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Images of Indochina

From the myriad waterways of Vietnam's Mekong Delta to the jungle covered ruined temples of Cambodia's Angkor

2 week photography tour to Vietnam and Cambodia

This unique Vietnam and Cambodia photography tour, Images of Indochina, accompanied by one of our professional travel photographers Gary Latham or Jeff Perigois, aims to encourage keen amateur photographers, not only to get to know their cameras better, but to engage with their subject matter in more meaningful ways. In contrast to other photography courses, and in keeping with the All Points East philosophy, this trip intends to emphasize a travel photography that appreciates local people, their cultures, traditions and religions and encourages a positive impact on the places and people it visits.

Vietnam and Cambodia ‘Images’ is an exciting river and land adventure through the heart of Indochina, from Vietnam’s bustling Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), and picturesque Mekong Delta region, up-river to the fascinating Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, before heading west to the mysterious and dramatic, jungle-clad temples of Angkor.

A photographers’ paradise – highlights range from the bustling street life and vibrant markets of Saigon and Phnom Penh to traditional floating markets of the Mekong Delta, and from the fabulous jungle-clad ruins of Angkor to the bucolic village scenes and exotic landscapes of Indochina.

Please note for those with more time an extended, 16 day version of this Vietnam and Cambodia photography tour is also available, again starting in Saigon but returning to Phnom Penh via Battambang, at the end of this itinerary.

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 prior to 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 - The Delta - south to My Tho and 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, 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, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 9 - Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - head upcountry

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, ‘on the road’

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 - Siem Reap - morning at leisure and end of tour

Morning at leisure and end of tour.

Extra nights in Siem Reap 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, Siem Reap's Western Baray

Just a few of the many highlights

A photographers' paradise. Highlights range from bustling street life & vibrant markets of Saigon & Phnom Penh, Mekong Delta river life, fabulous jungle-clad ruins of Angkor as well as bucolic village scenes & exotic landscapes

  • 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 clad in steamy jungle, where flocks of parrots and squabbling monkeys dart between mysterious ston
  • Travel by boat up the mighty Mekong River from Vietnam's border town of Chau Doc to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh
  • An introductory tour of Phnom Penh; fast recovering from its recent tragic history to regain its place as one of Indochina's most attractive
  • Sample the region's awesome and varied cuisine with the emphasis as usual on the authentic and local favourites

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

  • 19 December 17 2,950 GBP
  • 1 February 18 2,750 GBP

Land Departures

  • 20 December 17 1,850 GBP
  • 2 February 18 1,850 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

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

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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