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Vietnam travel photography guide

Vietnam travel photography guide


Most international photographers would like to visit Vietnam during rice terrace harvesting season, from Middle or Sep to end of Sep. But this time is the end of the rainy season, and sometime got rain during the trip, and the most nice view for photography sunrise and sunset with the rice terrace is located in Mu Cang Chai District of Yen Bai Province, this place is rural places, hotel just basic, they are mainly homestay, and the shooting places are in the top of the hill, from the main road we have to use motorbike taxi to get the shooting place, it take about 10-15 minutes per location, please make sure your photographer health is good enough to join this, sometime it look dangerous and adventures, but I do it many times, no problem with the dry road.
Beside the rice terrace in Mu Cang Chai, during this period, we can visit Cao Bang, also the season of the harvesting season. Cao Bang is famous for mountainous photography and the best waterfall in Vietnam, the Ban Gioc Waterfall. In Cao Bang, there are 1 place for sunrise. We need to trek to the mountains for about 45 minutes to get the shooting place on top, to enjoy the sunrise with mountains and the rice and the river is lower. So, to join this, it requires our health to trek there.
Off course other destinations in Vietnam during this season have the same weather, also at the end of the rainy season. If the rice terrace photography is not a must see, you can choose the period of November.

Every year during November is the good period to visit the mountains of Ha Giang and Cao Bang, especially for western tourists. Within this period, it is cold weather, sometimes very cold, the mist mostly every day, it makes the scene dramatic when we visit a local village or suddenly see minority people walking in the street. This type of tour is mainly for travel and candid photo tours.
During this period, the weather of the north and the south Vietnam is ok, good for photography, and the central is not good, it normally got big rain during this period.

Every year, in Vietnam this season the local people can call the spring season, the best season in Vietnam for travel, we can see flowers in mostly the highland or mountains, all destination in Vietnam is dry, lightning is good, and this season is also the peak season of international tourist to Vietnam.
Within this period, we can travel whole Vietnam from south to north

This period focuses on rice terrace photography with planting season, it is not easy to find the exact date of this period, but it is around the end of May. We might enjoy photography with the reflection of the sky in the rice terrace fields, sometimes it rains, because this is the beginning of the rainy season. The water to watering rice terrace in the mountain is all the natural water coming from the rain.
And the weather at the end of May, we can visit the whole Vietnam too.



How to get best rice terrace hill in Vietnam?
Mu Cang Chai is the place in Vietnam have a lot of nice view and huge rice terrace.
Mu Cang Chai rice terrace is located Yen Bai Province, about 300 km far from Hanoi, and it take about 7 hours of driving. This place is the living place of H'Mong minority people, they love to build and live in the hill. So, to visit the best rice terrace in Vietnam, you need at least 2 day to discover it.

Itinerary for photographer for Rice Terrace Photography
For professional photographer you should have at least 3 days to travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai. Some photographers need around 7 days to discover the area.
The reason why we need more time like this, because the shooting view is not easy to access, and it is far from Hanoi with around 7 hours of driving. Most of them not located on the road, so we need to hire a motorbike taxi to get to the top of the hill to nice view of rice terrace. The first time of mine to using motorbike taxi is amazing, a little bit adventures and not suitable for elderly or overweight to use motorbike to go up to the hill in a narrow path.
The accommodation is Mu Cang Chai normally just basic. Some homestays have modern and nice service, but they are normally located in the hill or rural place.

How is the weather during rice terrace harvesting season?
The harvesting season of rice terrace is end of Sep and early of Oct, so it is just the ending of the rain season in this area, sometimes it is rain and very cold at night. So be prepared yourself warm cloth and the raincoat during your photography trips of the rice terrace is my highly recommended.

Best time to travel to Mu Cang Chai rice terrace?
The best time in a day to see rice terrace hill is at sunrise and sunset.
The most beautiful season of the year in Mu Cang Chai is End of September to early of October, this is also the harvesting season of the rice, and the rice field turn yellow. It is really nice in the early morning with the low light and the mist in the hill.


