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Images of Indochina, (extended)

From Saigon and the Mekong Delta to the temples of Angkor and across the Tonle Sap Lake to Phnom Penh

16 day photography tour to Vietnam and Cambodia

This unforgettable, special photographic tour of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, accompanied by one of our professional travel photographers, Gary Latham, or Jeff Perigois,  is aimed at anyone from keen amateur photographers to budding professionals. In keeping with the All Points East philosophy, the tour intends to emphasize responsible travel photography that appreciates local people, their cultures, traditions and religions and encourages a positive impact on the places and people it visits.

This exciting and varied river and land adventure takes you through the heart of Indochina. From Vietnam’s bustling capital Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), and the myriad waterways of the picturesque Mekong Delta, up-river to the fascinating Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.  We then continue overland to Siem Reap and the mysterious, dramatic jungle-clad temples of Angkor before returning to Phnom Penh by way of Battambang and a spectacular boat journey up the Sangkar River.

Cambodia

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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Day 1 - Saigon - arrival and introductory walking tour

Morning arrival in Saigon, and transfer to a downtown hotel. Meet the photographer for an Introductory presentation outlining some of the techniques, aesthetics and ethics of travel photography, followed by a leisurely afternoon to recover from your flight, explore the area, browse the markets or just relax in a cafe and watch the non-stop spectacle of the city’s traffic!

Photographic themes: – Saigon street life, city scenes

The itinerary for day 1 is kept flexible to allow for various flight arrival times.

Extra nights in Saigon before your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Walk,  Meals: D, 

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Day 2 - Saigon - tour of some of the City's sights

Day tour of some of the City’s sites including the bustling Chinatown district of Cholon, the War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Saigon’s own Notre Dame Cathedral.

Photographic themes: – Saigon street life, city scenes, markets, pagodas, French colonial period architecture

Overnight: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 3 - Mekong Delta - south to Cai Be

Departure from Saigon, travelling south to the Mekong Delta. Our first stop will be lively My Tho, the main commercial centre and unofficial Delta capital.  Here we’ll check-out the photogenic market and waterfront activity before continuing to the the scenic riverside town of Cai Be, with some free time to explore the area. Overnight in an old converted colonial period villa.

Photographic themes: – country scenes, historical sites, Mekong Delta scenery

Overnight: Cai Be Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 4 - The Mekong Delta - Can Tho and Xe Quit

Morning visit to Cai Be’s traditional floating market from where we’ll continue by boat through the Delta’s myriad waterways with the opportunity to visit some of the region’s cottage industries and fruit farms. Arrival in Vinh Long and head off for a canoe tour of the former Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit (Don’t worry – someone else paddles leaving your hands free for your camera!). In the afternoon we’ll drive to Can Tho with it’s bustling waterfront. Afternoon at leisure to explore this friendly riverside town or check-out the interesting Mekong Delta Museum?

Photographic themes: – floating markets, historical sites, river life, cottage industries

Overnight: Can Tho Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 5 - Can Tho to Chau Doc - floating market and sacred mountain

Early morning boat ride to the nearby morning market, one of the busiest and most photogenic of all the Delta’s floating markets. Afterwards we’ll head west to the small riverside town of Chau Doc near the Cambodian border.  Visit the sacred Sam Mountain for sunset and spectacular views before returning to Chau Doc in the evening.

Photographic themes: – floating markets, river life, country life, landscapes, pagodas

Overnight: Chau Doc Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 6 - Phnom Penh - by river up the Mekong

Back on the Mekong for a departure by boat for Phnom Penh. Lunchtime arrival and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel. Time to relax before stretching your legs with an introductory city walking tour to give you a first-hand feel for the bustling street-life, and taking in the old French Quarter and riverfront, before perhaps sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?

Photographic themes: Phnom Penh street scenes, historic buildings, French colonial architecture, Buddhist temples

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 7 - Phnom Penh - tour of some of the City's sights

Day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city: the infamous Killing Fields site and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng help to explain the country’s recent tragic history, the picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda will provide plenty of photo opportunities whilst the Central Market offers some ‘retail therapy’ and a chance for a local style lunch.

Photographic themes: – street scenes, markets, people, historical sites

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 8 - Phnom Penh - street-life and Silk Island

In the morning we’ll visit Wat Phnom and the old French Quarter, including a detour to the bustling Psa Chas (Old Market), before heading off in the afternoon to nearby Koh Dach (Silk Island). Lying just a short ride from the city, it’s nonetheless a world away and will allow you to experience local village life as well as an opportunity to discover the traditional silk weaving methods still employed on this picturesque Mekong island.

Photographic themes: – markets and street-life, villages and handicrafts

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 9 - Siem Reap - up-country to Siem Reap

Up-country through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the provincial town of Siem Reap in Western Cambodia.- our base for the next few days for our visits to the nearby Angkor Temple complex. We will stop on the way at the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon (tasting not compulsory), the rarely visited but well preserved 10th century temple of Kuhananokor and lunch by a scenic lake. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei completes our day.

Photographic themes: – landscapes, countryside, villages, rural life.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 10 - Siem Reap - dawn at Angkor Wat

Angkor, an unforgettable tour of this fabulous site with it’s vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat – an awe inspiring experience, followed by a comprehensive morning tour of the temple itself. Late morning return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and some lunch, siesta, relaxation time or just a wander with your camera.  Afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom, Leper King Terrace, Preah Pilalay, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon and, last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone), the dramatic Bayon Temple with it’s famous faces.

