In a country with such varied experiences as kite-surfing across bright blue waters to hiking steep and sometimes rocky evergreen hills, any photographer visiting Vietnam is sure to find hidden gems and obvious wonders to take pictures of. Whether your focus is on natural beauty, historical beauty or on capturing the portraits and lives of the people that live in Vietnam, the potential incredible photography is everywhere in Vietnam.
If you like to take portraits or explore the culture of a place, head to Hoi An. This little fishing village will capture your senses and show you the subtle, elegant charm of Venice right in the heart of Vietnam. Try taking a few photos while you are driving through the winding lanes or pop into a few shops to take a look at the trinkets for sale and the people buying them. The narrow canals could also become a beautiful focus point for a series of photos where the city lights act as the backdrop to Hoi An’s old world charm.
When you want focus on photographing the landscape, travel no farther than Mui Ne. This historical, sparsely populated town is quickly growing as a hotspot for kite- and wind-surfing. Though the beach may lend itself to some great staged shots, the famous sand dunes are the real winner here. These gorgeous dunes are just north of town and they rise and fall with the vast blue sky as its background. Set up your tripod and camera as the sun begins to set and hopefully you’ll be able to take a few panoramic photos of the beach and beautiful skies shot through with every colour imaginable—this is when the view becomes truly magical.
If you want to take photos of the people, culture, and landscape, the Mekong Delta region will set it all up for you. The Mekong River runs through this region and rather than using paved roads to get around, most residents in the area turn to the Delta as their main mode of transportation to other villages. Covered in rice fields, this area provides half of Vietnam’s agricultural produce and will give you great insights into the lives and work of people who live in the Mekong Delta. Take pictures of the boats, the houses, markets, and restaurants that float right upon the riverbanks. You will find a unique view of Vietnam that stand completely apart from the next spot on our list.
Don’t expect the slow-paced, rural atmosphere here. Nha Trang is the most popular seaside resort town in Vietnam, and as such it is always buzzing with energetic and vibrant people. With over 300,000 inhabitants, the photographers that love portraiture, expressions, movement and human nature will have no shortage of inspiration here. Or, if you like to take photos underwater, Nha Trang has plenty of opportunities and experiences that will let you do just that. Nha Trang is Vietnam’s SCUBA centre and once you get below the waves you won’t be able to stop snapping pictures of the colourful and vibrant wildlife beneath the surface.
Some photographers choose to photograph people and others like to photograph landscapes, but some like to capture history. If you hope to capture the history of a place on film, you should head to Hanoi. This historical centre merges the old with the new and you’ll love hearing the legends from the locals that make this place so special. The Hoan Kiem Lake is a special scenic spot with an even more unique story behind it. Hoan Kiem translates to “returned sword” and legend has it that the king of the region was given a magical sword by gods to push out invading Chinese. Once he succeeded, he then returned the sword to the Golden Turtle God in the lake, hence the name Hoan Kiem Lake, or “Returned Sword Lake.” The beautiful monument that stands in the centre of the lake will make for some beautiful close-up photos with its interesting details and old-world charm.
This list is just the start of the natural beauty that can be found throughout Vietnam. If you come to this country armed with your camera, your photography smarts and an open mind, you are all but guaranteed to head home with some astounding photos and memories of the places that make Vietnam an amazing place to visit. Protect those memories, your camera gear and more with a tailored travel insurance policy to ensure your belongings are covered.
Image courtesy of Flickr users Nga Nguyen, Tartarin2009, Jean-Pierre Dalbera, Tu, and David McKelvey