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Photo Tour Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia

5,950 US$01 Mar 2020
A photo tour across Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, finishing in Cambodia at the temples of Angkor. Private photo sessions and an off the beaten track photographic experience along the Mekong river. The fascinating Bangkok from the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak to the fervor of photographing boxers training in a Thai gym before attending the match. This trip includes every angle a photographer could possibly want. Please, study carefully this exceptional Itinerary!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • - The photo session of a Thai boxing match in a Thai gym
  • - Two days on our private ship along the Mekong River to Luan Prabang
  • - Two days at Sapa area at the Vietnamese country side, off the beaten path
  • - The photographic sessions at the hill tribes
  • - The floating markets
  • - Our stay in Laos at Luang Prabang visiting the ethnic minorities
  • - Hanoi and the life on the rails next to the train tracks
  • - Our private photo sessions with vietnamese models wearing traditional Ao Dai costume and driving vespas
  • - The stay at the villages in the Sapa area with a breathtaking mountainous scenery and the local tribes
  • - (Optional Extension)   Two days on our ship at Halong Bay 
  • - (Optional Extension)   Four days the temples of Angkor
  • - (Optional Extension)   Our private sessions with monks in Cambodia at Siem Reap.

Please, study carefully this exceptional Itinerary!

You will have the chance to photo document life on the Mekong River as you float down it on a houseboat, or the daily adventures that happen on the railway tracks from Hanoi to Long Bien Bridge.  We will stay un the country side in Vietnam in comfort visiting remote hill  tribes. As well in Laos.  In Vietnam we have set  private photo sessions with models in traditional dress racing vespas through the colorful streets, chances to work with motion and also low light as you explore the caves of Pak Ou to discover the secrets within. Photograph from your boat Halong Bay and of course, the mystery and magic of the Ang Kor temples where we will run private photo sessions with monks. 

This is a chance to bear witness to history, the way in which it has grown into the vibrant modern life thriving in South East Asia today.

 

Three weeks with Harry and a small group in Benin and then Lalibela and Omo were amazing. At voodoo celebrations, markets, street parties, a bar, church services, Tikat, Omo tribes (6) and more, the photographic challenges came thick and fast – low light, recalcitrant subjects, delicate negotiations, chaotic scenes, matched with great colours, energy, fascinating subjects and the bizarre. The three weeks were fantastic – the company excellent and Harry’s gentle prodding to engage with the subject and challenge the orthodox made it a great learning experience as well. I recommend both trips wholeheartedly.

Paul Greenfield, Australia



ITINERARY

 

DAY 1. – BANGKOK

Upon arrival, reception at the airport for transfer to hotel.

Free time for the rest of the day.

 

DAY 2. – BANGKOK.

Among the must see attractions in Thailand is a visit to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand situated 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. The Thai capital for 417 years, Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's major world monuments. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in the city, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. 33 kings of 5 dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767.

In the afternoon we will have, depending on schedules, a photo session with professional Thai boxers at a local gym. After spending a little time talking and getting to know the subjects, we will start the session. We will have time for posing and portraiture as well as movement based shots of the boxers in action.

The vicious styles of Thai boxing, which utilizes almost every part of the body to fend off an opponent, is what makes the sport unique from world boxing. Boxers are allowed to punch, kick, shove, and push by using their feet, legs, fists, knees, and elbows to attack the opponent above, as well as below the waist. Before the start of any match, each boxer performs a pre-fight ceremony to honor and show respect for their trainers, religion, and the sport itself.  The ceremony involves a special kind of dance, accompanied by strident Thai boxing music, and the shouts of gamblers in the stands, betting on the outcome.

 

Overnight in the Hotel.

 

DAY 3. – BANGKOK.

The town sits on the Chao Phraya River, where boats and fishing points are bustling from sunup to sundown. There are throngs of people and the district is chaotic but graceful. It is also a refuge for immigrants and the working class of Bangkok, as well as the city’s largest port.

Today we will set out early morning  a half-day visit Damnoen Saduak floating market in a Long Tail Boat.  On this ride we will have plenty of time to photograph the people in and near the river  before arriving at the one of a kind Damnoen Saduak floating market. Here will we have a sponateous sort of shoot as the blur of boats and colorful clothes, wares, and people moves around us busily buying and selling, their canoes crammed together in the narrow river spaces, full of fruits and foodstuffs.

After lunch, we' ll continue with a visit to the Klong Toey market that's open 24 hours and one of the biggest local markets in the city, the market is located in the small neighbourhood with the same name and is also known for being a hidden slum in Bangkok that's been around for over 50years.

The vast majority of the inhabitants are emigrants from the Northeast of Thailand. Many people are unaware of the existence of this part of the city but has interesting character. 

