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  • Photograph South Vietnam & Cambodia

    This unique Vietnam and Cambodia photography tour, aims to encourage keen amateur photographers, not only to get to know their cameras better but to engage with their subject matter in more meaningful ways. This trip intends to emphasize a travel photography that appreciates local people, their cultures, traditions and religions and encourages a positive impact on the places and people it visits.

     

    An exciting river and land adventure through the heart of Indochina: from Vietnam's bustling Saigon and picturesque Mekong Delta region, up-river to the fascinating Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, before heading west via the mysterious & dramatic, jungle-clad temples of Angkor.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    • Visit the markets, street-life, pagodas and sites of vibrant and fascinating Saigon
    • Go underground at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, the vast subterranean former Vietcong base
    • Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta region: a labyrinth of waterways and islands with traditional villages, orchards and cottage industries
    • Check out the fascinating, photogenic and still very traditional floating markets of the Mekong Delta
    • Travel by boat up the mighty Mekong River from Vietnam's border town of Chau Doc to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh
    • An introductory tour of Phnom Penh; fast recovering from its recent tragic history to regain its place as one of Indochina's most attractive and fun cities
    • Discover the timeless and picturesque Cambodian countryside; emerald rice paddies, traditional stilt houses, ox carts and village life
    • Explore incredible Angkor; ruined temples clad in steamy jungle, where flocks of parrots and squabbling monkeys dart between mysterious stone carvings
    • Stay in charming Siem Reap, small but lively provincial town and jumping-off point for the nearby Angkor ruins
    • Spectacular boat trip across the Tonle Sap lake and up the Sangkar River
    • Sample the region's awesome and varied cuisine with the emphasis as usual on the authentic and local favourites


    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    HCMC Arrival

    Morning arrival in Saigon, meet your tour leader and transfer to a downtown hotel. Introductory presentation by Nathan concerning some of the techniques, aesthetics and ethics of Travel Photography, followed by a leisurely afternoon to recover from your flight: explore the area, browse the markets or just relax in a cafe and watch the non-stop spectacle of the city’s traffic!

    Saigon street life, city scenes.

    Recommended Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City:

    - Northern Hotel Saigon
    Lavender Saigon Hotel


    Day 2

    HCMC

    Day tour of some of the City’s sites including the bustling Chinatown district of Cholon, the War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Saigon’s own Notre Dame Cathedral.

    Saigon street life, city scenes, markets, pagodas, French colonial period architecture.


    Day 3

    HCMC - Cu Chi Tunnel - Cai Be

    Departure from Saigon for a visit to the fascinating Vietcong tunnel system at Cu Chi before continuing south to the scenic riverside, Delta town of Cai Be for an afternoon boat cruise through the maze of waterways. Discover the region's picturesque scenery, and the local cottage industries and handicraft manufacturing of the, still very traditional, villages. Overnight in Cai Be Town.

    country scenes, historical sites, Mekong Delta scenery, cottage industries.


    Day 4

    Cai Be’s traditional floating market - Can Tho

    Morning visit to Cai Be’s traditional floating market followed by a canoe tour of the former Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit. After lunch we’ll head for Can Tho – the Delta’s most important commercial and administrative centre. Afternoon at leisure to explore this friendly riverside town or check-out the interesting Mekong Delta Museum.

     floating markets, historical sites, river life.


    Day 5

    Can Tho - Chau Doc

    Early morning boat ride to check out the nearby morning market; one of the busiest and most photogenic of the Delta’s floating markets, before heading west to the small riverside town of Chau Doc near the Cambodian border. Visit the sacred Sam Mountain for sunset and spectacular views before returning to Chau Doc in the evening.

     floating markets, river life, country life, landscapes, pagodas.

    Mekong Delta Hotels in tour:

    - Mekong Lodge
    - Kim Tho Hotel
    - Victoria Nui Sam Lodge


    Day 6

    Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

    Back on the Mekong for a morning departure by boat for Phnom Penh. Lunchtime arrival and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel. Time to stretch your legs with an introductory walking tour, taking in the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and lively waterfront area.

      River scenes, landscapes, Phnom Penh street scenes, historic buildings; French colonial style and Buddhist temples.


    Day 7

    Phnom Penh

    Day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city: the infamous Killing Fields site and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng help to explain the country’s recent tragic history, the picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda will provide plenty of photo opportunities whilst the Russian Market offers some ‘retail therapy’ and a chance for a local style lunch.

     street scenes, markets, people, historical sites.


    Day 8

    Phnom Penh

    In the morning we’ll visit Wat Phnom and the old French Quarter including a detour to Psa Chas – the Old Market - and one of central Phnom Penh’s most bustling before heading off in the afternoon to nearby Koh Dach, or ‘Silk Island’. Lying just a short ride from the city it’s nonetheless a world away and will allow you to experience local village life as well as an opportunity to discover the traditional silk weaving methods still employed on this picturesque Mekong River island.

     markets and street-life, villages and handicrafts.


    Day 9

    Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

    Up-country through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the small provincial town of Siem Reap in Western Cambodia – our base for the next few days and jumping off point for the nearby Angkor Temple complex. Stops on the way at the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon, (tasting not compulsory), the rarely visited but well preserved 10th century temple of Kuhananokor and lunch by a scenic lake. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei completes our day.

     landscapes - countryside, villages, rural life, ‘on the road’.


