(BEGODI) – Photo-worthy moments are plentiful when travelling through Vietnam, but some places require more memory cards than others. Here are our top picks of photogenic destinations to wow your eyes and let your shutter run wild.
Vietnam’s northernmost point, Ha Giang is a breathtaking region of lush mountains and undulating rice paddies. Almost 90% of the population are ethnic minority groups, practicing various cultural customs and lifestyles. Relatively untouched by tourism, this area remains authentic and rather disinterested in economic development. It is therefore one of the country’s unique scenic gems that truly seems to be fixed in time. A trip to these mountains will have you spoilt for choice on which bits of this untainted wonder to photograph first.
Southwest of Ha Giang lies the hugely popular Sapa town. This is the go-to place for travellers to trek in the northern mountains and be enveloped by expansive views. Endless rolling rice terraces and friendly locals from the area’s hill tribes make Sapa an iconic destination. The town has been liberally developing itself to accommodate the tourism demand in recent years. It is thus somewhat losing its traditional charm, but nevertheless remains an incredible scene once in the mountainous local areas. Trekking with the warm and resilient Hmong and Dao women make for countless photo-worthy moments. Their brightly patterned clothing against the cloaking mist and vast hills will have you grateful for that extra memory card.
Trang An Landscape Complex
Situated in Ninh Binh province, Trang An is a tranquil complex of scenic rivers, rice fields and limestone caves. It is charmingly authentic in its rural setting, and houses many rich sites of cultural history. The best ways to explore the area are by boat and bicycle. You can pedal through the verdant landscapes, glide under marvellous caves and immerse yourself in Southeast Asia’s largest pagoda. This underrated piece of Vietnam’s picturesque countryside presents a variety of extraordinary scenes to capture.
The infamous wonder of the country, Halong Bay is a panorama of 1,960 plush standing islands and smooth emerald waters. A cruise through this landscape is undeniably photogenic. The abundant limestone caves layer each other far into the distance, superimposed majestically onto the tranquil sea. Halong is more than just a bay, as the activities available are exciting for any adventure and nature lover. From kayaking and diving to caving and hiking, the expanse was made to be explored. A range of pursuits also entails a variety of settings to snap for your albums or social media pages.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Enchanted in every way, Hoi An is photography heaven from day until night. The Ancient Town remains as quaint as it was centuries past. A multitude of influences affected the eclectic construction of the town, with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and European aesthetics harmoniously evident. Lanterns line virtually every lane of bright yellow walls and wooden shuttered windows. The coast along the spine of Hoi An is dotted with colourful boats and an atmosphere of contagious calm. By night, the entire area is lit up by bulbs of twinkling silk and floating candles. This place also has a tendency to make you extend your stay so seriously, bring an extra memory card.
Living life on land has never been in fashion in Vietnam’s southernmost liquid labyrinth. Producing more than a third of the country’s food crop, the Mekong Delta is both a visual and agricultural wonder. The network of winding waterways, flourishing rice paddies and twittering birdlife are enough to satisfy anyone behind the lens. However, the region is so much more than just its astonishing geography. The abounding productivity of the people is what’s most impressive, with the vibrant floating markets as every photographer’s treasure box. Mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables dwarf each boat’s sellers as they begin trading at the rise of the sun. I’m really not going to say the extra memory card thing again but know that it is implied here too.
Mui Ne Sand Dunes
It may surprise you to learn that there are sand dunes in Vietnam. And further that there are not one but two sites of smoothly grained landscapes for you to enthusiastically photograph. Mui Ne is a resort town 4 hours from Saigon, and boasts spectacular white dunes and red dunes. The White Sand Dunes are an hour out of Mui Ne’s town, but it is well worth the commute. It is a vast expanse of pristine land – a desert as one would imagine it to be. The Red Sand Dunes are only 20 minutes from Mui Ne, and slope more gently than the white. Although they lack the drama of the towering white dunes, their rich colour makes for spectacular sunset shots.
Phu Quoc Island
We cannot complete the list without including Vietnam’s most amazing beach destination. Phu Quoc has the immaculate white sands and turquoise waters that every coastal paradise picturesquely displays. The region is lined with palm trees and tropical jungle terrain, as well as coral reefs and colourful marine life. If you’re lucky with the weather conditions, Phu Quoc may show off with a pink sunset reflecting on crystal water.
You don’t need much skill to capture some stellar images at each of these destinations. With some of these places still relatively unknown, rookies and photographers alike are sure to wow their audiences after a trip to Vietnam.
For help with bookings and other advice for travel in these photogenic places, get in touch with Begodi.