How to get Long Coc Tea Hill?
Long Coc tea hill is located in Tan Son district, Phu Tho province, about 125 km from Hanoi, and about 70 km from Viet Tri city center. So, if you would like to visit you can have a day trip from Hanoi, lunch at home stay of minority Muong People in Long Coc then back in the afternoon.
Itinerary for photographer for Long Coc Tea Hill Photography
For professional photographer you will have 2 choices to enjoy the beauty of Long Coc Tea Hill as followDepart from Hanoi at 3 AM direct to Long Coc Tea Hill for sunrise view, daytime visiting around with local minority people and after enjoy sunset at the tea hill you can drive back to Hanoi.
Otherwise, you can have 2 days to enjoy photography tour at the tea hill from Hanoi. The accommodation in Long Coc is just basic with homestay, then you will have more time for photography at the tea hill of Long Coc.

Best time to travel to Long Coc Tea Hill?
The best time in a day to see Long Coc tea hill is at sunrise and sunset.
The most beautiful season of the year in Long Coc is October and November when the weather is chilly in late autumn and early winter. Morning mist covers the hills, creating a poetic and beautiful scene.
The tea hill has an upside-down bowl shape and overall looks like the shape of winding dragons. Perhaps that's why the tea hill was named Long Coc - the lair of the dragons.
Coming here, visitors feel like they are lost in a fairyland, captivated by the clear and pure beauty of the natural landscape with more than 600 hectares of tea stretching endlessly to the horizon.



Dalat is the one of the most famous destinations for traveler in Vietnam, it is especial because this is the only one city with cold weather in Vietnam, the city surrounded by pine forest, many mountains and hill so it a good place for those who love landscape photography. Shooting the lake in Dalat is a must see when I come to Dalat. Dalat located in the highland with normally 800 meter high water level so the lake in early morning often have mist surrounding and it is good chance for photographer to shoot until the sunrise and the mist disappear right after. Enjoy sunrise in the hill of pine forest need a little bit healthy for walking to some places in the top to have nice view in sunrise, but some places do not require walking, but it should be more tourist surround. Waterfall is also a good idea to shoot in Dalat too. Dalat called the land of flower so if you are the lover of flower, it is nice to visit Dalat to enjoy the nice, colorful and fresh flower.

Da Lat is located in central highland of Vietnam, it is 300 km far from Ho Chi Minh city with 7 hours of driving. It is convenient to combine your tour with Nha Trang photo tour 140 km distance, Phan Rang photo tour 100 km distance and Phan Thiet photo tour 160 km.

Dalat is suitable for photographer year-round with cold weather and nice landscape. For art photography it a good idea to visit Dalat in May, Jun and July with mist on the lake or the forest, but it depend on your luck to have the mist cover your landscape photography of Da Lat.

Season of the mist in Da Lat photography
Every year during November and December, it is the great season of photography with the mist in Da Lat. Da Lat City now is too modern and crowded. It is not easy to find the nature landscape of this area than before, but during the mist season, we can easily enjoy the classic atmosphere of Da Lat with the misty landscape.

Season of the mist in Bao Loc tea hill photography.
Bao Loc is well known as the perfect destination of production tea in Vietnam. Most of the tea in Bao Loc are export to Taiwan or other countries surrounding Vietnam as the raw material of tea industry.
Base on the high level of this area and the climate is suitable for tea planting, it is also suitable for photography within the mist season. Normally it is nice for mist photography in Bao Loc from Nov to Feb yearly, not every day but during that season, the chance to have the nice mist photography is higher.
Most of the shooting place is in the rural place inside the tea hill, with small route and sometime need a short walking to the shooting place.
My last trip, after enjoy shooting photography in the tea hill, I also enjoy tea from the owner of his land, it is so excited when drink tea in the tea hill with the mist weather.


Phan Thiet is well-known as capital of resort of Vietnam where a lot of resort surrounding in Mui Ne, a ward of Phan Thiet. The most interesting for photography in Phan Thiet is shooting the daily life of fishing market, there are many fishing villages around Phan Thiet where are very active in the sunrise and off around 7 am when the sun is hot due to this fishing market are outdoor in the beach. The other interesting shooting activities around Phan Thiet is seascape photography, this place is famous during season of the moss on the rock or season of the windy
Phan Thiet is a nice and quiet beach city with 200 km distance from Ho Chi Minh city and 4 hours of driving. Phan Thiet city located on the beach road of southern coastal in Vietnam and on the way to Phan Rang
The moss season normally come from Feb to Mar, so it is a good time for chasing the moss in the rock during sunrise. The windy season come from Nov to Dec where you can see high wave over the rock. Normally the best time to have photo tour to Phan Thiet - Binh Thuan is during summertime, it is hot but not yet coming to the rain season.


