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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 anyone from keen amateur photographers and 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. From here we’ll travel 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, meet your tour leader and transfer to a downtown hotel. Introductory presentation concerning 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

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 south to the Mekong Delta. Our first stop will be lively My Tho – the main commercial centre and unofficial Delta capital – where we’ll check-out the photogenic market and waterfront action 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. After lunch we’ll drive to Can Tho – the Delta’s most important commercial and administrative centre. 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 check out the nearby morning market; one of the busiest and most photogenic of the Delta’s floating markets, before heading 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 walking tour to give you a first-hand feel for the bustling street-life before finishing on the riverfront and perhaps sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?

Photographic themes: Phnom Penh street scenes, historic buildings; French colonial, 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 Russian 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 Psa Chas – the Old Market – and one of central Phnom Penh’s most bustling before heading off in the afternoon to nearby Koh Dach, or ‘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 River 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 small provincial town of Siem Reap in Western Cambodia – our base for the next few days and jumping off point for the nearby Angkor Temple complex. Stops on the way include the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon, (tasting not compulsory), a rarely visited 10th century temple 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; its vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat followed by a morning tour of the temple itself. Return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and lunch, siesta or relaxation time before an afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom: Leper King Terrace, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon & 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

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 Bahkeng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bahkeng Temple before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. After a break in Siem Reap Town the afternoon programme continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote, rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. Famous Ta Prom – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ Temple – continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’s visit.

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

Off the beaten track with a morning trip to the remote site of Beng Melea Temple – until recently off limits due to appalling roads and uncleared mines – but for the few who have visited, certainly one of the most memorable temple sites. Stop off at the lively rural market Dom Dek and afternoon at leisure in Siem Reap – relax by the pool, a visit to the unusual landmines museum or 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 across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the ‘flooded forest’ and Prek Toal bird sanctuary and down the Sangkar River with its floating fishing villages to the town of Battambang. Stop off on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project. Time of arrival will depend upon water levels.

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

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 14 - Battambang - village and cottage industries tour

Morning guided tour (by bicycle, or tuk-tuk for the less energetic), by local students to one of the surrounding villages to discover its traditional cottage industries and local handicrafts. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the friendly provincial town, or just chill-out 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 for a chance to stretch our legs, check out the weird and wonderful produce on display, meet the friendly locals plus of course plenty of photo opportunities. 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 Gary or Jeff 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, 2 of Southeast Asia's most vibrant cities; the fabulous, evocative and mysterious ruined cities and temples of Angkor and wonderful landscapes on river and road journeys.

  • Hands on photographic assistance and advice from our professional travel photographers
  • Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta region: 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
  • Spectacular boat trip across the Tonle Sap lake and up the Sangkar River
  • Discover the timeless and picturesque Cambodian countryside; emerald rice paddies, traditional stilt houses, ox carts and village life

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

  • 10 August 17 2,900 GBP
  • 5 November 17 2,900 GBP
  • 19 December 17 3,000 GBP
  • 1 February 18 2,900 GBP

Land Departures

  • 11 August 17 2,000 GBP
  • 6 November 17 2,000 GBP
  • 20 December 17 2,000 GBP
  • 2 February 18 2,000 GBP

Guaranteed Limited Places 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...

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!

Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh view

  • Central but peaceful location in bustling Phnom Penh
  • Small, family run hotel
  • Garden setting, pool and in-house cafe/bar/restaurant

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: Until 30 June 2017 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. It’s not yet clear whether this arrangement will remain in place from 1 July 2017 onwards.

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 of us and we have no responsibility for them.

Cambodia: For most nationalities, a visa on arrival is issued at airports and all land borders used on our tours. 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 entry. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged or in poor condition.

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