    Day 10

    Siem Reap

    Angkor – an unforgettable two-day tour of this fabulous site – its vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat followed by a comprehensive morning tour of the temple itself. Then late morning return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and for some lunch, siesta or relaxation time before an afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom: Leper King Terrace, Preah Palilay, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon & last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone!), the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous ‘faces’.

     architecture, historical sites, ruined temples, dawn at Angkor Wat, landscapes, flora and fauna.


    Day 11

    Siem Reap

    We’ll begin with a forest hike up Bahkeng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bahkeng Temple and check out the views before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and trees and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. After a midday break in Siem Reap Town- the afternoon programme continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote and rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. A visit to the famous Ta Prom ruins – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ Temple continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’s visit.

     architecture, historical sites, ruined temples, landscapes, jungle flora and fauna.


    Day 12

    Off the beaten track with a morning trip to the remote site of Beng Melea Temple – until recently off limits due to appalling roads and uncleared mines – but for the few who have visited, certainly one of the most memorable temple sites. Stop off at the lively rural market Dam Dek and afternoon at leisure in Siem Reap – relax by the pool, a visit to the unusual landmines museum or the local markets?

     rural markets and villages, landscapes, historical sites, rarely photographed temples.


    Day 13

    Tonle Sap Lake - Siem Reap - Battambang

    Spectacular boat journey across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the ‘flooded forest’ and Prek Toal bird sanctuary and on down the Sangkar River and its floating and stilt-house fishing villages to the town of Battambang. Stop off on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project. Time of arrival will depend upon water levels.

      river and lake scenes, floating fishing villages, country scenes, landscapes.


    Day 14

    Battambang

    Morning ride through the paddy-fields on Battambang’s famous ‘bamboo train’, (we’ll explain later!), followed by some leisure time to explore the friendly provincial town or just chill-out in one of the many coffee shops. After lunch we’ll head out to the surrounding villages to check out the area’s traditional cottage industries and handicrafts either by bicycle or tuk-tuk for the less energetic.

     architecture, village life, cottage industries, landscapes


    Day 15

    Battambang - Kampong Chnang - Phnom Penh

    Travelling east our first stop will be the lively and colourful local market in Pursat Town for a chance to stretch our legs, check out the weird and wonderful produce on display, meet the friendly locals plus of course plenty of photo opportunities. Moving on we’ll stop at the fascinating river port town of Kompong Chnang where half the town is actually floating on the Tonle Sap River and explore the bustling river front area before continuing to our day’s final destination, Phnom Penh.

     markets, landscapes, river-life


    Day 16

    Battambang

    Afternoon transfer to Phnom Penh airport for a return flight.

     

     

      MORE TOURS HERE


    NOTES:

    • Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. At Vietnam Senses Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.
    • Prices include the following:
      . All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast
      . Internal economy flights as stated with airport taxes
      . All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle
      . Private services of local guides
      . All special events & private tours, guest experts
      . All entrance fees into historical sights & museums
      . Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring
      . 24/7 support from the Vietnam Senses Travel Team

     

    Location
    Accommodation

    SAIGON
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    Northern Hotel Saigon

    • An added bonus at the Northern Hotel is the good sized rooms that feature large windows to make the most of those city views. Incidentally, all of the rooms have external windows, which is quite unusual in Saigon.
    • The décor is contemporary and easy-on-the-eye, with modern-style marble bathrooms and all the facilities you require to make your stay comfortable.
    • The Northern Hotel prides itself on its service levels: you’re guaranteed a warm welcome, with nothing too much trouble. Facilities include a pleasant mezzanine-floor restaurant and a small gym.

    MY THO
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    Mekong Lodge

    • Positioning itself as ‘an evergreen eco-tourist resort’ the lodge ensures that guests focus their energies on the delta region’s more rural aspects of living; namely walking, cycling, fishing, orchards and villages. There’s even a chance to get stuck into some kitchen activities with one of the lodge’s cooking classes. In fact, the closest you’ll come to city living of any sort is through a visit to Cai Be’s bustling floating market.
    • The thatched bungalows are spacious and airy, with cool, tiled flooring and a private veranda, with views over the gardens or river. The entire property is set amongst vibrant fruit and vegetable gardens. There’s also a very pleasant riverside bar and restaurant – perhaps the perfect location to watch the Mekong Delta turn amber at the end of the day.

    CAN THO 
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    Kim Tho Hotel

    • Guest rooms are large, airy and sleek, combining woods and a neutral decor in a pleasant contemporary style. Views vary between city and river and rooms benefit from a modern range of basic amenities.
    • Whilst there is no pool, there is a very pleasant sauna, jacuzzi and massage service; and the location isn't to be sniffed at either - extremely central and convenient for the market and for dining out.

    CHAU DOC
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    Victoria Nui Sam Lodge

    • Accommodation is spacious, with stylish modern decor defined by tiled terracotta floors, high wooden ceilings, comfortably upholstered wooden furniture, and a tranquil, uncluttered feel.
    • Walls and linens are cream, with soft furnishings in a palette of sage and cinnamon. Rooms benefit from ample natural light let in by big French windows, which open onto private terraces with views down the mountainside and across the valley.
    • The restaurant and bar boast superb views out across the Mekong Delta below, as does the pool, which is situated on the roof. Cuisine is Vietnamese, with international options at breakfast, and patisserie, sandwiches and lunches can be found at the cosy Baguette cafe.
    • Enjoy cocktails by the pool, and for more energetic relaxation take advantage of the ample leafy grounds complete with health trail and volleyball court. The area is also excellent for mountain-biking.