Vietnam is a place of unparalleled beauty, with exotic sites, a vibrancy of color, and profound diversity both in terms of its nature and its people. As a result, there are virtually endless opportunities for creating photos, from portraits of street vendors to wide-angle views of landscapes to the details of French Colonial architecture, and more.
The trick, of course, is to know where to go, what to photograph, and do so in a manner that is efficient, informative, and fun. To help you realize these goals, we’ve identified a few critical tips to help you put together a successful photography trip to Vietnam.
Visit Big Cities and Small Towns
Like most countries, Vietnam has large, bustling cities and quiet, small towns that could not be more different from one another. In cities like Hanoi and Saigon, there is a definite chaos that makes the cities buzz like electricity. The crowded throngs going to and from work are reminiscent of other large cities and offer you plenty of opportunities for capturing moments of life in incredible street portraits. The smaller towns and villages scattered around the country give you a completely different perspective on life in this country, with a chance to highlight the relationship between rural people and their farms, as well as the stunning beauty of the Vietnamese countryside. Whether you’re in a big city or small town, strive to find opportunities that allow you to create images that tell the unique story of what it’s like to live in that place, at that moment.
Focus on the Details
No matter what kind of photography you usually practice, there is an abundance of small details in Vietnam that go a long way in creating a visual story about this wonderful country. For landscape photographers, the thick jungles offer a unique chance to explore things like textures, shapes, and lines as they occur in nature. For street photographers, local markets explode with colors, textures, and people that make for excellent subjects for candid portraits. There is plenty of nature and wildlife in Vietnam as well, so you can work on your wildlife photography skills as you strive to capture detailed images of native animals.
There are also ancient cities throughout Vietnam, like Hue, where citadels, bridges, and pagodas that are centuries old are the ideal subjects for detail-oriented shots. In Hoi An, the architecture becomes even more interesting with a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French Indochinese influences that have made their mark on the look and feel of the city. Traditional clothing and textiles, bright and vibrant colors, and even vehicles, money, and other nondescript items can be featured in images that help viewers better understand what life in Vietnam is like.
Take a Guided Tour
One of the inconveniences of traveling alone or with friends or family is that you’re responsible for making travel arrangements, hotel arrangements, organizing activities, and the like. And though that’s certainly possible to do, it takes a lot of time and effort to do so. Additionally, if you’ve never been to Vietnam, you might not know what to put on your shot list, much less how long you need to photograph everything you want to see.
An easy way to see Vietnam, it’s cities and small towns, its ancient ruins, port cities, architecture, and people, is to take a photo tour. The beauty of a photo tour, like the Profundo Journeys Destination: Vietnam & Cambodia Tour, is that everything in Vietnam is planned out for you. From accommodations in four-star hotels to travel arrangements in the country to the itinerary of events, your trip is completely planned for you, so all you have to do is show up, enjoy your travels without any worry, and focus on getting the photos you want.
Better still, Profundo Journeys brings along expert photographers and guides to give you a more intimate experience. Cindy Wilson, a 9-year veteran of leading photography workshops worldwide, and Yang Vuong Lien Duong of Indochina Charm Travel, a professional guide and photographer, will travel with you, offering insights about Vietnam and Cambodia. They will help immerse you in the unique cultures of these areas and offer personalized instruction throughout the 18-day trip that will help you improve your skills.
The tour is scheduled for April 22-May 9, 2017, and features many of the most popular sites in Vietnam and Cambodia, including Hanoi, Saigon, the ancient capital of Hue, Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta, Siem Reap and the ancient Angkor temples, and so much more.