Northern Vietnam is among the country’s best regions for landscape & people photography in particular. It’s home to spectacular mountain scenery, with winding roads hanging on to rock cliffs overlooking valleys and roaring rivers. It’s where, apart from main cities, life remains the same way as it has been for decades. And the local minority people are still in their traditional clothes while farming in the field. North Vietnam photo tour brings you there on our special photographic journey “The mountain beauties”. On this photo tour, we will be shooting some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes. Besides, we will be exploring some pretty little hamlets of the minorities living in the mountain. Be sure that you will fill up your memory cards with amazing photos depicting North Vietnam landscapes and people.
Firstly, on our North Vietnam Photo tour “the mountain beauties” we will photograph the rice terraces. The location of our rice terrace shooting is Mu Cang Chai, a beauty appeared on both CNN and CNBC. For many hundreds of years, the local rice growers have shaped the mountain and hillsides into terraces to keep the rain water for their crops. Twice a year, Northern Vietnam changes color completely. In May, the water flows along downwards the terraces, creating gigantic mirrors reflecting the sky above. In September the rice ripens, marking the harvest time. And these terraces turn to be huge golden lines patching the hillsides. On this September photographic journey, we will capture this incredible scenery.
Another photography beauty is capturing the tea farmers at work. In cooler mountainous climate, tea grows along hillsides and on plateaus. The farmers, in their conical hats, form different shape while doing their work. The green tea leaves make a wispy green foreground and background. With the blue, misty backdrop of mountains, the tea leave farmers photogenically stand out. Especially, their conical hats above the tea leaves make the shots iconic.
The mountain markets, or hill-tribes markets as some would refer to, is another beauty of life in the mountains. Each market meets on a fixed date and usually one market is for several local communes. This is the biggest day of the locals, as they would bring along their domestic products for sale. And of course, the market is a hub for social activities. This is where you can photograph a variety of traditional costumes.
The authenticity of a mountain market is alluring to photography itself. Unlike a city’s market, the range of products here is much more simple. Minority women would bring along their hand-made products like scarves or skirts. Some other walk their buffaloes or pigs to sell. In food stalls, people sit next to their steamy bowl of soup while sipping a cup of rice liquor. Sunlight accentuates the rising smoke, making this ideal for our photography.
Our North Vietnam photo tour will take you through some of the remote areas in the northern part of the country on lesser known routes. Expect to capture the imposing scenery and the colorful Vietnamese culture with your camera!
Of course, the market as mentioned above is a great place for candid shots, or people photography. But apart from there, we will also be venturing out into villages for people photography. This time, our North Vietnam photo tour will do some walks in several communities of the Ha Nhi people. This is where you will behold their daily life, learn about their culture and of course, get to take the photos of the day.
The Ha Nhi is one of the 54 peoples living in Vietnam, with their own distinctive culture. Their population is around 22,000, concentrate mostly in the North West of Vietnam. In daily life, they’re dressed in clothes woven from hemp bark. They usually wear a turban on their head to cover from the sun. There are usually colorful decorative stripes on the clothes depending on each particular group among themselves.
What enrich our people photography in this community is that the Ha Nhi live in a special house: Trinh Tuong. This photogenic structure shapes like a mushroom, especially when viewing from a distance. Each Trinh Tuong house has walls made up of hardened earth. Traditionally there’s a grass roof on top. However, these days the grass roofs are gradually replaced by the metal ones. Though on the inside, life remains pretty unchanged.
So join Momentlives on this North Vietnam photo tour “The mountain beauties”. And together, we will be capturing the most iconic beauties that the mountain of northern Vietnam has to offer.
Explore the mountains of northern Vietnam - where life remains as it has always been
Our North Vietnam photo tour starts today! We head north of Hanoi and make way to the photogenic province of Lao Cai – where our photography creativity soars. This afternoon, with your camera at hand, we will explore the village near Bac Ha. This is to warm up and also to take in some scenes of the local daily life. The local people of Bac Ha have long known for their still of making corn spirit – a version of vodka.
This morning our North Vietnam photo tour will be heading for a colorful mountain market. Each mountain market meets on one certain day of the week. This is where the locals not only exchange products, but also where they socialize and to some, look for a lover. Here, you can see people walk their animals to sell (buffaloes, cows, pigs, chickens), a group of men chat over a cup of corn liquor, a group of local women trying new dresses, all surrounded by the smells of food coming out from smoke-rising kitchens. All pose great photography opts for your camera.
Day 3 (B/L/D)
Today has our North Vietnam photo tour headed for Muong Hum – a rice bowl of the region. Here, vast rice terraces stretch from one hillside to the next. The rice terraces are among greatest manual works of the local people, and a National Treasure of Vietnam. Capture this stunning scenery with you camera.
On Day 4, we find Y Ty the base of our shooting day. This morning we walk into an authentic village whose people live in the traditional earthen-walled houses. Their traditional daily activities take place in front of our cameras.
Capturing photogenic rice terraces in the region and people working to harvest the crop is among our main goals for the day. We will allow ample amount of time for your creativity, in different lights of the day.
Evening of Day 5 finds ourselves surrounded by the great range of Hoang Lien Mountain.
This morning, our photography group head for the foot of the Hoang Lien range, in search for capturing the Vietnamese women picking up tea leaves in one of the largest tea plantations of Southeast Asia.
Here, we will master behind the art of composition, along with seeing into how to play with lights to best bring out the subject. Every corner provides different perspective for your creativity.
After a night in Mu Cang Chai, we will rise in time to capture the amazing rice terraces. Every photogenic corner of Mu Cang Chai will be visited on our photo tour. Therefore, no iconic beauty of this place is to be missed out.
On Day 8 we will be driving to Yen Bai city, from where the highway will take us straight to Hanoi, completing our photographic journey in northern Vietnam.
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