Moc Chau Love Market
Moc Chau’s annual Love Market attracts thousands of hill tribe people from all over Northwest Vietnam as they search for new love or old flames, bringing a unique carnival of colour and festivity to this scenic mountain town. Moc Chau fairground plays host to traditional ethnic minority games and performances. As night falls, the streets of Moc Chau fill with torch-lit tribal processions and young couples courting amidst the crowds. It all makes for an unforgettable experience of Vietnam’s mountainous north, and a fantastic photographic adventure.
We travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau by private minibus on the evening of 31st August. On the morning of the 1st, we head into Moc Chau for the Love Market, spending the day and evening enjoying and photographing this unique event. Our base is at a comfortable hotel in town, giving us a tranquil respite from the crowds and a place to share feedback on our photography. There’s plenty of action to photograph, including singing and cooking contests, brocade making, as well as the novel sight of hundreds of tribal people from the surrounding areas enjoying themselves.
On the 2nd, we travel out to Long Sap village, on the Laos border, where we’ll be exploring more traditional festivities. These will include folk games and contests such as buffalo fighting, arranged to celebrate both Vietnamese independence day and cross-border friendship with Laos. After passing by another minority village celebrating with its own festivities, we return to Hanoi, arriving in the capital in late afternoon.
5:00 am – We have an early start to capture sunrise. Minority people are already arriving in town, by bike and on foot, and we’ll photograph them in the dawn light.
7:00 am – Time for breakfast and a brief workshop at the hotel. Our tour leader assigns her special photographic project for the day.
9 – 11:30 am – The group explore Moc Chau town and fairground, pursuing their assigned stories. The streets are full of colourfully-attired visitors, and the fairground plays host to a variety of traditional games.
12:00 pm – We have lunch at the hotel, followed by a feedback and critique session. Then we have a short break before rejoining the market.
2 – 4:30 pm – The group have more opportunities to capture life around the town, as the streets fill with young H’mong, Thai and Nung people from the surrounding mountains.
4:30 pm – We return to the hotel to relax and freshen up before dinner. Our tour leader introduces the key elements of night photography.
5:30 pm – Dinner
6:30 pm – The streets of Moc Chau fill with processions and torchlit parades, as well as exuberant courting couples. We head out to capture the colourful night-time scenes.
7:30 pm – We return to our hotel
5:00 am – We rise early again to capture sunrise in the stunning valleys near our homestay.
7:00 am – Breakfast
8:00 am – We now head out for Long Sap commune, on the Laos border.
9:00 am – Long Sap is a hive of activity, with various festivities and communal games happening. The perfect chance to practice our skills in all aspects of documentary style and travel photography.
11:30 – We return to Moc Chau for lunch
12:30-1:30 – Lunch, followed by coffee and a picture review session.
1:30 – 2:30 pm – If time, we will visit Ang village for more pictures of tribal festivities, before hitting the road back to Hanoi
5-6:00 pm – We will stop at a few spots for sunset landscape shots, especially between Mai Chau and Hoa Binh
7pm – Arrival in Hanoi and hotel or home drop-off.
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.
Photographer Lavonne Bosman will lead our 2022 tour to Moc Chau’s famous Love Market. Lavonne’s work has been exhibited widely in her native South Africa, as well as in Europe. Projects have included portraits of the amaXhosa people, and a story of migration in the Swiss Alps. She has been resident in Vietnam since 2019. For more about Lavonne, hit the profile link above.
Accommodation & Transportation
The detailed list of accommodation for the tour is –
Moc Chau –
MamaHouse Moc Chau
Moc Chau Homestay
Pricing and Dates
|2023||31st August – 2nd September||$449.00|
|2024||31st August – 2nd September||$449.00|
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the tour. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.
- Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
- Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
- All gratuities
Whats not included
- Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
- Meals and Drinks
- Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
- Alcoholic beverages