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  • Vietnam Photo Vacations

    This is not your father’s Vietnam. Things have changed, and fast. Vietnam is one of SE Asia’s fastest growing economies, and our visit here will show plenty of evidence of that. But there is also lots of history on display in Old Vietnam, with substantial French colonial influence, and remnants of the American War everywhere.

     

    This impressively resilient country will surprise you at every corner. Not only is it physically beautiful (amazing beaches, rice fields carved from mountains), but it’s also historically fascinating, and the people have a charm about them that will leave you with photographs and memories forever.

     

    The Vietnam that is emerging today may well surprise you. It’s found a way to embrace it’s history will still managing to grow at a pace that is envied all over SE Asia. We will experience the legendary Vietnam hospitality, bear witness to it’s beautiful people, and breathe in it’s culture through historical sites and incredible beauty. With 1000-year-old cities that appear both ancient and incredibly modern at the same time, it’s easy to see how this country will become one of the most important places in the region.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    • This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment.
    • Catch Hoi An at blue hour, when it looks it’s best.
    • Photograph Sapa and the Hill Tribes in the villages around the area.
    • Filled with a lot of amazing images in Hanoi from the streets of this cosmopolitan city.

    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

    Meet and greet upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Private transfer on your own vehicle to the hotel for check in. After we are settled into our classic hotel in the city centre, we will discuss PWA’s “10 guiding principles of photography” as well as our “The Art of Seeing” photographic technique. During our “Welcome Dinner” in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s best French-Vietnamese restaurants, we will have informal discussions about what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. A walking tour of the downtown area at night will allow us to shoot the crowded city streets and abundant late day activities.

    Recommended Hotels in Saigon:

    - Liberty Central Riverside
    - Villa Song Hotel


    Day 2

    Ho Chi Minh City

    There is a lot to see in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly historical districts and buildings. Among the highlights would be the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office that was designed by Gustave Eiffel (remember the French influence?). We will also have a chance to visit one of the large open markets as well. We will venture up to the observation deck of Bitexco Financial Tower. With breathtaking views of the city and surrounding areas, it’s a fitting tribute to the modern Vietnam that lives today.

      Notre Dame Cathedral, Bitexco Financial Tower and the Central Post Office


    Day 3

    Ho Chi Minh City - Hoi An

    We head to the HCMC airport in the morning, and take a short flight to Danang. After our arrival in Danang, it’s a quick 40 km journey through the beautiful countryside to Hội An, on the central coast, where we will settle into our hotel on the waterfront. Hội An is a UNESCO world heritage site, and maintains much of it’s old charm from when it was one of the busiest ports in all of Asia, centuries ago. The market and harbor at night are highlights for photographs. We’ll catch Hội An at blue hour, when it looks it’s best. In the evening, we’ll get a chance to share our photos and discuss techniques with one another.

    Recommended Hoi An Town Hotels:

    - Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa
    - Hotel Royal Hoi An


    Day 4

    Hoi An - Sapa

    We have the morning to explore more of Hoi An, and after lunch have a flight up to Hanoi, in order to catch a luxurious overnight train to Sapa, a small mountain village near the border with China. Sapa is a strong contrast to the bustling life of large cities in Vietnam. In Sapa, we will have wonderful opportunities to see ancient village life among the hill tribes. This village of roughly 7000 is at a high elevation and boasts beautiful landscapes filled with terraced rice paddies. It’s considered the most picturesque in the region. Because of the elevation, it’s a pretty wet climate and rain and fog is abundant during much of the year. Expect to see some of the most beautiful parts of inland Vietnam here.

    Recommended Hotels in Sapa:

    - U Sapa Hotel
    Topas Ecolodge


    Day 5

    Sapa

    Our first full day in Sapa will concentrate on photographing the Hill Tribes in the villages around the area. There are many ethnic minorities in this part of Vietnam, many of which are not seen anywhere else. Rural life here dates back centuries and generations, and it’s etched on the faces of the locals and their children. Our evenings will be spent in comfort in our hilltop hotel, overlooking the Sapa valley, and allow us to share our experiences and photographs. Overnight in Sapa.


    Day 6

    Sapa

    Our second day in Sapa will allow us to spend time seeking out the best views of the terraces that layer the hillsides of this region. Taking a journey through the mountainous community to visit markets and interact with colorful locals, will provide you with images you will always cherish. It’s the people of Sapa that will be what you remember the most from your time here.

