2011 Vietnam Photography Workshop/Tour Itinerary
Day Before - Participants arrive, check into hotel, if arriving at Noi Bai Airport in Ha Noi your taxi service will be provided gratis.
Day 1 In Ha Noi – After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a day of welcoming and planning, including: culture workshop by Mr. Don Phuong of Vietnam Travel and the founder of Volunteers for Peace, introductory walking tour in Ha Noi’s old quarter, and photo project planning & equipment check.
Day 2 in Ha Noi – Long Bien Bridge – We will rise early to photograph this icon of Ha Noi which stretches over the Red River, then return and have breakfast at the hotel. After that, we will go to photograph the Temple of Literature (with an option to shop at Craft Link, a store devoted to the work of tribal people). After lunch at the nearby Goethe Institute, we will have an afternoon photo class at the hotel, followed by dinner and selection of the best of the first two days of yours and the other participants image-making.
Day 3 in Ha Noi- After breakfast, we will take a half hour trip to the Friendship Village, seen by very few Westerners, which houses and educates children with Agent Orange syndrome and other disabilities. The children are taught craft-making, and we will tour their studio. We will then travel to the Museum of Ethnology for lunch and photographing the spectacular outdoor ancient culture exhibits. We will also visit the indoor exhibits, which are very informative about the 54 ethnic cultures that form the basis of Vietnam’s people.
Day 4 in Ha Noi - After breakfast, we will have a short photo class on forming relationships with your street subjects and deciding which techniques to use, including Vietnamese photography etiquette, after which we will tour the famous 36 streets of Ha Noi’s Old Quarter. After lunch in a street restaurant with delicious Vietnamese food (not unlike the Asian cooking you know in the US), we will travel to Ngu Xa Village, known for its noodle making but never visited by tourists. We will have dinner back in the old quarter, and photograph in the wholesale Night Market.
Day 5 - Day Trip to Hoa Binh Province – After breakfast we will travel to Mai Chau, an ethnic tribal village in Hoa Binh province. On the bus there will be a photo class on unusual camera techniques and lighting. We will have lunch in the center of the village, but then will go to photograph homes and life away from the tourist center. We will then travel to Hoa Binh city, and have dinner at the Hmong Museum that explores the heritage of the Hmong culture, a culture that is prevalent in U.S. cities too. We will bus back at night to our hotel.
Day 6 in Ha Noi – After an early breakfast, we travel through Ha Noi’s modern Dong Da district an the way to the colorful market Chợ Thành Công near Ho Thành Công, a lake in the Ba Dinh district South West of the old quarter. Here we will work our way through this indoor and outdoor setting to photograph in small groups. After we will have lunch at the famed Cha Ca Restaurant on Pho Giang Vo, where the ever popular fish dish, cha ca, is cooked right at your table . We will then visit West Lake (Ho Tay) and two revered pagodas, Kim Lien and Huong An. Kim Lien is a pagoda founded centuries ago to honor women. From there, we will arrive at Bookworm, an English bookstore, and have dinner in the adjacent Ha Noi Cooking School, followed by evening photo class.
Day 7 – Day Trip to Vinh Phuc province – We will travel after breakfast to the micro-credit village in Vinh Phuc province. Lawrence will discuss the micro-credit concept on the bus, and describe some of the women he has photographed there with their businesses and families. We will have lunch, and spend the afternoon photographing. After traveling back to our hotel for dinner, we will share our work and have a photo critique along with instruction on still video technique and direction.
Day 8 Travel to Ha Long Bay – After an early breakfast, we will leave for a 2 hour trip to the Phu Lang Pottery Village and photograph there in the morning. During the trip there, we will learn about pottery making, glazing, fire fuels, etc. From there we will travel to Ha Long Bay, with a brief stop at the ABC store, an opportunity to buy Vietnam silk and craft items. Arriving in Ha Long Bay, we will board one of the many tourist boats, and have a 4-hour tour of the spectacular rock formations, the result of underwater volcanic activity. After dinner at our hotel, we will have instruction on Photoshop and Lightroom technique.
Day 9 Travel to Hue by Airplane – After breakfast, we will leave our hotel and travel to Noi Bai airport to board a plane to Hue, the ancient capitol of Vietnam. We will meet our drivers and go to Thien Mu Pagoda to photograph in the afternoon. Our drivers will take us to our hotel, and we will have dinner and a photo class, including how to choose the photos for a book and how to successfully use night photo technique.
Day 10 Explore Hue – This day will include a morning visit to the lovely Tu Duc’s tomb, built as a resting place for his troubled spirit, and that features extensive grounds and many very old structures. In the afternoon we will go to the Royal Palace to photograph and the day will also include time for personal site-seeing and shopping in the intimate neighborhoods surrounding the palace. We will have a special dinner of Hue cuisine (Hue is noted for its delicious vegetarian dishes) then a photo class. After that there will be drinks in the hotel bar, which offers a beautiful perspective of the Hue skyline. We will also have handouts for our future visit to My Son (“beautiful mountain”).
Day 11 Travel to Da Nang – We will rise early to travel north of Hue, to a “ghost”village – hundreds of mausoleums built right on a series of canals. We will then board our road transportation to Da Nang, stopping on the way in Lang Co, a charming fishing village near the ocean almost never visited by foreigners. We will arrive in Da Nang in the afternoon. We will check into our resort hotel on the China Sea and have a photo class on editing while enjoying dinner and the lovely setting.
Day 12 Travel to My Son and Hoi An – Today we go to My Son, outside of Da Nang. The Kingdom at My Son dates back to the 4th century and remained fully occupied through until the 13th century which makes it the longest occupied of all the major monuments of SE Asia. It served as a religious and intellectual centre where Champa kings were crowned and buried. In 1999 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the afternoon, we will take in Hoi An, a charming city that has remained largely unchanged. This is a an artisan shopping site with plenty to photograph, eat and drink; you can choose how to spend your time there. We will travel back to our ocean beachfront hotel in Da Nang for a late leisurely dinner.
Day 13 Travel to Ha Noi and explore the city freely – We will travel back to Ha Noi from Da Nang and have some free time to explore the city on your own, using the techniques we have learned so far and at your option with translators provided by us. After dinner there will be a class on printing and preparing for exhibit based on the use of LightRoom and Photoshop.
Day 14 Ha Noi and Vicinity - In the morning we will visit Biet Phu Thanh Chuong, Painter Thanh Chuong’s Villa. Here we can see the old traditional houses of northern Vietnam, Buddha statues, lacquer paintings done by Mr. Thành Chương, wooden furniture and antiques dating from hundreds years ago, revealing his great love for the invaluable heritage of Vietnamese culture. In the afternoon, we will have time to shop, edit and arrange our photos for the evening final exhibit and farewell party.
Day After - Participants depart. If you are departing from Noi Bai Airport this day your taxi service to the airport will be provided gratis.
Options for the non photographer
If you have a spouse or friend with you as offered on the registration there may be sometime when they prefer an alternate experience to the ones you will have photographing. For that we offer some options that can be prearranged with us, (each activity costs a small additional fee)
Some of the options are: Vietnamese cooking school, tour of the Perfume Pagoda, visit a public school class, special tour in Ha Noi of selected art galleries, visit the Ha Dong silk village, visit Bát Tràng, the famous pottery village that specializes in highly glazed ceramics