Images of Vietnam
From vibrant Saigon, travel through the picturesque Delta region and up the Mekong to Cambodia's modern day capital Phnom Penh
A superb 1-week Vietnam photography tour; The Mekong Delta
Our Vietnam photography tour – ‘The Mekong Delta – Images of Vietnam’ – takes in some of the famous sites, as well as the everyday street-life and colourful local markets of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City (still Saigon to most locals) before exploring the serene landscapes, rural and river scenes of the picturesque Mekong Delta.
Accompanied by one of our professional travel photographers – all highly experienced in the region – the tour caters equally to keen amateurs and beginners as well as more experienced photographers. The emphasis is on both the aesthetics and ethics of travel photography so, while helping you to get the most out of your camera, we’ll also encourage you to engage with your subject matter and context in more meaningful ways with a travel photography that respects local people, their cultures and traditions, We try, to the best of our ability, to leave a positive footprint on the places and people we visit.
This adventure will take you by river and overland through the heart of Indochina: from Vietnam’s exciting Saigon through the bucolic landscapes and myriad waterways of the Mekong Delta and up-river to the hectic but fun Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
For those with more time an extended a 13-day version of our Vietnam photography tour – Images of Indochina – continues the tout from Phnom Penh overland to the fabulous ancient temples of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor while a 16-day extended version follows a similar route but completes a loop to Phnom Penh by way of a superb Ton;e Sap Lake and Sangkar River trip to Battambang.
Note also that for those with the time and inclination we offer various beach and island add-on options in either Vietnam (Phu Quoc) or Thailand (Koh Chang or Koh Mak) for those seeking a bit of quality ‘R and R’ time after their tour.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Saigon - arrival and introductory walking tour
Morning arrival in Saigon, and check in to a downtown hotel. Introductory chat with one of our professional photographers concerning some of the techniques, aesthetics and ethics of travel photography. Explore the area, browse the markets or perhaps for the jet-lagged – just capture some street scenes from a strategically placed cafe terrace?! A welcome dinner also introduces you to Vietnam’s justifiably celebrated cuisine.
Photographic themes: – Saigon street life, city scenes
Overnight: Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 2 - Saigon - city tour
Our day tour of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) includes famous sites such as bustling Chinatown, the sobering, albeit informative War Museum, picturesque Jade Emperor Pagoda and Saigon’s own Notre Dame Cathedral as well as plenty of opportunities to discover the vibrant street-life and colourful local markets and meet the city’s friendly residents.
Photographic themes: – street life, everyday scenes, markets, pagodas, French period architecture
Overnight: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 3 - Cai Be - south to the Mekong Delta
Departing from Saigon our first stop will be the Delta’s unofficial capital and main commercial centre My Tho where we’ll check out the lively waterfront and market action before continuing south to the scenic riverside town of Cai Be for an afternoon boat trip through the maze of waterways. Overnight in a converted, French-period villa located on a nearby island.
Photographic themes: – rural and river scenes, Mekong Delta scenery, architecture, portraits
Overnight: Cai Be Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, D,
Day 4 - Can Tho - traditional Delta scenes
Morning visit to Cai Be’s traditional floating market followed by a fascinating canoe tour of the former, secret Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit. After lunch we’ll head for Can Tho – another of the Delta’s important trade and market centres with the afternoon at leisure to explore this friendly town and perhaps hone your street photography techniques on the lively waterfront?
Photographic themes: – floating markets, historical sites, river life
Overnight: Can Tho Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 5 - Can Tho to Chau Doc - floating market and sacred mountain
Early morning boat ride to catch the light and activities at 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. We’ll visit the myriad shrines and temples of sacred Sam Mountain as well as taking in the spectacular sunset 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, Meals: B, D,
Day 6 - The Mekong - up river to Phnom Penh
Back on the Mekong for a morning departure by boat upriver to Phnom Penh. Lunchtime arrival in Cambodia’s capital and check-in to a small, boutique-style, downtown hotel. An afternoon, introductory walking tour takes in the old French Quarter and waterfront area as well as providing close-up views of the city’s colourful, lively and photogenic street-life.
Photographic themes: – River scenes, landscapes, street-life, architecture
Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Boat, Walk, Tuk Tuk, Meals: B, D,
Day 7 - Phnom Penh - city tour and street life
Day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city; the bustling Central Market, the infamous ‘Killing Fields’ site and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng as well as taking in the local markets and vibrant street-life.
Photographic themes: – street scenes, markets, people, architecture, historical sites
Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 8 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and end of tour
Morning at leisure in Phnom Penh and lunchtime departure.
Extra nights in Saigon or Phnom Penh before or 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 on request.
Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
Vibrant and bustling Saigon; the serene landscapes of Vietnam's picturesque Mekong Delta and Cambodia's chaotic but fun Phnom Penh
- Hands on photographic assistance and advice from our professional travel photographer
- The ethics and aesthetics of travel photography plus everyday scenes and local life aswell as famous sites
- An introductory tour of Phnom Penh; fast recovering from its recent tragic history to regain its place as one of Indochina's most attractive
- Visit the markets, street-life, pagodas and sites of vibrant and fascinating Saigon
- Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta: a labyrinth of waterways with traditional villages, orchards and cottage industries
- Optional extensions to Kep and Kampot or Vietnam's Phu Quoc Island
Air Departures (UK)
- 3 October 20 2,225 GBP
- 8 November 20 2,225 GBP
- 19 December 20 2,325 GBP
- 18 February 21 2,225 GBP
- 4 October 20 1,325 GBP
- 9 November 20 1,325 GBP
- 20 December 20 1,325 GBP
- 19 February 21 1,325 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
- 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!
Hotel 252 Phnom Penh view
- Small, boutique-style and low-key
- Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
- Garden setting with pool and cafe
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Vietnam – visas: Most 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 of us and we have no responsibility for them.
Cambodia – visas: 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. Alternatively, e-visas (so cutting down on queuing time at the airport) are now available for many nationalities https://www.evisa.gov.kh/
Both: 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.
Meals: While Vietnamese cuisine needs no introduction, the much lesser-known Khmer food shows both Thai and Vietnamese influences though with plenty of unique dishes too. Dishes in both countries are only mildly spicy and both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour-leader at the start of the tour.
Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range and are en-suite and air-conditioned and, where possible, with pools. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.
Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...