For landscape photography, the best place to shoot in Phan Rang is Hang Rai located inside Nui Chua National Park, the sand dune of Nam Cuong, Hon Thien
Phan Rang is a place where the Cham people living most in Vietnam, so shooting with traditional Cham people is a good idea in Phan Rang with portrait of old man or Cham pottery marking or Cham children.
Phan Rang is also a beach city, so visit the fishing village in the sunrise is really nice to explore the daily life of local people.

Phan Rang is 350 KM far from Ho Chi Minh City with 7 hours of driving and 100 km far from Nha Trang with 2 hour driving. If you go from Ho Chi Minh city to Phan Rang by car, you will have chance to explore the beautiful of landscape along the beach side road with many activities of fishing village and nice landscape. And if you go to Phan Rang from Nha Trang, it is more convenient, and you can save more time for transportation.

Phan Rang is a driest city in Vietnam where rarely has raining. It has beautiful coastline, sand dunes, minority people and perfect sunlight that create a great material for photographers. The best season to come is from Mar to Jun, the other season is also good due to the good condition weather for photography.


Nha Trang is the nice beach city in central of Vietnam near Phan Rang and Phu Yen. Nha Trang is very convenient for photographer to come with international airport and Nha Trang is one of the most busiest destination for tourist in Vietnam The most interesting shooting place in Nha Trang is shooting the farmer walking in the salt field in Hon Khoi, where you can feel the beautiful of nature during sunrise and sunset.
Fishing village is always the ideal choice for photographer to come to Nha Trang For landscape photography the Nha Trang beach or Hang Heo seascape are also nice place to enjoy the sunrise in Nha Trang 

Nha Trang is 450 km far from Ho Chi Minh city with around 9 hours of driving. You can get Nha Trang via local flight from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city around 1 hour flight. Visiting Nha Trang, you can also have chance to visit other beautiful destination nearby is Phan Rang and Phu Yen

Nha Trang is normally a hot place, the best time to go to Nha Trang is from Mar to Aug, this period of time is the hot season, so it is very convenient to marking salt. From September to October is also good but it is during the beginning of rain season. From Nov to Oct the weather in Nha Trang is difficult for photographer due to windy and raining.


Phu Yen photography now is famous for natural landscape and handicraft village in the agriculture village. For landscape photography, it is a good idea to visit Ganh Da Dia and Hon Yen to enjoy the sunrise. Otherwise Phu Yen is a beach province, so there are many places to visit such as Vung Ro, Tuy Hoa, O Loan Lagoon The handicraft village still remain in the area of Phu Yen, located in some rural village of Phu Yen The minority people of Phu Yen located in Song Hinh, by chance you can visit their house to explore the culture of the local people.

Phu Yen is located in central of Vietnam, you can easily get there by local flight to Tuy Hoa city of Phu Yen province. Otherwise by road you can get there from Ho Chi Minh City with 550 km and 11 hours of driving. The interesting destination nearby is Nha Trang and Qui Nhon also a good idea to combine these destinations of your photo trip to Phu Yen.

Normally in the region of central of Vietnam often suffer bad season in Nov and Dec, so it is heavy rain. The best time to have a photo tour to Phu Yen is from Mar to Aug. The moss season in some rock of Phu Yen coming around Mar.


Hoi An is an ancient town, so it is really nice to enjoy photography of daily life of the town. You can walk along the street or river to enjoy the town. At night in Hoi An is totally different and really nice to visit Moreover, Hoi An also have fishing village nearby, you can have a boat trip to get there to admire sunrise with the fishermen. The alley in Hoi An is very special for photography, it is small, tall and yellow. Check out our photo tour Hoi An 

Hoi An is located in central of Vietnam, you can easily get there by nearby international airport of Da Nang or from airport of Hue. It is 120 km far from Hue with 3 hours of driving and 30 km far from Da Nang with 45 minutes of driving.

