VIETNAM & CAMBODIA October 7-23, 2022
Always one of our top 3 rated tours with guests. Vietnam and Cambodia deliver some of the best in both cultural and photographic experiences in the region.
We’ll enjoy and photograph all of the following - Mekong River Cruise, cruise the Mekong Delta, the Terraced Rice Fields of Sapa, overnight Ha Long Bay Cruise, Cao Dai Temple, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Floating Villages of Tonle Sap, and more all while enjoying the beautiful culture of the countries.
About the Tour
Per person double occupancy
International economy airfare INCLUDED
$2,000 USD due at time of booking
Tour Guest Limit
10 Guest Maximum
90 Days before departure
This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy airfare from USA gateway city.
Tour Pricing Info
M&M Photographer - Mike Gulbraa
Guest Pro - Jeff Cable
International RT airfare from USA gateway city
Internal airfare while in Indochina
Local Experienced English-speaking guides
Twin-shared rooms at 4-star hotel with good internet access.
Meals as mentioned in the Program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) with 2 soft drinks per person per meal.
Land transfer by air-con vehicle, comfortable & suitable for guests in the group.
Boat trips on Mekong River
Boat trip on Halong bay - Vietnam
Apsara dance show
Any Passport and Visa arrangements
Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program
Tips for guides or baggage handlers
Mekong River Cruise
Terraced Rice Fields of Sapa
Overnight Ha Long Bay Cruise
Mekong River Delta
Floating Villages of Tonle Sap
We use local boutique hotels and other establishments that give us access to great photos, food, and transport. The following is what we have confirmed for this trip:
Hanoi - Hanoi Pearl Hotel
Night Train - Sapaly Express Train - Hanoi Sapa Train
Tour Itinerary – subject to change
October 7, 2022 - Depart USA for Hanoi, Vietnam
October 8, 2022: HANOI (D)
Arrive in Hanoi and head straight to our hotel for the night. Optional night shoot on the street for those who want to venture out with Mike G. Overnight in Hanoi.
October 9, 2022: HANOI - LAO CAI BY NIGHT TRAIN(B/L/D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll start our Hanoi city tour from Ba Dinh Square – the biggest square in Hanoi where all biggest cultural, political events of the city - especially demonstrations, take place. Visit the Complex of Ho Chi Minh located by this square. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts, his fishpond and the One-Pillar Pagoda before visiting the Old Quarter of Hanoi by pedi-cabs. In the afternoon we’ll continue to visit the city with stops at Ngoc Son Temple and the Sword Lake which is considered the centre and the soul of Hanoi. Visit the Temple of Literature, the very first High School of Vietnam. Overnight on AC train from Hanoi to Lao Cai.
Please note: Ho Chi Minh complex is closed on every Monday & Friday.
October 10, 2022: LAO CAI - MA TRA - TA PHIN - SAPA (B/L/D)
Arrive around 6.00 am at Lao Cai Station, a border city that looks over China and is closest to Sapa Hill Resort, then transfer to Sapa. The road is 40km long and very beautiful with terraced rice paddy fields, small waterfalls and pinewoods. We’ll have breakfast in Lao Cai before heading out. Then, our day commences from Sapa on a trail running through the beautiful gardens and lush pine forests. We’ll then pass through the Black Hmong ethnic minority village of Ma Tra, a very small village hidden away from civilization. The walk continues through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery. During the day we’ll also be able to visit a local school. We’ll enjoy lunch before arriving at the Ta Phin village. Here we’ll learn about the life of Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities, 2 of the largest ethnic groups in the area. You may recognize them by their dress - the hint is the colors. They are both very famous for their handicrafts. We’ll walk among local people and capture some excellent candid shots and portraits. The walk also offers us the opportunity to visit local village houses as well as time to explore the local caves. Head to Sapa, check in to hotel.
October 11, 2022: CAT CAT - SIN CHAI - TA VAN - SAPA (B/L/D)
After breakfast we'll start with a 2KM trek to Cat Cat Village, the home of Hmong Ethic. Enjoy the water fall in Cat Cat and beautiful scenery along the way before going on to Sin Chai Village, which is situated on the bottom of Phanxipang mountain, enjoy the peaceful scenery, meet and talk with locals to learn more about their daily life. Then we’ll head south to a remarkable area and walk app. 3KM to Ta Van with short stops at the villages of the tribal people, Tay and Dzay en route. We’ll enjoy lunch in Ta Van. We then head back towards Sapa. Depending on the weather conditions, we will climb up the Dragon Peak to see the panorama of Sapa with pine trees, old colonial-styled villas, and numerous hill tribal people. If time permits, we’ll drive to take photos of sunset at Silver Waterfall which is about 15km from Sapa. Overnight in Sapa.
