Hanoi itself is a photograph of many colorful fragments. There are colonial architectures, old temples, shaded boulevards, lakes, tons of street cafes. And yes, waves of scooters vying for right of way at any given day time. Then so much more that in 2019, Hanoi appeared on TripAdvisor‘s list of 25 world’s best destinations. The streets of Hanoi and all of its activities are spectacles for photography. And a photo tour of Hanoi by dawn will be a lovely experience. As this reveals the city’s photogenic lifestyle at a time when most other travelers are still asleep. On our Hanoi photo tour at dawn, we will capture the exotic market of Long Bien and life in the Old Quarter.
This is the first stage for our Hanoi photo tour at dawn. Long Bien is among the biggest markets in the city and the biggest in terms of fresh produce. Thus, from the night before, trucks line up at the market’s gate waiting to come. And inside, hundreds of stallholders, transporters and laborers are moving fast to get the supplies ready for the day. Photography provides a great opportunity to record this amazing energy. And our best photography time here starts before sunrise. Together, we will learn how to shoot in low light, study the composition, and working on the suitable camera mode for each scene.
The Old Quarter is the residential and business center of Hoan Kiem District, and a historic section of the city. Here, most streets start with the word “Hang”, which is “merchandise” in English. Different streets sell a different merchandise. So after Long Bien market, we will be walking the streets of the Old Quarter. We will photograph scenes of the locals starting their day. These activities vary from opening shops, arranging goods for sale, eating or having coffee on the sidewalk.
Finally, treat ourselves with a hot bow of Pho, and enjoy the famous Hanoi’s egg coffee while looking at the shots we have done this morning on our enriching Hanoi photo tour.
Visit Long Bien - the most bustling market
From midnight, crowds of people, motorbikes and trucks gather at the market till after dawn
Our Hanoi photo tour starts at 4:30 am from your hotel. Travel to Long Bien market – the most bustling market in town and one of the busiest markets in South East Asia. Here, we will see into using different modes and settings of the camera. Master the ISO and the different camera modes.
From a vantage point, explore the market through your lens. We will capture various scenes as the workers are racing to get the supply ready. Later on, we will get into the market and be a part of this incredible traffic. Here, we will study the competition, and how to shoot in low light.
Later on, walk in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and capture the city at the beginning of the day.
We end the tour with a bowl of traditional Vietnamese Pho, coffee and review the photos you have taken with advice from Momentlives photographer.
– English speaking photo guide
– Private car, driver, fuel
– Breakfast & coffee/tea
– All entry fees
– Personal expenses
– Items not listed in the inclusions
Lens: A lens of 85 mm or less (if your camera is full frame) or 50mm or less (if your camera is cropped) will be practical.
Dress: Comfortably. Walking shoes are suggested.
Think: That you are depicting life in Hanoi with your camera. This might just be some good photos to show friends, or to keep your memory. So learn to do it more properly, thus the photos are more intriguing. Don’t pressure yourself.
Long Bien market is the largest fresh vegetables and fruits market in Hanoi. It lies to the North-East of Hanoi’s famed Old Quarter, where most of the hotels, restaurants and bars are located. This is the stage of our Hanoi photo tour.
This market, unlike any other in town, rises when the Hanoians are mostly asleep. Huge flow of traffic with big and small trucks making way into the market’s only one gate connecting to the outside road, accompanied by 200,000 scooters or what look like, all eager to get in as if the flood of the Red river is behind themselves.
Photographing the market is a task of extreme fun, since there’s a clear tendency of capturing everything within one photo, but you just simply can’t.
Well, the market is the largest and busiest, and it feeds a large portion of the city’s 7.5 million people who are keen on fresh products. Looking for one peaceful square feet to shoot photos is a challenge.
And things are constantly moving rapidly in the dark. You will need a good lens with wide aperture to make this happen. Crowds of people seem to be running frantically for something uncertain. The only language is shouting, since one has to beat the sounds of engines to get the message traveled. Photographing the whole is a daunting experience. One can only select a good piece of it to capture.
Fruits and veges are unloaded from trucks, and here the battle begins. Some 30 people fight to buy the cargoes. Then each nearby scooter will load a hill of fruits or veges to dart out of the market. During this time, a crowd of hawkers, each with a 2 bamboo baskets hanging on their shoulders, increase the sound frequency since they want to have their portion, too. From here, they would walk to the Old Quarter to resell, making a living. Finding yourself amidst these people is a thrill, and taking photos of this scene is a true photography experience.
Well, it would be a miss not to mention the Long Bien bridge, overpassing the market. Being rustically old, the bridge is a symbol of the city, and it appears in photographs demonstration the city’s icons. Luckily, there’s a pedestrian line on the bridge, where you can go up to breath some fresher air, hopefully. From here, you can photograph the market from above, or simply framing a smaller action, without having cart pusher in your face.
As the sun rises above the old bridge, the market becomes calmer, as the daily battle has reached an end. People have been making way out of the gate. Out there, Hanoians start their day by the morning exercise in one of the parks, or simply sit on the road side sipping a cup of tea from one of the many small tea stalls. Why not end your morning photography with a walk in the Old Quarter, seeing how the local start their day?