 

Private transfer to Bangkok airport  flight to Chang Rai .  Pick up at arrival and transfer to our Hotel. 

 

DAY 4. – OUR PRIVATE TRADITIONAL BOAT ALONG MEKONG

Pick up from your hotel in Chiang Sean and private transfer to Houaixai immigration point with our English speaking guide.  Departure  to next destination Meet upon arrival at the border (Thailand – Laos)  Laos side welcome to Laos. We will be welcomed by our local guide and then transfered to the boat pier in Houay Xai. Then we board our private traditional boat to sail along the Mekong River for two days, observing the life on its shores and the spectacular scenery.  If there was ever a day to work on documenting a photographic story, today is it.

In the afternoon we will arrive in Pakbeng, a small town halfway between Luang Prabang and Houay Xai, and a mandatory stop for all ships to pass the night. Here there are guest houses and some small restaurants, and a market where the local mountain-dwelling tribes come to buy supplies. In recent years the roads have been paved and some electric lights installed in the area, but otherwise, it maintains an older ambiance, and we will have time to continue working on our photographic story of life along this river as we stop in the town.

Overnight in our Hotel at Pakbeng

 

DAY 5. –SAILING ALONG THE MEKONG/LUAN PRABANG

We continue on our private boat along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. On the way stop at Pak Ou to visit some caves containing hundreds of Buddha statues and we will be visiting several hill tribes. We will work on low light photography and the interesting results we can get from a session inside these caves.

Lunch onboard

Upon arrival at the boat pier in Luang Prabang, we will be taken to our hotel and later go to dinner at the local restaurant

 

DAY 6. –LUANG PRABANG

In the morning we will leave the town by the mountain road to visit the Waterfalls of Kuang Si, where water flows overstep of calcified rock and forming natural clear-water pools. We will stay for a photographic activity and take a dip and relax a while in these beautiful springs before heading back.

On the way back we will stop in the town of Thapaene to visit the Kmhu ethnic minority peoples. Then back to the city were we  will head to Wat Mai a Monastery build in 1796. 

Later we will go up Phousi Hill which is in the middle of the city, to the temple of Pha-that Chom Si . From there we will have some truly incredible and incomparable views of the river, the palace, and the city, and we will spend plenty of time there capturing the surroundings with our cameras. Finally, we will head to Vat Siphouthabath nearby, which is the Mekong River, to photograph the river, the boats and the returning fishermen at sunset.

 

Dinner at the local restaurant.

 

Evening stroll at the night market.

 

DAY 7. –LUANG PRABANG / THE VILLAGES –FLIGHT TO HANOI

We will take a ride in Tuk Tuk enjoying the sites on your way to visit Wat Visoun . This temple was constructed during the reign of King Visounarat around 1520. In 1942, it was turned into a Museum of Religious Arts, and houses collections of Buddha images and religious artifacts from the fourteenth century. After that you will take another short boat along the Nam Khan river to Wat Xieng Thong .This is one of the most important temples in the entire country of Laos and the most important one in Luang Prabang.

In the afternoon continue to Ban Xang Khong explore the villages who are offering great handicraft manufacturing. Especially the local made Sa Paper is interesting as it is handmade from the bark of the Mulberry tree.

Transfer to the Airport for the flight to Hanoi . Arrive at Hanoi Airport, once we process our visas we will head to the hotel. If we have time, we will head out in the evening to orient ourselves to the city.

Accommodation at the hotel

 

Day 8.- HANOI - SAPA

Today we wake early and walk from your hotel to Hoan Kiem Lake which is a blur of activity at this time of morning. In any open space communal exercise aerobics takes place from about 5-7am and is wonderful to photograph. At this time of morning we can find groups doing Laughing Yoga, Tai Chi and even ballroom dancingand though it is not posed, it is organic and natural, and a great time for us to work with motion related shots.Go back your hotel and have breakfast.

Joining us will be three Vietnamese models wearing traditional Ao Dai costume and all driving Vespa.  You will also have the opportunity to photograph the models as we drive around, a great opportunity to play with long exposures and movement.

In the afternoon we will transfer to the train tracks (Dien Bien Phu, Le Duan area) that head from Hanoi to Sapa to witness and photograph and tell the story of life on the rails.  There is a surprising amount of it, more than one might think.  From the diligent railway workers to the little houses and their residents, and some people drifting along the tracks towards whatever their destination, we will have ample time to stop and work with whatever we encounter along the way.

We’ll continue walking until we reach the spectacular Long Bien Bridge, which overlooks the valleys and hills we walked through. From the overlook you can see banana plantations and workers toiling in the fields, the red river, and the lush, viridian jungle of Vietnam.

