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Images of Indochina, (extended)

From bustling Saigon and the picturesque Mekong Delta travel to the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor and the unique floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake

16-day photography tour of Vietnam and Cambodia

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

Photographic subjects correspondingly include street-life, local scenes and the region’s inhabitants as well as its famous sites and sublime landscapes,

This exciting 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 hectic but fascinating Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.  From there we continue across country to Siem Reap to explore the mysterious and evocative, ancient temples of Angkor before returning to Phnom Penh by way of Battambang and a spectacular boat journey through the unique eco-system and floating villages of the Tonle Sap lake.

Note that for those with less time on their hands we offer a 2-week Vietnam and Cambodia photography tour beginning in Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh) but finishing with a departure from Siem Reap International Airport.

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 (HCM City), check-in to a downtown hotel and meet your photographer for an Introductory discussion – outlining some of the techniques, aesthetics and ethics of travel photography. In the afternoon either a leisurely stroll to explore the area or recover from your flight and take in some street scenes from a strategically placed cafe terrace. A welcome dinner will introduce you to Vietnam’s celebrated cuisine.

Photographic themes: – Saigon street life, city scenes, architecture

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.

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 the bustling but fascinating city combining some of the famous landmarks such as the Jade Emperor Pagoda, War Remnants Museum and Saigon’s own Notre Dame Cathedral with some of its less often seen back streets, local markets and street-life.

Photographic themes: – street life, portraits, markets, pagodas, French colonial architecture

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

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Day 3 - Mekong Delta - south to Cai Be

Departuring from Saigon, travelling south to the Mekong Delta, our first stop will be the bustling town of My Tho – principal commercial centre and unofficial capital of the Delta region.  Check-out the colourful market and waterfront comings and goings before continuing to the scenic riverside town of Cai Be for an overnight stay in a converted, French-era villa.

Photographic themes: – country scenes, street life, markets, 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 stopping to visit some of the region’s cottage industries and farms as well as a fascinating canoe tour of the former Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit. In the afternoon drive to Can Tho with its lively waterfront and an afternoon at leisure to try out some techniques in this picturesque, friendly, riverside town.

Photographic themes: – floating markets, landscapes, 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 catch the light at the nearby morning market, one of the busiest and most photogenic of all the Delta’s floating markets. From here we’ll head west to the small riverside town of Chau Doc near the Cambodian border where we’ll explore the myriad shrines and temples of sacred Sam Mountain as well as checking out its spectacular sunset vistas.

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

Departure by boat up the Mekong to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Lunchtime arrival and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel before an introductory walking tour providing you with a first-hand feel for the vibrant street-life. We’ll take in the old French Quarter and riverfront before finishing perhaps with sundowners at the famous FCC or Foreign Correspondents Club?

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

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

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

Our day tour of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city will combine some of its famous sites – the infamous Killing Fields, highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum and the picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda – with a behind the scenes look at everyday life in the back streets and local markets and opportunities to meet some of the friendly residents.

Photographic themes: – street scenes, local markets, portraits, historical sites, architecture

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

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Day 8 - Phnom Penh - street photography tour and Silk Island

More everyday life and local people images with a morning street photography tour before heading off to nearby Koh Dach (Silk Island). Although situated just a short ride from the city, it’s a world away in feel and allows you to experience local village life as well as the opportunity to discover the traditional silk weaving methods still employed on this photogenic Mekong island.

Photographic themes: – markets, street-life, landscapes, river scenes, village life and handicrafts

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

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

Departure overland through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the provincial town of Siem Reap – our base for the next few days for our visits to the nearby Angkor temples. Sights on the way include the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon (tasting not compulsory), a rarely visited but well-preserved 11th-century temple and landscapes and village life. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei completes our day.

Photographic themes: – landscapes, countryside, villages, rural life, ‘on the road’

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

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Day 10 - Siem Reap - dawn at Angkor Wat

Angkor; a 3-day tour of these fabulous lost cities and jungle-clad temples. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat followed by a comprehensive morning tour of the temple itself. Return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat before an afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom, including last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone), the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous faces.

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

The precise temple itinerary at Angkor may vary according to light and weather conditions

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

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Day 11 - Angkor - jungle temples

Early morning visit to the spectacular Phnom Bakheng temple with its splendid hill-top vistas, before moving on to the vast jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Creepers, vines and enormous roots covering mysterious carvings make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. Our afternoon visit proceeds with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. The famous Ta Prom, ‘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 visit to Beng Melea one of the more remote but most photogenic and atmospheric temple sites. This huge, ruined temple, partially overgrown by jungle, is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments while its more distant location allows for plenty of village and rural landscape views en-route. The afternoon is at leisure to relax by the pool, try a spa or hone your photo techniques in the local markets?

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 to the town of Battambang. We’ll travel across the Tonle Sap Lake, through the flooded forest and past Prek Toal bird sanctuary and up the Sangkar River with it’s unique floating fishing villages and stilt houses. Stops on the way include the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project.

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

If water levels are too low during the dry season, a section of the boat trip may be by road.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Minibus, Boat, Tuk Tuk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 14 - Battambang - village and cottage industries tour

Fascinating morning tuk-tuk tour to some of the surrounding villages to meet the local people and discover some of the area’s still very traditional cottage industries, local markets and handicrafts, The afternoon is at leisure to explore the friendly provincial town with its French-period architecture, or just take in the street life from a coffee shop terrace.

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

Overnight: Battambang Transport: 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 market in Pursat Town. Plenty of photo opportunities while you check out the weird and wonderful products on display, and meet the very friendly locals. Moving on, we’ll stop at the fascinating river port town of Kompong Chhnang and explore the bustling riverfront 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 editing and post-production techniques. Afternoon end of tour and departure at your convenience.

Extra nights in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) before your tour or Phnom Penh afterwards 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

Includes the fascinating markets and street-life of Saigon and Phnom Penh - 2 of Southeast Asia's most vibrant cities - the fabulous, mysterious ruined cities and temples of Angkor and unique river and rural landscapes

  • Hands on photographic assistance and advice from one of our experienced 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 colourful 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 unique, floating fishing villages
  • Discover the timeless and picturesque Cambodian countryside; emerald rice paddies, traditional stilt houses, ox carts and village life

Air Departures (UK)

  • 19 December 19 3,100 GBP
  • 11 January 19 2,900 GBP
  • 3 August 19 3,000 GBP
  • 25 November 19 2,900 GBP
  • 12 January 20 2,900 GBP

Land Departures

  • 20 December 18 2,000 GBP
  • 12 January 19 2,000 GBP
  • 4 August 19 2,000 GBP
  • 26 November 19 2,000 GBP
  • 13 January 20 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...

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!

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

City River Hotel, Siem Reap view

  • City River is out first choice in Cambodia's Siem Reap.
  • Rooftop pool; spa, riverside location, super friendly staff
  • Only a 5 minute walk from the bustling Old Market district

Delux Villa Battambang view

  • Small and friendly, low-key resort in Battambang
  • Swimming pool and lush, garden setting
  • Quiet but convenient central location

*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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