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Hi everybody,

I am going on holiday to North Vietnam (and maybe the center) in November.

I am looking for information on the country itself as well as on taking pictures there (how do people react to being pictured?, are there any particuliar spots you recommend, what time is the sunset/sunrise at that period?,...)

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Hi Woody,

I was in Vietnam last November. I traveled the North (where I spent most of my time), Center, and the South.
IMHO, the North was the best and particularly the mountains near Sapa. I also went to the Halong Bay which is very touristic but you have to see it. Nin Binh on the coast and the perfume river were also fantastic.
Picture taking was a thrill. People usually don't mind having their picture taken. Vietnamese were the nicest people!!! However, be prepared to give some "picture money" in the mountains. Again, Sapa and its surroundings was the highlight of my 3-week+ trip. The temperature are great at this time of the year. No bugs! The sun rises around 6am at that time of the year. Read the Lonely Planet Vietnam!!!
As for camera gear, I didn't have the Blad at the time. I went with a Nikon N80 with a 24-120VR and a Mamiya 7 with a 65mm. Most of my pictures (spontaneous portrait and documentary) were taken with the Nikon. I mostly shot Kodak E200 and Velvia 50.

Hope this helps. Jerome.
Hi Jerome,

Thanks a lot for your answer.

It souds like you did more or less the same journey than I am planning to do (i.e. mainly the North with Sapa, Ba Bê, Son La,... and of course the Halong Bay since it seems to be a must). Also, I will probably spend some days in the center (Huê)

I have already been through some (French) guides, but I will definitely go for the Lonely Planet. By the way, one more question: what do you mean by giving some "picture money" (I understand some kind of "tips" - pen,... - but I am not quite sure...)???

As for camera gear, I have the Blad with two backs (one for B&W, the other for color slides), mainly for landscapes, and another camera (I don't know yet if I go for a digital reflex or a rangefinder) for spontaneous portraits and documentary. I am also puzzled by another question: what films do I have to take with me (probably Velvia 50 and Provia 100 for color slides and Tri-X and/or T-max for B&W)

Thanks again for your answer! When I'm back, I will let you know how things will have turned out.


PS: by the way, do you have any gallery where one can see your pictures?