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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 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 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 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, central Phnom Penh’s bustling Old Market, 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 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.  This is 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), 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, lunch, siesta or relaxation time before an afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom.   We’ll visit the Leper King Terrace, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon and 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 Bakheng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bakheng 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. 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, before an afternoon at leisure in Siem Reap.  Options include a visit to the unusual landmines museum, the local markets or simply just relax by the pool.

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 it’s 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 on bicycles, or tuk-tuks for the less energetic, by local students to one of the surrounding villages to discover it’s 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, with of course plenty of photo opportunities. Moving on, we’ll stop at the fascinating river port 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

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

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

Land Departures

  • 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: 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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