Terraces of Gold 2017

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Photography Tour with Paul Sansome

A personal note from Paul ...

I have discovered a fascinating, sometimes beautiful place. I spent 4 days seeing no English speaking tourists. I saw potentially the best landscape for photography that I have ever seen and I saw shy, traditional people who can be so photogenic; I have discovered the mountains of Northern Vietnam. This area has astonishing 1000 year old rice terraces and there is the smallest of windows in which to photograph them at their best. As the rice reaches maturity the plant turns yellow, leaving the subtle blend of greens and yellows and then a scene of vibrant colour as the sun illuminates the great valleys. If this wasn't worth the travel alone then, if we are lucky, the farmers will be beginning the harvest adding a fascinating extra interest into the landscape and our photography. This opportunity is not laid on for you – this is not a coach tour to dedicated viewpoints. We need to work to get the best out of these landscapes and this means some early starts and some walking. However, if we get a moment of great light you will not know where to point your camera. Further to this, we have the two very different, interesting and photogenic urban locations of Hanoi and Hoian.

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Day by Day

Day 1 / 18 Sep Arrival Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi, we will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Step out into your first experience of Hanoi Old Town and its incredible street traffic. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 / 19 Sep Hanoi

Today will begin early (on a voluntary basis!) as we start the day visiting the frenetic activity at the Long Bien wholesale market. We can also walk along the famous landmark bridge here to see sunrise before heading back to the hotel for breakfast and then some rest. Our hotel is situated right in the heart of the old quarter and this gives us access to various photo opportunities during the day.

Day 3 / 20 Sep Hanoi– Tu Le

Have breakfast at our hotel and then we leave Hanoi for Tu Le. This is the longest day of road travel but it will be punctuated with photo stops along the way as we drive through fascinating rural Vietnam. Eventually we start climbing into the mountains of Hoang Lien Son and wind through great scenery of rice terraces. Sleep in small hotel in Tu Le.

Day 4 / 21 Sep Tu Le

Another early start for us as we enjoy the rice terrace landscapes around Tu Le from sunrise. Later, we will take an easy walk through villages and right out into the fields.

Day 5 / 22 Sep Tu Le

After another sunrise shoot we continue to drive along the mountain road with spectacular scenery along the way to Mu Cang Chai (40km). We will stop on the way to take photos at some of the most spectacular rice paddies and terraced fields, which are recognised as national heritage sites of Vietnam.

Day 6 / 23 Sep Tu Le – Moc Chau

An early start gets us on our way along a scenic route to Moc Chau. Here the scenery changes and we will visit a tea plantation with its manicured green landscapes.. Overnight in Moc Chau.

Day 7 / 24 Sep Moc Chau – Pu Luong

We check out early morning so that we can visit the Pa Co Sunday market. This is a treat as it is an authentic ethic minority weekly event and there should be good opportunities for photographing traditionally dressed Hmong people. Leaving Moc Chau we head for lunch and visit to Mai Chau, a beautiful valley, then continue drive to Pu Luong. Arrival at the Pu Luong lodge in the afternoon. Free time to rest and shower, then have dinner. Overnight here.

Day 8 / 25 Sep Pu Luong

Paul says “I am very impressed by the landscape in this area. It is a very lightly visited location and right from our bedrooms we are treated to beautiful views. Here we get a little more time to relax and do constructive photo appraisal. We also visit local villages and photograph some amazing waterwheels for which the best views are from wading in the river – great fun!”

Day 9 / 26 Sep Pu Luong 

Further time in this beautiful location, with some time for relaxation and photo reviews.

Day10 / 27 Sep Pu Luong – Hanoi – Hoi An 

Today we travel back to Hanoi airport for a one hour flight to Da Nang and then to the coastal town of Hoi An. Paul Says “I would normally be turned off by the tourist nature of somewhere like Hoi An, but it is a relaxed place which is very enjoyable to visit. The activity on the river and canals can offer good photography opportunities, as can the central market and the lanterns in the evening".

Day 11 / 28 Sep Hoi An

From dawn to midnight, Hoi An offers photography opportunities. There is also the chance for some souvenir shopping.

Day 12 / 29 Sep Hoi An – Hanoi - Departure

Further time in the Hoi An area before we get a return flight to Hanoi and International
flights home ( or you can opt for a 2 or 3 night extension to Halong Bay).

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Price £2390 (Single Supplement £295) - Maximum group size 7


• All transfers as detailed with guide
• Entrance fees and permits for detailed excursions
• Accommodation in good hotels
• Internal flights: Hanoi – Da Nang - Hanoi
• Breakfast and 8 dinner meals (we will eat a la carte on 3 occasions in Hanoi and Hoi An where clients will pay for what they chose).


• International flights
• Tips for guides or drivers (recommended £80)
• Personal expenses such as telephone calls, laundry, medical expenses, etc
• Travel Insurances
• Any meals or item not stated in the description above
• Visa fees

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