Later on we will be doing a tour of the city in  rickshaws, which is undoubtedly the best way to see the city

Starting our dinner at a nice local restaurant. After dinner, our guide and driver will wait for us and transfer to Hanoi train station.

In the evening train journey to Sapa

 

Day 9.- SAPA/TRIBES/LUNCH WITH A FAMILLY

Early morning (approximately 06:30 hrs) arrival at Lao Cai, the border town to Yunnan, China.  The journey starts with a 38 km drive on winding roads up the mountains to Sapa, located approx. 1,500 m above sea level. On clear days you can see the highest mountain of Vietnam, the Fansipan.

We will spend the full day of visiting remote villages, hidden behind mountains and hills. We will cross a number of suspension bridges that cross the river valley and you will see the spectacular rice terraces. After breakfast at a restaurant in the town, drive from Sapa to Tam Duong area (Lai Chau Province) which is a frontier town situated in a beautiful valley between limestone rocks. It is also a place of cultural value and breath-taking mountainous scenery.

Ethnic tribal communities of H'Mong, Man Tien, Lu and Cu Chu people live in this area and today we will concentrate on environmental portraiture. Upon arrival, continue transfer to Hon Village (Bản Hon) located around 14km from Tam Duong town. It is one of the remote villages hidden behind mountains and hills. We will cross a number of suspension bridges that cross the river valley and you will see the spectacular rice terraces.

Lunch at a local family

Transfer to Sin Sui Ho Village, another beautiful village near Tam Duong.

Accommodation at the homestay and dinner.  Our accommodation tonight will be simple but the experience will be unforgettable.

Evening at your leisure

 

Day 10.- SAPA - HANOI

This morning we will wake early to photograph the surrounding landscape of the Sin Sui Ho village as the sun rises over the valley. We will return to our homestay at 8:30am for a late breakfast and we will have free time to rest until heading  back towards Sapa.

On the way we will stop at Khoang Commune a remote village of the Red Dzao ethnic people.

We could also visit a  salmon farm and witness how the local mastering technique to feed the fish. If time allows , we will also visit Tả Giagrave Phigrave (HMong people) where we will enjoy and feel the wildness of nature.

We arrive back in Sapa in the late afternoon and have free time to explore until be transferred to Lao Cai railway station where we will board the the evening train to Hanoi.

 

Overnight train to Hanoi

 

Day 11.- HANOI- DEPARTURES BACK HOME OR EXTENSION

Early morning arrival in Hanoi depending on your flight you could still have few hours free to enjoy Hanoi traditional breakfast with a special Vietnamese coffee.

Transfer to  Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight

 

 



EXTENSIONS

Halong Bay Extension (11 Mar 2020)


 

Halong bay Extension.

 

 

DAY 1. – HANOI-HALONG BAY

 

Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi for a drive to Ha Long City. Arriving in Ha Long by noon time and check in at Bhaya Group Cruise Centre at Tuan Chau International Passenger Port. 

 

Board the Bhaya Classic and settle in to your cabin before heading to the restaurant for a safety briefing. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet the Cruise Manager and the crew. A delicious buffet lunch of Vietnamese dishes is served as the boat cruises towards the southeast of Halong Bay, passing picturesque Trong Mai Islet, Ngon Tay Islet, Con Coc Islet and Cua Van Floating Culture Centre. 

 

In the afternoon, visit Trinh Nu Cave - one of the most beautiful sunlight-filled caves in Halong Bay replete with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Trinh Nu Cave is an exclusive destination for Bhaya Cruises passengers. Learn about the folklore and heritage associated with the cave and why this remains a site of important archaeological discoveries.

 

There is time to take a swim or sunbathe on Trinh Nu Cave beautiful private beach before a return to the boat to freshen up for the evening's  activities. The bar onboard provides a relaxing ambience, and there is the chance to join the exciting Master Chef  Halong Bay Edition  competition and fruit carving demonstration on the sundeck (or in the restaurant, depending on the weather). Try your hand at creating authentic Vietnamese dishes, with the winner of the competition awarded some gifts. As the day draws to a close, admire the sunset over enchanting Halong Bay as the boat anchors for an overnight stay. 

 

Finally, savour the delicious set-menu dinner in the restaurant and then stop for a drink at the bar or stargaze on the sundeck before retiring for the night. 

 

Accommodation aboard Bhaya Cruise Meals included: Breakfast in Hanoi Lunch and dinner on-board

 

 

DAY 2. – HALONG BAY.

