Northern landscapes and the vanishing tribes

  • icon-date11 DAYS
  • icon-date21 Meals

The name “Northern Landscapes and the vanishing tribes” have said it all about the primary activities of our journey. This photography tour concentrates on landscapes and we all know that Northern Vietnam is incredibly perfect for it. And, once you have picked the north of Vietnam, our leaders and local experts know where to take you to the most off beaten paths & authentic spots to experience and photograph the unique hill tribal cultures and lifestyles.

Photography Guide: Diep Van (or) Cuong Nguyen

Best time: Year Round

Dear photographers,  please note that only major locations/dates are written in stone. All our photography tours are handcrafted to maximize the best image-making opportunities possible. There will be several happy surprises and great photo opportunities that happen along the journey depending on certain circumstances. Learn more: Photography tour Vietnam

Day 1: Hello Hanoi (D)

On arrival at Noi Bai (Hanoi) airport, our guide & driver will pick you up and then transfer you to the hotel to drop off luggage and get some rest. After that, we head out for a street shoot in the Hanoi Old Quarter and its 36 streets.

Then make our way to Long Bien Bridge which was considered the pride, symbol of architecture in the Far East, and also one of the first bridges built by the French in Vietnam. After sunset, we’ll position for high-angle street scenes using tripods for twilight, motion blur action. A sumptuous Vietnamese dinner follows.

Long Coc

Day 2: Incense village in Hanoi – Endless tea hills In Long Coc (B, D)

After enjoying your complimentary breakfast at our hotel, we will visit a colorful incense-making village on the outskirt of the city. Return to the center for lunch before hitting the road to the stunning tea plantations of Long Coc. Photograph the almost surreal landscapes, with local workers if we prefer. The day ends beautifully at our charming Muong Village Homestay where we will have our delicious home-cook meal.

Day 3: Tea Hill in Long Coc- Tribe villages in Lam Binh (B, L, D)

Capturing the spectacular sunrise over the endless tea hill. When it comes to the right season, the hills are blanketed by fog and turn into a photographer’s delight. After spending a decent amount of time here, we will make our way to Lam Binh, Tuyen Quang which is the home of Pa Then and Tay ethnic groups. It is a long drive from Long Coc to Lam Binh but it pays off the journey by offering many scenic views and beautiful stops on the way. When we get there, spend some time with the locals and feel their warm hospitality, then start our photography shoot in the village before heading to a Tay tribal homestay when we spend the night after a long but exciting day.

Day 4: Goodbye Lam Binh- Ha Giang- Quan Ba (B, D)

After having our complimentary breakfast at the homestay, we will do a boat trip on Na Hang Lake with an opportunity to capture the stunning landscapes while cruising and also visit the Nam Me waterfall. Say goodbye to Lam Binh before driving to Ha Giang. Ha Giang is well known for the mountain’s pass (Ma Pi Leng pass) among local and international tourists but today, we will take you to a seduced spot named Quan Ba where is the home of hill tribe villages and the spectacular Twin Mountains “Nui Doi”. It therefore will be an opportunity to do landscape and portrait photography shoots.

Day 5: Quan Ba – Yen Minh- Pho Bang (B, D)

Our day starts with a drive from Quan Ba to Pho Bang where driving is not just driving, it is a scenic drive where we can stop for our morning landscapes combined with people photography, and documentary of cloth weaving of H’mong tribe in Lung Tam. There are 54 ethnic groups located in different areas of Vietnam and unfortunately, some of them are vanishing due to different reasons. Today, we will visit the 2 vanishing tribes which are Bo Y (Bố Y) with approximately 3000 inhabitants and Pu Peo (Pu Péo) with 903 inhabitants left in Vietnam.

Day 6: Farewell Pho Bang- Lung Cu- Dong Van (B, L)

Before heading to Lung Cu, we will spend our time at the forgotten town Pho Bang and a unique tribal market which is organized on a day of “Rat & Horse” following the Lunar Calendar). On the way to Lung Cu, we will stop for a karst landscape photoshoot and visit white H’mong & Flower Lo Lo (Lô Lô) tribes in Sung La valley. By the afternoon, we will reach Lung Cu, the northernmost point of Vietnam. Portraying Black Lo To tribe will be our last activity today before getting to Dong Van where we stay for the night.

Day 7: Dong Van – Meo Vac- Bao Lac (B, D)

Although the Ha Giang Pass (Ma Pi Leng pass) is popular for motorbiking, it is definitely a great place for landscape photography! On one side are dangerous cliffs and the abyss on the other side, Ma Pi Leng is a fascinating scenery for any camera frame. And of course, we cannot miss the boat trip on Nho Que river to get closer to the Tu san Abyss Alley which is described as the most splendid canyon in Southeast Asia and a one-of-a-kind wonder that cannot be missed on a northern Vietnam trip. While cruising along Nho Que river, we will photograph the hill tribe villages.

Day 8: Bao Lac – Cao Bang – Phong Nam (B, D)

We know it is hard to say goodbye to Ha Giang but there is more to see in this trip. Make our way to Trung Khanh, Cao Bang province which is known for being the home of the fourth biggest waterfall in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. Besides the stunning Ban Gioc waterfall, Trung Khanh is a paradise for landscape photography lovers with vast rice paddy fields laying on the side of a poetic Quay Son River that originates in Guangxi Province of China and through the Po Peo border. Before spending our evening at a Nung tribe’s homestay, we will capture the sunset over Phong Nam Valley.

Day 9: Phong Nam & Ngoc Con Valley & Ban Gioc Waterfall (B, D)

Our day starts early with a sunrise at Phong Nam and Ngoc Con valley which is home to the Tay tribe who significantly contributed to the beauty of the town through their agricultural works a hundred years ago with rice terraces cultivated in the valley along the Quay Son River. Similar to the other parts of Northern Vietnam, the town will be in the most beautiful version of itself during the rice harvest season, in Autumn (September to early October) and it attracts visitors not only to the rice terraces but the wild beauty and peaceful rural life. The day continues with a landscape photography shoot in the frontier area of Trung Khanh and ends at Ban Gioc Waterfall.

Day 10: Sunrise over Ban Gioc Waterfall- Hanoi (B, D)

Wake up in the early morning to capture the sunrise moment over Ban Gioc Waterfall and feel free to walk around to find your best photography position. Head back to the homestay and enjoy our delicious breakfast before getting back to Hanoi.

Day 11: Farewell Hanoi (B)

You’ll be driven to the airport according to your departure time and given a fond farewell. You’ll be tired and probably ready to go home, but part of you will miss not getting up in the morning for another shoot!

INCLUSIVE: 

Photography guide & tutor in English speaking

All accommodation as itinerary

Ground transport in the latest model

Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

Plenty of bottled water & refresh towels throughout

All entrance, zone, camera fees and border permit

Local model & village donations

EXCLUSIVE: 

In-country flights, airport & International airfare

Personal purchases (drinks in meals or hotels, laundry….)

Medica travel insurance & Medical Expenses

Gratuities for hotel porters, drivers, or photography guide

Vietnam visa fee