Explore stunning northwest Vietnam during the golden harvest rice season
Vietnam In Focus
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Multi Day Vietnam Photography Tour

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TOUR TYPE:
Group Photography Tour
TOur Length:
12

 Days  

Departure Date:
September 16, 2024

Golden Harvest

A harvest-time encounter with the hill tribes of northwest Vietnam

Spectacular northwest Vietnam, draped in gold. As the rice harvest approaches, the terraces of Mu Cang Chai and Sapa go from green to gold in a matter of weeks. In many places, the local hill tribes are already cutting the crops, and we’ll capture authentic portraits of rural life. Throw in some colorful tribal markets and the unforgettable hospitality of our local friends, and it adds up to one incredible experience. A unique opportunity to photograph northern Vietnam’s land and people, at a dazzling time of year.

Our Golden Harvest Tour is a premium photographic adventure, and we’ll enjoy the best accommodation available in the region, from stylish bamboo eco-lodges to mountain resorts and restored H’mong forts. We’ll also taste the most delicious cuisine in a part of the world already renowned for its culinary excellence.

We travel by spacious and comfortable minibus, with an extra vehicle to transport our luggage between accommodation. At the same time, our close connection to the people of this region, local friendships and many years of experience give us unparalleled access to the authentic life of the ethnic minorities and the area’s most stunning vistas. As working photographers and journalists, with many years of teaching experience, we provide you unique insights and knowledge about Vietnam and photographic storytelling.

Expectations of our Golden Harvest Tour

This September, we’re traveling deeper than ever into the gold terraced landscapes of Vietnam’s northwest. In the company of ViF photographer leader Hoang Viet Nguyen and our team of local specialists, we’ll be on the hunt for images of both land and people at this dazzling time of year. Far from the tourist trail, we’ll look at all aspects of visual storytelling, ultimately creating an authentic, rich narrative of life in the region.

Northwest Vietnam offers abundant opportunities for landscape photography, and we’ll experiment with different lenses, angles and perspectives to capture the unique atmosphere in these mountains. Most of our landscape shooting will be at sunrise and sunset, as the colors, shadows and mists add drama to the scene. We’ll also be able to shoot with drones, discovering otherwise unseen sights deep into the valleys around.
The region is a heaven for people photography, and harvest season is the perfect time for images of hill-tribe life. In a small group of five guests, led by our Vietnamese-speaking guide team, we’ll get up close and personal with the friendly locals. We’ll be looking at all types of images involving people, from relationship and group pictures to intimate portraits. We aim to tell stories with our cameras – not only in a series of images, but in a single evocative capture.
Along the way, we’ll look at various types of photography, including an architectural shoot at the Hmong King’s Palace in Bac Ha, culinary photography at a tribal eco-lodge in Yen Bai, and of course shooting at night and in low-light in some of the towns we’ll pass through. Fog often falls fast in late afternoon and evening, which also offers an exciting chance for ghostly images of mountain life.
We’ll make time for photo reviews every couple of days, and set up for an editing and post-processing workshop at our ecolodge in Yen Bai. With a small group, there’s plenty of time for one-on-one tuition and feedback, and a look at more advanced techniques according to each guest’s interests and experience.

Image Gallery

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 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 Hoang Viet will lead our 2024 Golden Harvest Tour.

Hoang Viet, a native of Hanoi, is an acclaimed freelance photojournalist and filmmaker. His work has earned him national awards and frequent publication in outlets like Soha, Family, and Vietnam Television (VTV). Notably, he has exhibited his photography at esteemed venues such as Manzi and Workroom Four, winning ‘Best Photography’ at the ‘Art For You’ exhibition. Viet’s artistic endeavors extend beyond photography; he has collaborated with international NGOs like the World Food Bank and ActionAid on various creative projects. As a photo tour leader for Vietnam in Focus, he specializes in visual storytelling, documentary, and street photography, leveraging his extensive travels across Vietnam to capture diverse landscapes and lifestyles.

Golden Harvest Tour Information

Recommended Equipment

  • Digital Camera or Film Camera
  • Selections of lens
  • Cable release
  • Tripod
  • Memory cards
  • ND Graduated filters
  • Laptop/tablet
  • Storage device

Whats included

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • 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

Whats not included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips

Seasonality

This northern tour through Vietnam is available annually during the months of January to May and from August to December. We officially run this tour on on our designated dates near the end of September during the Golden Harvest (when the rice paddies turn from green to gold) but the tour can be booked privately at any stage during the available months .

Testimonials

Phuoc TA Review
Golden Harvest
Juniper (USA)
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This definitely was one of the best things I did in Vietnam. Colm, Mansour, Boris and Duc were all wonderful and taught me so much more about using my camera settings, how to shoot photos in different lights, and how to frame your shots to make them more appealing and interesting. It provided a wonderful opportunity for photos and it was a very unique experience.
Bryan (USA)
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The photographers exuded enthusiasm and a love of photography that was undeniably infectious. As with any tour or service, you only get what you put into it, so to really learn from these guys and this experience, be open to engaging them on sharing their technical skills and getting to them to demonstrate how they think about and might approach a shot. What I learned is that these photographers aren’t just there to walk you around and stand by while you do your thing, but rather they engage with you, discuss their life with you and how they got to where they are today, share their way of thinking about photography and help you think about how to approach a subject differently than you otherwise might.
Debbie (AUS)
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If you like to view a country from afar and not get dirty, don’t choose this trip – but if you want to meet the people, learn from them and gain a glimpse and some understanding of the people and their way of life, then I highly recommend you contact Vietnam in Focus for your trip of a lifetime. Their sound knowledge, choice of sites and activities and their photographic tour guides are just something special you don’t find everyday. Thank you so much for enriching my life everyone.
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Tour FAQ and Information

Please contact us directly and request a Brochure for this tour.

Throughout the trip, we stay in quality 4-5 star hotels or the best mountain eco-lodges available locally. In some places there are shared bathroom facilities. There is a surcharge for single bookings. If you are open to sharing with someone outside your group, we will do our best to make sure your preferences are met.

Please contact us for more Information

Throughout the tour we travel by comfortable, air-conditioned 16 seat private minibus. There will be enough room in the vehicle to carry our maximum 5 guests, guide, driver, luggage and camera gear. Please however bring a maximum of 1 large suitcase, small daypack and/or camera bag.

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 supplement is available at request. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based on 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

Please contact us for more Information

Yes. We offer a 5% early bird discount on all featured tours if bookings are received 12 months in advance of departure.

We offer an extra 5% discount to returning guests.

We take an initial holding deposit of $500 per person, which is non-refundable, unless Vietnam in Focus calls off the trip.

The remainder is due at least 3 months in advance of the departure date. This is also our latest date to confirm tour departure at this point, and guests can go ahead and book flights.

In the event that we have our minimum number of guests booked in for the tour earlier than 3 months before departure, we will confirm the tour, and guests are free to book their flights.

Your initial $500 reservation deposit is non-refundable, except in the event that Vietnam in Focus cancels the trip. The deposit can however be put towards a future trip with Vietnam in Focus.

If you cancel your booking with us, our cancellation policy includes the following fees and cut-off periods:

If canceling 90 to 61 days before departure, the guest is liable for 25% of the trip cost.

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

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

In order to ensure an authentic, personalized experience, we take a maximum number of 5 guests per one photographer tour leader. With larger groups, we will split between 2 photographer tour leaders.

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

Absolutely, they are most welcome. There’s plenty to entertain non-photographers on our tours, as long as they don’t mind the rest of us getting up at the crack of dawn most days.

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.

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Golden Harvest

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.

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