     Visiting local market, Mountain ethnic village


    Day 7

    Sapa - Hanoi

    Our final day in Sapa will allow us to spend time in a local market with the Hmong people, in their colorful dress. So much of their culture is centered around traditional family roles, farming and selling their produce. We’ll venture up the mountainside in search of the best views overlooking the terraced rice fields, carved out centuries ago. Tonight, we will embark on the journey south by the overnight train to bring us back to Hanoi, arriving rested and ready for the day ahead.

    Recommended Hanoi Hotels:

    - Movenpick Hanoi Hotel
    - Sheraton Hotel Hanoi


    Day 8

    Hanoi

    Our day in Hanoi will be filled with a lot of amazing images from the streets of this cosmopolitan city. We will get to explore both the Old Quarter and French Quarter, along with West Lake, the HCM Mausoleum, and the notorious Hanoi Hilton prison. Seeing this city by day will open up many opportunities to see the modern and the colonial city scenes. Hanoi is a very modern city with a long history that is clearly evident. After returning to our hotel, we prepare for a festive “Farewell Dinner” at one of Hanoi’s best restaurants. Here we will discuss the events of the trip, share our favorite photos and enjoy the fun and laughter.

     Ho Chi Minh MausoleumHanoi Old QuarterHanoi Hilton prison


    Day 9

    Hanoi Departure

    Our journey comes to an end today, but only after we have one last chance to observe the charm of this wonderful city. Hanoi awakens early, and the streets are buzzing by sunrise. Locals are exercising on the streets, alone and in groups. Food vendors are everywhere, and we will be too. A farewell to our guests over breakfast and a chance to exchange contact information and share some of the photographs we’ve experience over the past 9 days.

     

     

        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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    Liberty Central Riverside

    • Fantastic value for money, the modern architecture of the building is complemented by the delightfully stylish interior. The result is a calm and peaceful atmosphere, a welcome oasis after a busy day exploring the city.
    • The rooftop pool and accompanying poolside bar is probably the hotel’s biggest asset. Watching sunset with a cocktail and some delicious bar tapas is the perfect start to an evening out in unquestionably Vietnam’s liveliest city for nightlife.
    • Located in the prestigious shopping and entertainment district amongst some of the city’s premier hotels, the Liberty Central Riverside has already become a Selective Asia favourite.

     

    HOI AN DA NANG
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    Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa

    • Providing the usual high standards of service, facilities and accommodation we have come to expect of all the Victoria properties, the Hoi An version boasts bags of character, great leisure facilities and an excellent range of guest accommodation. Rooms range from superior river view to the rear of the resort, to deluxe beach front, to several extremely impressive suite options with unimpeded views of the South China Sea.
    • Accommodation is full of natural light from the big picture windows, and decorated in neutral tones, with natural materials used throughout. The overall effect is modern Vietnamese comfort with history and tradition showing through in the stylish choice of accessories and art.
    • *In recent years, the beach to the front of the property has been eroded back, meaning that seawater comes all the way up to the resort’s wall. There is, however, still a large expanse of beach directly to the side of the property (with direct access from the resort) that runs, unimpeded, for many miles.

    SAPA
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    U Sapa Hotel

    • The property is designed to a French Colonial aesthetic, with interiors presented in a contemporary eclectic style that draws influence from across the decades since French Indochina was established in the 1880s. The result is an interesting blend of terracotta floors, white walls, rattan furniture, wooden louvre doors, modern photography of nearby communities, and bright local textiles - quite a mix, but it reflects the diversity of the region and its history. Many rooms also benefit from a balcony overlooking Sapa and the surrounding countryside.
    • Guests dine on in-season local produce in the airy restaurant, which also provides room service, and a relaxed lounge bar serves snacks and cocktails. There is a small gym, and for weary walkers the spa offers traditional and aromatherapy massage.

    HANOI
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    Movenpick Hanoi Hotel

    • The entire building has been renovated to its former Colonial glory and beyond, with some delightful features, like the Mangosteen Restaurant's foyer view window.
    • The luxurious guest rooms are well proportioned and extremely stylish, combining a very contemporary style with modern amenities and glass walled bathrooms.
    • The hotel is located just a few blocks south west of Hoan Kiem Lake, placing you within walking distance of many of the city’s central highlights and dining options.
    • There is an excellent gym and wellness studio; for us, the hotel is just a swimming pool away from a 5th *.