Photographic themes: – architecture, historical sites, ruined temples, dawn at Angkor Wat, landscapes

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 11 - Angkor - jungle temples

We’ll begin with a forest hike up Bakheng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bakheng Temple and capture the views, before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and trees, and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. After a midday break in Siem Reap Town, the day continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote, rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. A visit to the famous Ta Prom ruins, (Tomb Raider Temple) continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’.

Photographic themes: – architecture, historical sites, ruined temples, landscapes, jungle flora and fauna

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 12 - Siem Reap - Beng Melea and afternoon at leisure

Morning trip to one of the more remote, less visited but most photogenic temple sites – the truly spectacular Beng Melea., a huge, partially ruined temple complex, overgrown by jungle, lying to the west of Siem Reap, this is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments. Return to Siem Reap with an afternoon at leisure to relax by the pool, visit the National Museum, explore the local markets or even take a Khmer cookery lesson?.

Photographic themes: – rural markets and villages, landscapes, historical sites, rarely photographed temples

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 13 - Sangkar River - by boat to Battambang

Spectacular boat journey across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the flooded forest and Prek Toal bird sanctuary. On down the Sangkar River with it’s floating fishing villages and stilt houses to the town of Battambang. Stop on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project.

Photographic themes: – river and lake scenes, floating fishing villages, country scenes, landscapes

If water levels are too low during the dry season, a part or all of today's trip may be by road.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 14 - Battambang - village and cottage industries tour

Morning tour to one of the surrounding villages to discover the area’s traditional cottage industries and local handicrafts, either by bicycle, or tuk-tuk for the less energetic. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the friendly provincial town, or just watch the world go by in one of the many coffee shops.

Photographic themes: – architecture, village life, cottage industries, landscapes

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Bike, Walk, Tuk Tuk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 15 - Battambang to Phnom Penh - overland to the capital

Travelling east, our first stop will be the lively and colourful local market in Pursat Town.  This offer plenty of photo opportunities, a chance to stretch our legs, check out the weird and wonderful produce on display, and meet the friendly locals. Moving on, we’ll stop at the fascinating river port town of Kompong Chnang, where half the town is actually floating on the Tonle Sap River, and explore the bustling river front area before continuing to our day’s final destination, Phnom Penh.

Photographic themes: – markets, landscapes, river-life

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 16 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and afternoon departure

Morning de-briefing session with your photographer and an opportunity to look at some important editing and post-production techniques. Afternoon end of tour.

Extra nights in Phnom Penh after your tour are available on request.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Cambodia, Angkor Wat dawn (by Jeff Perigois)

Just a few of the many highlights

Bustling markets and street-life of Saigon and Phnom Penh, two of Southeast Asia's most vibrant cities; the fabulous, evocative, mysterious ruined cities and temples of Angkor; and wonderful landscapes on river and road journeys.

  • Hands on photographic assistance and advice from one of our professional travel photographers
  • Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta: a labyrinth of waterways and islands with traditional villages, orchards and cottage industries
  • Explore incredible Angkor. Ruined temples in the jungle, where flocks of parrots & troops of monkeys dart between mysterious stone carvings
  • Visit the markets, street-life, pagodas and sites of vibrant and fascinating Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Spectacular boat trip across the Tonle Sap lake and up the Sangkar River via the floating fishing villages, to remote Battambang
  • Discover the timeless and picturesque Cambodian countryside; emerald rice paddies, traditional stilt houses, ox carts and village life

Air Departures (UK)

  • 1 August 18 2,900 GBP
  • 24 November 18 2,900 GBP
  • 19 December 19 3,100 GBP
  • 11 January 19 2,900 GBP

Land Departures

  • 2 August 18 2,000 GBP
  • 25 November 18 2,000 GBP
  • 20 December 18 2,000 GBP
  • 12 January 19 2,000 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

The 252, Phnom Penh view

  • Small, boutique-style and low-key
  • Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
  • Garden setting with pool and cafe

Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view

  • Lush garden setting with pool
  • Very convenient central but quiet location
  • Helpful, friendly and efficient staff

Sonnet Hotel, Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) view

  • Smart, new and comfortable the friendly Sonnet Hotel
  • Great location in the heart of Saigon City
  • Convenient for our city tour as well as leisure time

Ba Duc Ancient House, Cai Be view

  • Our night's accommodation on a Mekong Delta island
  • A delightful old, converted French period villa
  • Comfortable rooms and superb local cuisine

Kim Tho Hotel, Can Tho view

  • Greta riverside location for the Kim Tho Hotel
  • Our first choice in the Mekong Delta's Can Tho Town.
  • Don't miss sundowners at their wonderful roof-top bar!

King Fy Hotel, Battambang view

  • Central riverside location in Battambang Town
  • Great roof-top 'Sky Bar' for sundowners
  • Suoer friendly staff, comfortable rooms, cracking breakfast

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Vietnam: Currently, several nationalities (including citizens of the UK, Nordic countries, Germany, France and Italy) can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days without a visa.

For visits of up to 30 days, and most other nationalities, you can get an e-visa online (Vietnam e-visa) before you travel for $25 US. Use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points which you must select at the time of application. For land crossings please ask.

There are legitimate companies that can arrange visas on arrival, but you must organise this before you arrive in Vietnam. There are also a number of bogus companies claiming to offer this service. Several of our clients have used vietnam-visa.com/  with positive comments, but they are entirely independent from us and we have no responsibility for them.

Cambodia: For most nationalities, a visa on arrival is issued on arrival at the Port of Phnom Penh. Visa fees and conditions are subject to change but are usually $30 payable in cash in US dollars. A passport photo is required. Tourist visas are issued for 30 days from entry into Cambodia.

E-visas are now available for many nationalities https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

When entering Cambodia or Vietnam make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport and keep your departure card.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of exit. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged or in poor condition.

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