors. The cyclo trip will be ended at small green canal covered by many water coconut trees. Here, embark on the boat and sail on Thu Bon River. You can experience the daily life of the local people along the river, such as fishing, farming, or catching clam. Come back to Hoi An around the sunset.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Photo moments of the day: The exciting morning tour to Hoi An Fish Market and the memorable walk around Hoi An Ancient Town, the happy Cyclo trip to Cam Nam Village, and peaceful boat trip on Thu Bon river.
Day 11: HOI AN – MYSON – HOIAN (B/-/-)
Free morning for shopping and further discovering Hoi An on your own. You have time to complete your album in Hoi An Photography Tour. In the afternoon, drive to My Son, the sacred land of Champa Kingdom dated back from 4th to 13th century. If arriving in My Son before sunset, you will have the great occasion to explore and witness the magnificent zone of the ancient complex of approximately 70 different religious towers. You can find the world’s best brick sculpture and learn the influences of Hinduism there. My Son had been recognized as the World Cultural Heritage in 1999. The best time for photography in My Son is at the sunset when the lighting is magic, and the number of tourists is few. Return to Hoi An in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Photo moments of the day: The peerless My Son Sanctuary – the divine land of Cham people, the exceptional history, architecture and nature of both Hoi An and My Son.
Day 12: HOI AN – DA NANG – SAIGON (B/-/-)
In the morning, transfer to Danang Airport to take a flight to Saigon. Once arrived in Saigon, come to Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office to take photographs of these famous sites. Then, the tour guide will guide you walk along the long and tiny alley right in the heart of Saigon that will offer numerous photographic subjects of the daily life of Saigonese. In the afternoon, enjoy photographing China Town, the extraordinary identity of Saigon. Worship in Thien Hau Pagoda, the spiritual venue of hundreds of local people who come to burn the incenses for luck, success and happiness. The photo of the incense burners taken in this temple has appeared on the 1st edition of Lonely Planet of Vietnam. Then, take a walk to the historic street where the movie “The Lover” had been taken. The street owns the very impressive popular cafeterias and shops that sell all the colorful paper decoration items for the ceremony. After that, walk around Binh Tay Market, the biggest wholesale market in the town. This market sells most of the products that you want to find. The market was established by Quach Dam – the rich Chinese man, constructed the market in the year of 1930, and today you still can see his statue and his tomb in the center of the market. This place has the great combination of the bustling market atmosphere and the traditional Chinese architecture. In the sunset, enjoy recording the images of the hidden and beautiful areas around Binh Tay Market. One-Day Saigon Photography Tour is close with your sucessful pictures!
Overnight in Saigon.
Photo moments of the day: The interesting city tour in Saigon with the hidden alleys in the city center, the significant Cho Lon Market, and holy Thien Hau Pagoda in the China Town.
Day 13: FULL DAY TO TAY NINH AND CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
In the morning, depart to Tay Ninh – the center of Cao Dai religion. Once arrived, spend time visiting the extraordinary Holy Temple of Caodaism – the local popular religion which is the symbol of the curious blend of the Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Then, join the fantastic mid-day mass. The unique architecture of the Temple and the mass at noontime will be the highlights of your photography here. After lunch at the local restaurant, drive to Cu Chi to witness the renowned network of tunnels – the Vietnamese irreplaceable historical base. Cu Chi Tunnels include more than 250-km underground tunnels. The major axis system has lots of branches which connect the underground hideouts, shelters and entrances to the other tunnels. The tunnels are from 0.5 to 1m wide, which is just enough for one person to crawl. Then, transfer back to Saigon.
Overnight in Saigon.
Photo moments of the day: The exclusive Cao Dai Temple, the appealing mid-day mass, and the historical Cu Chi Tunnel.
Day 14: SAIGON – CAI LAY – CAN THO FOR MEKONG DELTA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR (B/L/-)
In the morning, have the 2-hour drive from Saigon to Cai Lay – the small but fertile town in Mekong Delta region through the modern national freeway. Once arrived, drop off at the town’s local pier and begin boarding to the motorized boat for a 30-min boat trip on one of the narrow branches of Mekong River. Contemplate the active life on the water of the locals. Disembark at Cam Son Bridge to start an interesting cycling trip (alternative transportation is “xe loi”, a fun local means of transport) to explore Mekong Delta in depth. The ride is about 7km on the shady narrow countryside roads curving over tiny canals and pass by the lush fruit gardens as well as the sleepy villages. Lots of kids will greet you with a big smile and say “Hi” to you. Along the rural road, come to see local factories, fish farm, and green rice paddies to learn quickly about the local economy and business. Arrive at a lush orchard with a variety of tropical fruits. Also, enjoy a friendly chat with the owners by chatting about Vietnam as well as the daily life in both past and present. They will be very happy to show you their gardens. Take the chance to taste the fresh fruits just picked from the trees. Then, unwill interestingly with a sampan ride to visit an ancient local house, have a brief interaction with these chummy residents in their 100-year-old house before savoring the typical lunch with many authentic dishes of the Mekong Delta. Bid farewell to the family, and then, drive to Can Tho – the capital city of Mekong Delta. Check in the scheduled hotel in Can Tho after the significient day just for Mekong Detla Photography Tour.
Overnight in Can Tho.
Photo moments of the day: The wonderful tour to Cai Lay to capture the daily life activities of the local people and the typical landscape of Mekong Delta, the peaceful boat trip along the river and canals, the delicious fresh fruits, and the beautiful garden.
Day 15: CAN THO – SAIGON (B/L/-)
In the morning, take the early boat trip to visit Cai Rang Floating Market where the local people sell all products of Mekong Delta land. It will be a great time for joining the local activities and taking the stunning pictures. The boat will carry you to the floating market two times to ensure that you will have enough opportunities for photography here. Then, you are boating to the local bustling inland market where to find all local products of Mekong Delta. From the market, enjoy the short boat trip to the tranquil alleys and get hands-on experiences in the actual daily activities of the local people. Take the pleasant walk to the local village and mingle with the local people before moving to the rice processing factory. Here, you will know precisely how the white rice is made. The walk along the canal to the rice factory also directs you through the local village with the countless photo opportunities. There will be a car to transfer you to Sao Hom Restaurant for lunch. After lunchtime, drive back to Saigon. Arrive in Saigon in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Saigon.
Photo moments of the day: Cai Rang Floating Market, Local Market in land and rice processing factory.
Day 16: SAIGON – DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Have free time until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the departure flight. End of Vietnam Photo Tour 16 Days.
- Transportation: private air-conditioned vehicle with the seasoned driver
- Air tickets: Hanoi – Hue and Danang – Saigon
- Accommodation: hotels (twin shared room)
- Meals as shown: B = breakfast, L = lunch
- English-speaking tour guide (experienced guide for Vietnam Photography Tours)
- Entrance fee to the promoted tourist attractions
- Water puppet show
- Boat trips
- Water bottles & cool towels
Services excluded: The other additional meals and drinks, tip (for the tour guide or driver), international flight and airport tax, single room choice, personal expenses, and insurance.
Overland Vietnam Photo Tour price in USD per person valid till 20 December 2018
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