Normally in the region of central of Vietnam often suffer bad season in Nov and Dec, it is heavy rain. Hoi An is the most interesting for tourist both international and domestic, so weekend in Hoi An ancient town normally crowded. For full moon day, it is really nice to visit Hoi An by night due to all electric is turn off on this day and the red lanterns are all the way.


Hue is a quiet city surrounding by the ancient architecture of a citadel and some beautiful mausoleums. So, it is really nice to visit those buildings with the model of Ao Dai and conical hat. Incense making village on the way to Tu Duc Mausoleum is also a good place for photography, the incense is colorful set up in the table as your nice background. Hue also has a beach but the interesting of photo tour in Hue is visiting the lagoon. Hue has many lagoons, with low level of water in the wide range and clear, so it is amazing to visit the lagoon of Hue to enjoy sunrise or sunset.

Hue is located in central of Vietnam, you can easily get there by local flight to Hue airport or nearby international airport of Da Nang, 120 km far from Hue with 3 hours of driving. Hue, Danang and Hoi An is good to combine on your photo tour to the center of Vietnam.

Normally in the region of central of Vietnam often suffer bad season in Nov and Dec, it is heavy rain. Best time to visit Hue is from Mar to Aug.



Early morning with floating market in Can Tho
Nowadays the scene of the bustling floating market is Mekong delta is just in a memory. The rural floating market in Mekong Delta, is rarely and more and more rarely due to the development of other modern convenient of transportation. So, during my photography trip to Mekong delta, I often visit this place for sunrise and enjoy the atmosphere of local people going to the floating market in early morning. To have this photo, you need to be at the Phong Dien Floating Market at 5h30 morning, and the floating market is finished at 7 AM, so it is not suitable for tourist but very suitable for people love photography, I hope.

Enjoy sunset at Can Tho Bridge
The new place for enjoy sunset photography in Can Tho is the Can Tho Bridge, with the view from Vinh Long we can enjoy the Can Tho Bridge during the sunset.
Before this place is rural, dirty and a lot of rubbish, now this place is very nice for people to enjoy the ending of the day or weekend with the nice view for sunset.
I have been this place 2 times, and this time the sky is just great for photography. We enjoy this place nearly 2 hours until blue hour.
Beside enjoy the sky and the bridge during sunset, sometimes we can see fishermen with rowing boat. It makes a scene more romantic during sunset.


Chau Doc, An Giang is in the region of Mekong delta Vietnam. The most interesting photography tour in Mekong delta is shooting of the cow racing. The festival of cow racing normally in October every year but the date is not fixed. Chau Doc also has minority of Cham people, so it is good idea to visit Cham village during your photo trip to Chau Doc. An Giang also famous for the huge rice paddle field in Vietnam, and enjoy the sunrise in the rice field is a good option when visiting Chau Doc, An Giang.

Chau Doc city of An Giang province is located near by the border with Cambodia. You can get there by bus from Ho Chi Minh city with 200 km distance and 6 hours of driving. You can also combine your photo tour to Mekong Delta with Can Tho and Chau Doc, it is 12 km distance from Can Tho with 3 hours of driving.

Best time to visit Mekong delta is from Nov to Jun. The rain season coming from July to October. Every year during the high level of water in Mekong delta, normally October and November. It is a good time to explore the region of Mekong delta in water.

Photography with fishermen in Mekong delta
During Oct to Nov every year is the great period for photography in Mekong Delta and this trip is my lucky of the good sunset time with fishermen in the flooding rice fields.
Ever year during this time, the water from Mekong is high up and these areas are flooding naturally. And people are living with it, they are fishing or raise fish in their fields. It makes a great composition for people cultures photography. And if you have time to visit Vietnam during this period, I off course introduce you to this area to experience this amazing place for photography.