October 12, 2022: SAPA - CAO SON MARKET - LAO CAI - HANOI BY NIGHT TRAIN (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will drive toward Cao Son Market which is a small/medium sized market held every Wednesday. Set among beautiful rolling mountains this is a colorful market full of local products and handicrafts. Here you will find Flower Hmong (Red Hmong), Phu La, Black Dao and Chinese traders engaged in business. We then drive back to Sapa. Lunch and dinner at local restaurant. Overnight on A/C train from Lao Cai to Hanoi.
October 13, 2022: HANOI - BAT TRANG VILLAGE - HA LONG BAY (B/L/D)
We arrive at Hanoi Station around 5.00 am. Before having breakfast, we can join the Hanoians in their early exercises - jogging, yoga, sword dance, fan dance, and taichi-quan. There are always fun images to be captured here! After breakfast at local restaurant and a short break, we’ll go on to Ha Long Bay via Bat Trang ceramic village. Located by the Red River, the village has gained a reputation since the 15th century of making refined porcelain in many styles such as celadon, crackle-glazed pottery, and raw terra cotta products. The pottery of Bat Trang is found everywhere from Asia to Europe. HA LONG BAY - one of the earliest World Heritages as designated by UNESCO for Vietnam in 1994. The karst limestone of the bay takes many shapes and sizes and if the weather cooperates can make for some great images.
12:00: Arrive in Ha Long Bay and have lunch at local restaurant
13: 15 – 13:30: Embark at Ha Long cruise port.
13:45 – 14:00: Check-in, enjoy welcome drink & cruise briefing.
14:00 – 16:45: Cruise to Cap La
17:00 – 18:00: Enjoy kayaking (optional) around Cap La and Tra San
18:00 – 18:15: Back to boat for freshening up and relaxing - shoot the sunset on the Bay
19:00 – 21:00: Have dinner and overnight on board in Cong Do
October 14, 2022: CONTINUE WITH HA LONG BAY CRUISE (B/L/D)
Arise early and catch sunrise on the Bay
07.30 – 08.00: Morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air.
08.30 – 09.00: Start cruising to Cong Dam while discovering unique images to capture of Bai Tu Long Bay
09.00 – 11.00: Enjoy optional kayaking through the hidden lagoons and geological park in Cong Dam.
11.00 – 11.30: Back to boat for relaxing. Reach Hon Co Island for swimming or relaxing.
12.00 – 13.30: Have a BBQ lunch on beach (Depending on availability & weather conditions)
13.45 – 15.45: Explore Thien Canh Son cave
16.00 – 17.30: Back to boat for relaxing while cruising to Cong Do
19.00 – 21.00: Have dinner & overnight on-board boat
October 15, 2022: HA LONG BAY - HANOI - PHU LANG VILLAGE - HANOI (B/L/D)
07.00: Enjoy fresh air & gentle breeze of the bay in the morning. Have breakfast on-board.
07.30 – 08.45: Cruise to Vung Vieng fishing village
09:00: Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by rowboat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms
10.15 – 11.00: Check out of our boat cabins as we cruise towards the harbor. Have lunch on board
12:30 – 13.00: Disembark at Ha Long cruise port and take our vehicle to Hanoi
Stop en-route to visit Phu Lang - one of the well-known pottery villages in north Vietnam, which is situated in Phu Lang commune, Que Vo district, Bac Ninh province. Do not be shy about taking photos - things move fast here so be ready to shoot.
In the afternoon, we will visit Hanoi's French Quarter. Lying to the south and east of Hoan Kiem Lake, The French Quarter has grand boulevards and elegant French colonial buildings. These include the stately Opera House (based on the neo-Baroque Paris Opera) complete with gray slate tiles imported from France. Here we'll have plenty of opportunity for some unique shots. We’ll also have time to enjoy the night street scenes of Hanoi and capture some fun shots tonight. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
October 16, 2022: HANOI - MORNING FLIGHT TO SAIGON (B/L/D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll transfer to the airport to take our flight to Saigon. We’ll be greeted at Tan Son Nhat airport and transferred to our city center hotel. Lunch at local restaurant. We’ll start our day here from the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 (outside only, it’s under construction - again).
Opposite this famous site is a remarkable building - The Reunification Palace that once was the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam and is now a museum and a grand hall for receptions. From there we’ll drop by the Thien Hau Pagoda, one of the most famous temples in this district. Tonight, will be a fun time to explore some night markets and continue our street photography. Overnight in Saigon.
