Embark on a 3-day photographic tour that will take you away from beaten paths and let you discover the traditional Mekong Delta.
Throughout this photo adventure, you will sail on some of the region’s most beautiful arroyos, ride through endless coconut groves and mesmerizing fluorescent green rice fields, visit some authentic Khmer temples and meet with the monks, witness the colorful morning activity of genuine floating markets, and will get many other great opportunities to capture the true beauty of the Mekong Delta and its people.
We begin the day by picking you up at your hotel and heading down to the Delta, with our first stop being Ben Tre.
We start our exploration of the Delta by taking a sampan along a narrow canal lined with mangrove trees, before returning to land for a bicycle ride through dense coconut plantations. We then return to the quayside in Ben Tre, where the bustling market and streets full of commercial activity provide a vibrant tableau for street photography.
In the afternoon we head to the Khmer cultural heartland of Tra Vinh, where we will visit some of the 141 Khmer temples practicing the Theravada branch of Buddhism – a wonderful opportunity to experience these serene, peaceful places and get some wonderful portraits of the young monks in their saffron-coloured robes.
We’ll then cross two branches of the Mekong by ferry and spend the night in the town of Soc Trang.
Visiting local markets, observing daily life of local people
After breakfast, our first stop is Nga Nam floating market, the oldest market in the Delta. Its remoteness and lack of tourism infrastructure have kept it off most tourist itineraries. Situated at the confluence of five canals, it boasts more floating vendors than any other market which is why it’s our first choice.
To really get in amongst the traders we’ll use a small traditional local boat, which will help us interact with the vendors and get some really good shots. To help you get different perspectives on the market, we’ll also shoot from the balcony of a nearby house and from the market quayside.
We’ll then take the road to reach Tiger Island located across from the city of Long Xuyen. Upon our arrival, we will hop on bikes to go around the island to get a sense of its unique atmosphere. The islanders have preserved their traditional blue houses whose main rooms are open to the outside, visible through partition made of wooden bars. This is a magical sight at night.
Dinner and overnight stay with a local islander.
Nga Nam floating market, Tiger Island
Sunrise on the Long Xuyen floating market. This market, located away from the city on a wide arm of the delta, is probably one of the most typical in the area and one of the largest since it extends over one kilometer.
The scarcity of tourists makes contact with the most authentic locals and therefore facilitates exchanges. We then discover a Khmer floating village where hundreds of families live on houseboats. During floods, the water level rises several meters. Houseboats follow the movement of the water.
On the way back, we come across the very photogenic village of Dinh Yen which is specialized in the manufacture of traditional mats. We’ll reach Ho Chi Minh in the late afternoon.
Long Xuyen floating market, Khmer floating village, Dinh Yen village
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