Season of cow racing in Mekong Delta
I have just spent 5-day photography tour to Mekong Delta in Oct 2023 and the shooting of the cow racing is my most favorite.
This time the weather is very nice, and the cow are race well for photography. Every year around Sep to Nov is the most active period for photography in Mekong Delta. We have many chances to see people cultures and landscape of Mekong Delta in rural.
This period with the cultures of Khmer people living in this region, they will prepare for a new crop by the festival and cow racing is including in it.
Every year during the rainy season in Mekong Delta Vietnam normally around September to October there are a festival of cow racing of the Khmer people living in Vietnam.
Before agriculture in Vietnam rely on the strength of Cow or Buffalos in the rice field, and now there are too many machines on the field, so the role of Cow or Buffalos is reduced too much but it still a traditional culture of local people especially cow racing in Mekong Delta.
There are do not have exact date for this festival and we just noticed few weeks before the event to prepare photo tour to shoot Cow racing.
It is 6 hours to get An Giang from Ho Chi Minh city by car, so we need to be there one day before the event. Normally the event starts from 8 to 11 AM for province final and some qualified rounds of district final.
Now is September and this year is hard to celebrate this event due to Covid pandemic. Hope everything is getting well soon, and we can go photography tour for Mekong delta festival in Mekong Delta as usual.

Season of flooding in Mekong Delta
Where will you go for travel during the rainy season in Vietnam? Stay at home or change to another season? My suggestion is just going to travel during that time because it is very special moment, and you can experience the new image of Vietnam especially the Mekong Delta in flooding season and yellow rice terrace in northern Vietnam during September and October
In 2018, my first trip to explore flooding in Mekong Delta was guided by very talent photographer Mr. Le Huu Dung, and I have to say thank to him for his support.
My first destination in Moc Hoa, Long An, it is the best destination to explore the flooding in Mekong Delta, most of the rice field are flooded and we can see water in everywhere on the road. This season also the harvest season of Water Lyly flower in Moc Hoa and it would be nice to have photography with it.
The second destination is Chau Doc, An Giang. This place affected too much for flooding season. Similar as Moc Hoa, most of the rice fields in Chau Doc are under water. And Chau Doc, An Giang is the best destination in Mekong delta in flooding season for photography because you will have chance to experience the Cow Racing of Khmer people
Actually, the rain in Mekong Delta is not happen for whole day, it is just few hours in the afternoon and if you are the person who like adventure and discovering you can check the weather just few days before your departure to Mekong delta photography trip.


Photography with water lily flower in Mekong Delta
The water lily in Vietnam is harvesting during Aug to Nov but for photography of water lily flower we can only do during Oct to Nov, due to the high level of water and the shooting point is in the rice fields, so farmer can stand on it for photography.
To have this photography shooting, I have to depart at 5 am and transport to this rural place by boat for 45 minutes to enjoy the rowing boat during sunrise. The lightning on that day is amazing with no wind and the water is flat enough.
And we should enjoy the photography of water lily flower in the morning due to most of the flowers are open in the morning and closed in the afternoon.

Season of harvesting water lily flower in Mekong Delta
Every year around Oct and Nov is the blossom season of Water Lily Flower in Mekong Delta, it is also the season of high level of water in Mekong delta.
The water lily flower mostly be grown naturally on the river, channel and their blossom are during Oct and Nov. Some fields, farmers grow it year-round in the region of Long An and An Giang province. But the main season of blossom still in Oct and Nov.
To harvest the Water lily flowers, in the early morning farmer need to stand in the river with low water to pick it from the cold water, clean it from mud then transfer to home for packaging, then transfer to the market to sell on the same day to ensure it fresh.
The water lily flower in Vietnam is very famous vegetable especially in the region of Mekong delta, we use water lily stem to serve in hot pot soup, fish stew and sautéed garlic.
The blossom is in the last of rain season in Vietnam, so sometimes it is rain, please prepare yourself rain coat during your trip to Mekong delta.
Photo tour in the blossom of water lily flower is the nice experience in Mekong delta and you should not miss it during your trip in Vietnam.

An Bui
Updated Nov 2023


An Bui Vietnam Photo Tours


1982 A kid was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
2006 Working as tour organizer at a travel agency in Vietnam
2018 Love photography and organize Vietnam photo tours

Photo Tour Guide and Photo Tour Organizer: With my passion of organizing photography trips and 15-year experience in tourism field, I lead myself every Vietnam Photo Tours which I organized.

Travel in right season for photography in Vietnam: I think a successful Photography Trips needs to go in the right season, right time, right place and off course with your luck of the weather.

Support of local Professional photographers: Our Vietnam Photo Tours have a strong support of Professional Photographer to create Art Photography.


Mr. An Bui
Mobile / Zalo / WhatsApp: +84.908.618.571
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam