Bac Ha Horse Racing Festival
Vietnam In Focus
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Traditional Vietnam Festivals


Tour Length:

3 Days


Bắc Hà

Departure Date:

June 9, 2024

Group Size:

6 People


Photography Workshop

Bac Ha Horse Racing

Join us for one of northern Vietnam’s most colourful and exciting festivals. The Bac Ha Horse Races draw thousands of ethnic minority spectators to this scenic mountain town, making for a carnival of colour and festivity. Jockeys come from H’mong, Nung and Dzao villages all over the province, and riding bareback, compete in both team and individual races. Our trip means a chance to explore and photograph this unique event, while learning how to create, pace and picture a photojournalistic story. We base ourselves at the homestay of our Tay minority friends on the banks of the River Chay, and the weekend also includes a journey by longboat and landscape workshop in the stunning nearby valleys.

Departure from: Hanoi
Date: 2024
Price: TBC per person

What to Expect

8:30pm – Meet on the steps outside Hanoi Railway station, Tran Quy Cap Street and prepare to board our train at 9pm. We’ll get to know one another, cover some camera and photography essentials and talk over the tour before turning in for the night.

6am – We arrive at Lao Cai Station and after a quick breakfast board our minibus for Bac Ha. The trip takes around 2 hours.

8:30am – Time to drop off our luggage at the hotel and freshen up before a review of photography essentials like settings and composition. We then head up to Bac Ha town to capture the day’s action at the festival, including the final races and presentation of prizes.

12pm – We have lunch in Bac Ha town and a review of pictures before heading back to the homestay.

2:30 pm – After a short rest, we take a trip by longboat up the River Chay, with an opportunity for some fantastic landscape shots as well as a swim at Hang Tien (Fairy Cave)

4:30pm – We return to the homestay and have a picture selection session before dinner at 6pm.

6am – An early start for sunrise in a valley near town.

8am – We return to Bac Ha for breakfast before exploring the Bac Ha ethnic minority market

12pm – We reconvene for lunch, followed by coffee and picture selection.

2pm – We climb aboard our minibus and head back to Hanoi, arriving in the capital at around 7pm.

Guiding Team

Our photographers are no ordinary guides. We’re adventurers, teachers and assistants, as well as experienced shooters.  We’re up at dawn to catch the best light, and always looking out for the unexpected moments and details that make for great photography. Our guides are committed to making sure you enjoy exploring Vietnam through photography as much as we do. Your pictures and your experience are always the priority.

Image Gallery

Tour Information

Recommended Equipment

  • Digital Camera
  • Drone
  • Selections of lens
  • Cable release
  • Tripod
  • Memory cards
  • CPL & ND Graduated filters
  • Laptop/tablet
  • Storage device

What's included

  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transportation
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • local guides and government permits
  • Photography Workshop with our photographer leader

What's not included

  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas

Level of Difficulty

Moderate Physical activity (Walking)

Tour Length

3 Days
Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 minutes prior to this time


Horse Racing in Bac Ha is an annual event on the given dates. however Bac Ha is well worth visiting at any stage during the year and we are happy to arrange such tours on request.


Yes. We offer a 10% early bird discount on all featured tours if bookings are received 6 months in advance of departure.

We take an initial holding deposit of $500 per person, which is non-refundable (unless we call off the trip for some reason). The remainder is due 3 months in advance of the departure date. We also confirm tour departure at this point, and people can go ahead and book flights.

Our Cancellation policy includes the following fees and cut of periods:

90 to 61 days before departure is 25% of the trip price.

60 to 46 days before departure is 50% of the trip price.

45-0 days prior to departure is 100% of the trip price.

We take a maximum number of 5 guests per 1 tour leader.  With larger groups we will split between 2 tour leaders.

Yes, you do.  You will be asked to sign a legally-binding liability disclaimer before tour departure

Please see the What to Bring list included in each itinerary

It’s a good idea to do this, as you’ll have a chance to get over the jetlag and do a bit of exploring before the action begins.  We can help you arrange accommodation and adventures.

Yes, apart from your own shopping and alcohol (but we’ll cover some wine and beer along the way, don’t worry)

As early as possible – tours book up fast

Please see terms and conditions included on each tour page

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Bac Ha Horse Racing Festival

Customize Your Photography Experience

Our unparalleled knowledge of travel and culture in Vietnam, and where and when to get the best shots, mean we are experts in designing tailormade photo tours.  We have planned and run tours for everyone from professional photographers on a mission to amateurs who want to get to know their cameras better on an adventure.  Each person and group is different, so once you’ve completed the few questions below, expect to answer a few more before we can create your ideal photographic adventure.