October 17, 2022: SAIGON - BEN TRE - TRA VINH - CAN THO (B/L/D)
We begin the day heading down to the Mekong Delta, with our first stop being Ben Tre. We start our exploration of the Delta by taking a sampan along a narrow canal lined with mangrove trees, before returning to land for a stroll ride through dense coconut plantations. We then return to the quayside in Ben Tre, where the bustling market and streets full of commercial activity provides a vibrant opportunity for street photography. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon we head to the Khmer cultural heartland of Tra Vinh, where we will visit a few of the 141 Khmer temples practicing the Theravada branch of Buddhism – a wonderful opportunity to experience these serene and peaceful places and get some wonderful portraits of the young monks in their saffron-colored robes. We will then head to Can Tho where we will have dinner at local restaurant and spend the night. Overnight in Can Tho.
October 18, 2022: CAN THHO - CAI RANG - VINH LONG - SAIGON (B/L/D)
Early morning, we will go to the Cai Rang floating market, the largest wholesale market on the delta. Peasants and farmers come to sell their produce to wholesalers who fill their large barges. We sail between the barges and then embark on one to capture the atmosphere of trading. After breakfast, we will take the road to Vinh Long. Upon arrival, we will drive to a nearby village scattered with temple-looking brick ovens. We will capture the workers in their brick manufacturing, as well as the geometric forms of the ovens and bricks alignments. We will then head back to Saigon expecting to arrive around 7-8pm. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.
October 19, 2022: SAIGON - TAY NINH HOLY SEE - SAIGON - SIEM REAP (B/L/D)
Get ready to be amazed today! After an early breakfast at the hotel, we’ll go to Tay Ninh Holy See, the centre of Caodaism which is a local sect of Buddhism founded by Vietnamese peasants in the early 20th century. Arriving before noon we’ll have the chance to wander the Temple before joining/photographing the daily solemn ceremony at Noon. We’ll head back to Saigon, stop for lunch at local restaurant before transferring to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We’ll be met at the airport and transfer to our hotel. We’ll have time to wander Siem Reap to get a lay of the land and continue to work our street photography and prepare for the highlights to come! Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.
October 20, 2022: SIEM REAP - ANGKOR WAT - ANGKOR THOM (B/L/D)
Our day begins with a sunrise shoot at Angkor Wat then we'll visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, which is 7km from Siem Reap. We’ll visit the Bayon temple, the Baphuan, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. In the afternoon we’ll photograph Angkor Wat again before viewing the sunset over the Angkor complex from the top of Phnom Bakheng mountain. Tonight, along with dinner we’ll enjoy a traditional Apsara dance show. Overnight in Siem Reap.
October 21, 2022: TONLE SAP LAKE - ANGKOR WAT - TA PROHM – SIEM REAP (B/L/D)
Early morning we'll start with a shoot of the Floating Villages on Tonle Sap Lake. We'll have a boxed breakfast as we drive to visit and photograph the Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human construction genius and natural beauty of giant trees, which have grown here for centuries. Then on to visit Ta Keo, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva which was built at the end of the 10th century. After an afternoon break, we'll head back to the Angkor Complex for a Blue Hour Shoot at The Bayon. We’ll wander the complex to find many photographic delights and enjoy the ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. Overnight in Siem Reap.
October 22, 2022: SIEM REAP - BANTEAY SREI – SIEM REAP (B/L/D)
We’ll head out early for a sunrise shoot at Banteay Srei (one of the jewels of Angkor), and the Banteay Srei Temple which means "Citadel of Women". This temple is made of pink sandstone and presents the most graceful carvings in stone you might ever see in your life. Back to Siem Reap for a quick lunch and then we‘ll visit the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake again. After the floating villages we may have free time before catching our flight to Hanoi and onward to our homes.
October 23, 2022: Arrive home depending on flights.
What To Take (These are only suggestions; they are NOT required!)
Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour
· 2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses
· Camera batteries, chargers, and cords
· Bring as much memory as possible
· Card Reader for file transfer
· External hard drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 1TB drive)
· Black Rapid camera strap
· Extra batteries as needed
· Lenses Medium telephoto, Fixed, & Wide angle that give you a wide range of length. 10mm to 400mm if possible
· 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens
· Tripod and head
· Photo backpack
· Lens cloth and cleaning fluid
· Blower ball for dust
· Circular polarizing filter
· Grad ND filters
· Rain sleeve for camera and lens
· Cable or electronic shutter release
· Laptop computer
· Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom
· International power adapters
· Multiple plug power strip & adaptor to gain electric outlets in your room for simultaneous downloading & recharging
· Sensor cleaning supplies
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE. M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
Tour Difficulty = Moderate
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months. We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended. M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time. In the even of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given. It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc. assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.
Travel Insurance is suggested. We recommend www.insuremytrip.com
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