Welcome to this 14-day journey through the incredible scenery of the North of this mystical country. We will travel to some of the most picturesque and fascinating destinations in all of SE Asia. From the rich cultural history of the Old Quarter in Ha Noi, the bustling capital of Viet Nam, which recently celebrated its 1000-year anniversary, we will travel to the terraced emerald-hued rice fields of Yen Bai province, NE of Ha Noi. From here we are easterly-bound to Ha Giang province and its breath-taking panoramic mountain vistas where you’ll have the opportunity to capture the beauty of morning fog flowing through the winding valley below us. Next we’ll visit the ethnic markets near the eastern border of Ha Giang & the entrance to Cao Bang province. These markets are not often visited by tourists and are great opportunities to photograph H’mong, Dzao, Dao, Giay & Thai minorities as they go about their daily lives. Once in Cao Bang we will move on to the magnificent waterfalls at Ban Gioc along the China border. Take time to explore the scenery as there are 100s of stories to be pictorially told from every angle of this the most important waterfall in Viet Nam. From Ban Gioc we’ll head south, past Ha Noi to Ninh Binh province to visit the incomparable Tam Coc, a valley of spectacular karst cliffs. You’ll meander along a river as it winds its way through lush rice fields nestled between stunning karst limestone cliffs. Depending on the season we may alternately go to Van Long for a boat trip through similar karst cliffs, this time wandering along lush lotus fields in bloom. Hoa Lu nearby, is the ancient capital of Viet Nam and we’ll pay a visit to the old & new Buddhist temples (the largest temple in SE Asia) as well as take time on foot to explore the ancient village, resplendent in its ageless old stone houses and crumbling walls. Life still goes on here much as it did in the long-ago past. Finally, we’ll return to Ha Noi to bring to an end this unique photo journey. A much-deserved good night’s sleep and you’re off to the airport for your return trip home. For those who continue on for the optional 3 day trip to Ha Long Bay we’ll continue on to this UNESCO World Heritage sight for a memorable journey amongst the 1000s of karst islands aboard a traditional-style junk boat. We’ll also have the opportunity to climb to the highest pointon Cat Ba island to photograph the entire bay from high above.
Arrive Ha Noi. Transport to your hotel. Welcome dinner & orientation featuring delicious traditional Ha Noi cuisine
Visit the streets & sights of Ha Noi, starting in the old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, where Hanoians participate in their ritual morning exercise along its banks. Then visit the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & the Museum of Ethnology where you’ll gain an overview of what you’ll be seeing during your journey.
Early morning departure for a day’s journey to Yen Bai province. Sunset shooting of the first of many incredible landscapes!
Day 4 & 5
Full days of shooting scenery and people around Yen Bai.
Day 6 -8
Early morning drive to Ha Giang province with photo ops along the way. Shooting at various locations from early morning foggy mountain valleys to late afternoon sun-painted hillside rice & tea terraces.
Early morning start for the drive to Cao Bang. Stop at a busy market to visit several minorities. In Cao Bang province we will spend time at a small village and then continue on to our destination for the night.
Morning departure for Ban Gioc waterfall. Photo ops along the way. Rekkie the falls in the late afternoon.
Sunrise shoot at Ban Gioc falls. Depart after lunch for the drive to Ha Noi
Morning departure for Ninh Binh province. Visit Hoa Lu and the historic village in the morning. Relax for lunch then revisit the village for the afternoon.
Morning tour of Tam Coc or Van Long. Afternoon visit to Hoa Lu temples. evening return to Ha Noi. Farewell dinner & presentation.
Guests check out and transport to airport for return flights home. Those taking the optional Ha Long Bay tour will leave for the bay in the morning.