Photography Day Tours

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Hanoi On the tracks

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TAILORED TOURS

Want a little more from your visit to Vietnam, let us tailor your photographic adventure

Vietnam in Focus run acclaimed photography tours throughout Vietnam and Indochina.

Hanoi On The Tracks

Photograph ‘train street’ away from the tourists

We were the first tour company ever to bring guests to Hanoi’s now famous ‘train street’.  Back in 2012, we’d just encounter the locals who lived alongside the tracks, and of course the trains that rumbled through every once in a while.  Our little tour made such a splash that we ended up talking about it on Discovery and the Travel Channel, and some of our guests even had their pictures published in international media.  Now, of course, peak times find this special little corner of Hanoi crammed with foreign travellers, and most of the local homes have been converted into cafes and bars.  In October 2019, the city government decided to close off that ‘train street’ to visitors.

 

As luck would have it, we were already developing a new Hanoi On the Tracks tour, in a different part of the city.  Now you can experience the real local atmosphere of life along Hanoi’s railway, without all the tourist cafes and instagrammers.  And yes, you’ll still get to shoot the train rolling between the houses!  You’ll also explore markets, lakes, parks full of people exercising, and try some delicious street food while following the tracks.

 

Along the way, you’ll learn how to create a photographic story using different types of image and how to manipulate the settings on your camera depending on the kind of picture you want to take, the light, and how fast your subject (ie the train) is moving.

 

Just please keep the actual locations to yourself – we need to keep this one quieter than the last!

 

The tour runs from 5:30 to 9:30am beginning near Hanoi Railway Station. The price includes pick-up from your hotel, starting at 5am.

 

Learn the art of street photography while exploring 'train street'

Itinerary

5:00am – Hotel pick-up

5:30am – We start the tour on a small ‘train street’ near Hanoi Railway Station.  There is an introduction to the tour and overview of camera settings.

6:00am – We focus on the ‘context’ shot, and just after 6am, our first train comes rattling through for a classic image.  We’ll be set up well for this picture, getting the perfect vantage point.

6:30am – We wander along the small street.  Here the photographic emphasis is on capturing life around the tracks, and the businesses and activities that spring up alongside.  We’ll capture pictures of people in their daily lives here.

7:00 am – We now arrive at a small market on the tracks.  Locals are selling fresh vegetables, meat and all sorts of daily goods.  It’s the perfect chance to snap some more images of daily life and portraits of the locals.

7:30 am – We head into a small nearby park, where people are doing their morning exercises.  This is a visual feast for people photography, and we’ll be capturing classic images of local Hanoians.

8:30am – Time for a quick tea break and review of pictures taken so far.

9:00am – We get back onto the tracks again for another shot of the train coming through, this time capturing the chaos of traffic around the locomotive as it steams through.

9:30am – We now head for a local breakfast, coffee and picture selection before hailing a cab back to your hotel.

Reviews

Amazing, authentic slice-of-life private tour
@nanettesvenson
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We woke at the crack of dawn for a tour of the Long Bien wholesale market along the railroad tracks, where we had a photo lesson and proceeded to take pictures of the market activity and have breakfast. Then we continued along the tracks for more unusual photos and in-depth, local color commentary from our fabulous guide Duc Nguyen. This was a major highlight of our trip and I would recommend it highly.
TWO OLD LADIES LOVED THIS TOUR!!
@dedphred
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We arranged for an afternoon tour for the two of us. We were picked up at the hotel and taken to Long Bien Station where the tour began. We learned a lot about Hanoi, trains, neighborhoods, history, food and photography -- you name it. It was fascinating!! Our guide, Mansour, could not have been more helpful and informative. This was by far the best tour experience we had in Hanoi. Highly recommended.
Do it!!
@726beam
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This tour was great on so many different levels. Brilliant tour guide/instructor. Boris was simply amazing. My husband and I have very different levels of photography, him being experienced and me inept. Despite this Boris tailored it brilliantly so that we both got lots out of it, my husband improving technique and gaining the confidence in taking shots of locals, and me learning the basics enough to get some great shots. On top of that Boris was very informative about local life and culture.
Fantastic photography lesson
@jprc
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I wasn't sure about this tour as I've always just used the auto function on my camera, - but I learned how to use loads of really useful functions both on my digital camera and smartphone. Our guide Boris was really good, giving loads of tips on composing great photos, which we used on the rest of our trip. It was a really early start, but worth it to see the food market in full flow - that in itself is a real experience - the woman shaving pigs ears will always stay with me.
A great way to discover Hanoi
A great way to discover Hanoi
@hattonlondon
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We went on the Hanoi on the tracks tour with Hai. As reasonably keen amateur photographers but completely new to Hanoi it was a great experience from start to finish. Hai really helped us find some interesting shots whilst giving us real insight and background into the places we were seeing.
Midday tour on the tracks
@knightjackie
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I went on this tour as a fairly novice photographer particularly compared to my fellow tourists. I loved it. Boris was our guide and he certainly helped me work my new camera and got it setup to work well for the photos we were taking. He showed us techniques that you read about but now I can perfect.
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All photos are taken on tour by previous guests and tour guides

Tour FAQ's

In the event of forecasted heavy rain, we’ll contact you to reschedule or cancel the tour and give you a full refund.  If it’s early morning and raining heavily, our guide will call you on the phone number you gave us to discuss options for postponement or cancellation.  In the event of cancellation we’ll issue a full refund.

Yes, you can.  We have a Nikon DSLR available to rent for $30 per tour including free memory card.  Please enquire on booking.

Yes, you do.  Vietnam in Focus is not liable to pay any costs associated with injury etc on our tours.

Yes, they can.  Costs (or free joining) depend on each tour, so please enquire on booking.

Yes, you can.  People often join our tours using film cameras.  You may not be able to edit in camera, but the composition tips are still basically the same.

Yes, you can.  Smartphone cameras are pretty amazing nowadays.

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Tailored Photography Tours

Want a little more from your visit to Vietnam, let us tailor your photographic adventure