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A Giant Central Vietnam Photography Tour: Capturing Hidden Gems

This was the first edition of my giant Central Vietnam photography tour, where I brought a group of highly motivated students to my favorite locations. This tour is a blend of several shorter photography tours I’ve been running for years. And since I’m based in this area, it allows us to explore the best spots I’ve scouted over time.

I decided to run this tour in June, one of the hottest months in central Vietnam. But it’s also when we can capture the most magnificent sunrises and sunsets. This makes it one of the most intensive photography tours I offer, with plenty of early starts. But as you’ll see, it’s really worth it!

For this photography tour in Vietnam, I also decided to fly the drone, something I rarely do. But the province of Phu Yen is so beautiful that I couldn’t resist. And it was absolutely worth it!

Day 1: Guest Pickup and Welcome Dinner: an introduction to this central Vietnam photography tour

I now include the arrival day in my photography tours. I arrange airport pickups, the first hotel night, and a welcome dinner. This allows everyone to arrive worry-free and focus on their photography, not logistics.

This also gives us time to get to know each other and for me to gauge everyone’s levels and expectations. Given the amazing location of our hotel on a wonderful bay, we went to take some photos of the locals having fun on the beach. And of course, we had a few beers to help everyone feel at home!

Day 2: Fish Markets and Afternoon at the Estuary

We kicked off the photography tour in Vietnam with a quiet fish market on the beach. When I say quiet, I mean less than a hundred people! This helps us warm up with busy but manageable scenes. And since it’s not a widely known spot, it’s easy for me to find everyone and offer tips on composing better images or interacting with subjects.

We returned to the hotel around 9 AM when it starts getting really hot. After a break and some photo review, we headed out around 3 PM to explore the estuary of Song Cau, meeting people working on lobster and fish farms, and ended the day with folks growing potatoes in the fields.

Day 3: Dawn at the City Fish Market and Afternoon in the Fishing Village

We started super early to catch the dawn colors at a city fish market facing the lagoon, with mirror-like reflections. We took fantastic images of fishermen arriving with their boats.

Later, we drove a bit further to another local market, working on capturing the best light and composing busier scenes.

In the afternoon, and because of threatening clouds coming over the horizons, we walked through the fishing village located close to our hotel. There we met the fishermen fixing their lobster cages and fishing nets.

Day 4: Song Cau Main Market and Countryside Villages

In the morning we started a little later and went to explore the main market of the city of Song Cau. I like this market because it is big, and the people are really curious about us. This makes it very easy to approach people and take their photos. There are also many great areas where the light leaks from between the umbrellas.

In the afternoon, we stumbled upon people cutting grass in fields surrounded by cool palm trees, so we stopped to say hi. We then found kids flying kites and discovered a typical village in the area, meeting a 100-year-old woman and a couple working in salt fields.

Day 5: Relaxed Morning and Drive to Quang Nam

We took the morning to catch up on sleep and enjoy a great hotel breakfast. Later, we began our 5-hour journey to Tam Tien, with a photo review session in the van.

In the afternoon, we strolled along the beach, photographing locals bathing and preparing for a night at sea.

Day 6: Tam Tien Fish Market and Fields Around Hoi An

The busiest fish market in central Vietnam! We experimented with slower shutter speeds to capture the fishermen’s movements and spent time shooting in an ice factory with fantastic light. A place I often visit as it is also a photography tour that I offer with Hoi An Photo Tour.

After a break, we drove to Hoi An, checked into our hotel, and explored a favorite village, chatting with locals and photographing women planting rice with amazing reflections.

Day 7: Fishing Nets and Sunset in Hoi An Old Town

No visit to Hoi An is complete without capturing the fishing nets at sunrise. June offers the most magnificent sunrises, and we weren’t disappointed.

We then visited a local market to practice advanced photography techniques. In the afternoon, we had the option to return to the countryside or shoot in Hoi An old town at sunset. We chose the old town and were rewarded with a stunning sunset, perfect for flying the drone.

Day 8: Hoi An Market and Lang Co Lagoon

A slightly later start, catching the early morning light in Hoi An’s market. We had fun composing with conical hats and layered compositions.

After lunch, we drove to Lang Co lagoon, stopping at my favorite camera shop in Danang, and captured the sunset with fishermen preparing for a night on the lagoon.

Day 9: Tam Giang Lagoon and Final Photo Review

Our last sunrise was at a local market along Tam Giang lagoon, where night fishermen sell their catch. This small, friendly market offers great photo opportunities with arriving boats and sunrise colors.

After breakfast, we walked through a village to build short photo stories, a favorite end-of-tour activity. I met a monk who shared stories about his dogs, inspiring a photo story about animals in temples.

Later, we drove back to Hoi An for a fantastic Banh Mi lunch and spent the afternoon in a comfy room for our final photo review.

Day 10: Guest Drop-Offs and Farewells

We all enjoyed a leisurely morning, meeting for coffee before lunch. I arranged drivers for airport drop-offs or wherever the next adventures took our guests.

This photography tour in Vietnam offered a crazy amount of great photo opportunities. I might run it twice in 2025, also in mid-summer, when sunrises and sunsets are the best!

I hope to see you there!


Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.

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