 

Start the day with a sunrise Tai Chi lesson as complimentary tea and coffee is served. A light breakfast is taken in the restaurant while you enjoy the views on the cruise to the centre of Halong Bay. The boat stops to explore Sung Sot Cave, the largest cave inside Halong Bay which holds thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. Wander through the spectacular grotto on a 500-metre paved passageway.

 

Afterwards, return to the boat and enjoy the brunch buffet as the boat cruises back to the port, passing scenic Lom Bo Island, Trong Mai Islet and Ba Hang Fishermen Village on the way.

 

 

DAY 3. – HANOI.

 

Free morning, International departures pick up and transfer

 

 



Ang Kor Temples (11 Mar 2020)

 

Siem Reap-Angkor Bat Extension.

 

 

DAY 1. – SIEM REAP

 

Arrival, reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

We will spend the day inn Siem Reap getting acquainted with the city.

 

DAY 2. – SIEM REAP-FISHERMEN- ANGKOR TEMPLES

 

 

Morning Breakfast at hotel. This morning, kick off the adventure with a morning visit the magical Ta Prohm and a lesser-known temple, Ta Nei. Visiting them in the morning gives the best light and the lowest crowds. The specific temples are subject to change depending on weather conditions.

 

Afternoon After a midday break, drive down to Kampong Phluk fishing village , a small community nestled on the shores of the Tonle Sap lake . You’ll have a fantastic opportunity to capture village life, including street scenes and portraits. You will also visit a remote Buddhist pagoda and make the return trip by boat, giving you the chance to capture some evening sunset lake scenes as well.

 

Accommodation at hotel. Meals included: Breakfast at hotel Lunch at local restaurant

 

 

DAY 3. – ANGKOR TEMPLES - PHOTO SESSION WITH MONKS

 

Breakfast at hotel. Today, take the entire day, from sunrise to sunset, to explore Angkor Wat and the main surrounding temples such as Angkor Thom with of course Bayon and Preah Khan which is spectacular and also less crowded. During the day, you will also visit a monastery but please note it is now forbidden to do photo sessions with monks inside the Angkor complex . For this, you will visit another monastery, tomorrow, in a more remote area. Because these are some of the most popular attractions in Cambodia, the visit to each site will be set to coincide with periods of the best light and the lowest crowds.

 

Afterwards, return to the boat and enjoy the brunch buffet as the boat cruises back to the port, passing scenic Lom Bo Island, Trong Mai Islet and Ba Hang Fishermen Village on the way.

 

Accommodation at hotel

 

 

DAY 4. – MONASTERIES/MONKS/PEOPLE

 

Take a morning visit to a local market to catch the vendors starting their day, and give you an opportunity to capture some market scenes in the morning light . After the market, visit an ancient Buddhist pagoda where you will have the opportunity to photograph the beautiful carvings and paintings that adorn the walls. Conditions permitting, we may also have the opportunity to photograph the monks and scenes of their daily life at the pagoda. After your lunch break, go to a remote 11 th century temple surrounded by the largest moats after Angkor Wat, set located on top of a small hill that requires some light climbing. From there you will capture the peacefulness of the surrounding nature.

 

Afterwards, return to the boat and enjoy the brunch buffet as the boat cruises back to the port, passing scenic Lom Bo Island, Trong Mai Islet and Ba Hang Fishermen Village on the way.

 

Accommodation at hotel

 

 

DAY 5. – SIEM REAP.

 

Free morning, International departures pick up and transfer

 

 

 



Prices per person
9-10 Participants 5950 US$


Supplements
Single Room Supplement Main Trip 780 US$
Single Room Halong Bay Extension 350 US$
Single Room Angkor bat Extension 380 US$


Extensions
Halong Bay Extension 1320 US$
Ang Kor Temples 2650 US$


WHAT'S INCLUDED

INCLUDED

 

  • - Leaded by Harry Fisch 
  • - One internal flight form Luan Prabang to Hanoi
  • - All meals excepted the first and last days
  • - English speaking guide on each location
  • - All photographic sessions as specified in the itinerary in 
  • - On site transportation by private bus (two seats per passenger) 
  • - Reception at airport and pick up and transfer on arrival and departure.
  • - Good 4 stars hotels, local good hotels, heritage hotels, two nights at a home stay in Sapa (no alternative lodging in this village), one night in a nice boat on the  Mekong  , one night on a deluxe train in Vietnam

 

NON INCLUDED

 

  • - International flights
  • - Flight to the Angkor optional extension (we will book on your behalf, aprox 210 $)
  • - Personal extras, drinks, laundry, phone, etc..
  • - Insurance
  • - Tips of any kind
  • - Visas.
  • - Airline taxes
  • - Airport taxes
  • - Any item or service not expressly defined as included.