North Vietnam Explorer
Witness the true beauty of North Vietnam

Date: May 11 - 17
North Vietnam has a myriad of amazing landscapes and cultures. From the mountains of the far North West, to the flatness of the Red River Delta region in the south east, geographically Vietnam has an incredible variety of landscapes, interspersed with 54 colourful hill-tribe minority groups. Our North Vietnam Explorer will take the avid photographer and those looking to immerse themselves into a variety of cultures to this exotic part of Indochina.

Trip highlights
• The Old Quarter in Hanoi
• Observe traditional village life
• The breathtaking mountain scenery
• Rice terraces
• Hill tribes
• Colourful mountain markets
• Ha Long Bay

Group size: 08
Space available: 08

Our tour begins in the 1000 year old city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Hanoi is an eclectic mix of old and new, a city crisscrossed with tree lined boulevards, parks and gardens interspersed with ornamental lakes, streets jam packed with all manner of life, pagodas and temples, a city that is photographers dream.

We will also make our way out of the city to visit two traditional villages; Tho Ha and Cao Thon. These villages are known for their traditional architecture and ways of life.

Leaving the Red River delta we head north to begin our journey in to the mountains and amongst the hill tribes. We will have the opportunity to photograph the amazing rice terraces and mingle in the colourful local markets. The mountain folk turn up at the markets with pigs, chickens and all manner of items for sale and trade. Dressed to impress, for the locals this is not only a chance to make a living, buying and selling but to also catch up on the gossip and if you’re still single maybe find a partner. Mountain markets are more than just a trading post, they are a social event!

The last part of our journey takes us sailing through the limestone karst of Ha Long Bay, a truly unforgettable end to our tour.




Itinerary from May 11 - 17      
 
Day 1. May 11. Arrival in Hanoi

Be greeted and transfered to your hotel in the Old Quarter (D)

Day 2 & 3. Hanoi and the outskirts
 

Explore Hanoi today with your camera. This one thousand year old city has a lot to offer, from the dynamic Old Quarter with busy daily life activities, to the iconic Sword Lake where the local group to do exercise. We also make way to the symbolic Temple of Literature – a cultural center of the Vietnamese.

Heading outskirt, we will be seeing life of the Vietnamese in the countryside. The 1st village that we travel to is surrounded by the river, this charming little place holds traditional village architecture of Vietnam, with local people involved in farming and making the photogenic rice papers, which are hang on bamboo lattice racks everywhere. In the second village, we will be able to photograph the local making incense – a traditional Vietnamese offering (2B/2L/2D)

Day 4. Lao Cai – Can Cau Market
 
Early morning we arrive to Lao Cai. After breakfast we drive to Can Cau market, one of the most beautiful markets in North Vietnam. This colourful market offers great opportunities for photography. Once a week the market springs to life as people from different ethnic minority groups converge in their finery to buy, sell and socialize. After the market we will head back to Bac Ha for lunch and in the afternoon we will arrive in the former French Hill station town of Sa Pa, a picturesque small mountain town overlooking the tallest mountain in Vietnam, Mt Fansipan. (B/L/D)
 
Day 5. Sa Pa Surrounds
 
Today we will take a walk that is pretty exclusive for photographers through a landscape of rice terraces and tribal communities. In the afternoon we will drive to a village nestled amongst the mountains surrounded by terraces. A great place for rural photography. Later, we drive to Hanoi. (B/L)
 
Day 6. Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
 
Board our vehicle for the journey to Ha Long Bay. Once we arrive we will embark our beautiful boat to set sail amongst the amazing limestone formations that have made this bay a World Heritage site. Let your camera capture the beauty of the bay with your creativity.
 
After dinner tonight, your Tour Leader will host a photo critique. We overnight on the boat (B/L/D)
 
Day 7. May 12. Ha Long Bay – Hanoi (Brunch)
 
Continue your cruise on Halong bay. Later in the morning, we drive back to Hanoi, completing our great photography exploration of northern Vietnam.
 
Tour and services end.
 
Please also see our upcoming tour The Northern Grand Expedition
 

 

Cost of package
Note
Total cost
20,670,000 VND
(975 USD)
Deposite for trip
4,240,000 VND
(200 USD)
Single supplement
4,081,000 VND
(192 USD)
Single Sup. is not applied to overnight train.
Inclusions
• Photographic Tour Leader
• English speaking guide
• Transport as listed
• Energy bars/drinks on van
• Twin share accommodation
• Meals as listed
• All admission fees

Exclusions
• Airport transfers
• Insurance
• International airfares and airport taxes
• Drinks other than listed under "Inclusions"
• Personal expenses
• Anything not specified under “Inclusions”.

 

1. Accommodation
A range of three star hotels are picked up as our choice for accommodation. This is based on the fact that these hotels are located near our shooting areas.

2. Meals
The variety of food is limited in the far north but we choose the best available local restaurants.

3. Physical requirements
The North Vietnam Explorer is classed as “moderate” in regards to our travel style. We use a variety of transport on this journey from chartered vehicles, the overnight train from Hanoi-Lao Cai-Hanoi and boats. To make the most of this journey we suggest you should be fit enough to walk up to 4 kilometres per day whilst carrying your camera gear.

4. Accessibility to medical centres
In many of the areas we will travel medical facilities will be limited. In the larger towns such as Hanoi, Sa Pa, and Ha Long City there are larger hospitals but elsewhere we would have to make use of local doctors and services. You should not rely on getting particular medication whilst in Vietnam. Please bring what you require from home. We suggest bringing with you a small travel first aid kit for personal use. Handy things to bring are: paracetamol, rehydration salts/tablets, anti diarrhea tablets, motion sickness tablets, vitamins, alcohol wipes, antiseptic creams, sunscreen, repellant.
 
5. Travel insurance
Please make sure you have personal travel insurance arranged before you leave home.