Vietnam Photography Workshop 2023

Event Details

  • From: March 9, 2023
  • To: March 22, 2023
  • Starting at: 03:00 PM
  • Finishing at: 08:00 AM


  • Hanoi, Vietnam

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

A Vietnam photography workshop is certainly alluring. The mystery, ancient culture, wondrous landscapes, small villages and recent history all make Vietnam a location that photographers relish. Stunning scenes, friendly people and careful planning assure this will be a not to be missed trip.

Our 14 day photo tour to northern Vietnam starts in Hanoi and we work our way down to the old Demilitarized Zone that separated the North and South during the war. We’ll photograph all that Vietnam has to offer: temples, fishing villages, women making conical hats, beautiful ocean beaches, ancient sites, remnants of the Vietnam War and a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage area. We’ll cruise up a river and even photograph backstage at a unique puppet show that exemplifies the Vietnamese culture!

We’ll spend time in Hanoi and the surrounding area and then fly south to Hue where we explore the middle of the country. We’ll be on the go but have planned free time for relaxing, shopping or shooting on your own. You’ll probably be exhausted when we are done but it will feel great! This is sure to be a photographic journey that none of us will forget.

Sign up before July 31, 2022 and get a $250 early bird discount!

Loren is working with fellow photographer Sarah McGarghan, who has been to Vietnam several times, and a local Vietnamese tour company that is experienced in leading photographers in Vietnam. They have handpicked our guides, all of whom speak great English and love to share their culture with insight and passion. We have an action packed itinerary planned but we are always looking for more opportunities and will make last minutes changes if needed.

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Our itinerary (subject to change, exact dates are tentative)

Day 0 Wednesday, March 8 2023: Hanoi arrival

This will be our arrival day. Whenever you arrive there will be a welcoming committee at the airport!

Day 1 Thursday, March 9, 2023: Hanoi City

We will start the day with a city tour of Hanoi and the many interesting attractions. Today we will photograph the Railway crossing street, Long Bien bridge and the French Quarter. We will also visit the bustling Old Quarter which is a magnet for visitors. It is noisy and hectic, but definitely a ‘must-see’ attraction. The Old Quarter is a maze of shopping streets and restaurants with a hodgepodge of architecture. Here we will see the traditional tube houses, religious buildings, artisans’ workshops and cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices…and more if time permits.

Day 2 Friday, March 10: Hanoi – Tan Vien fishing village

We leave the hotel at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in the first village around 9:00 a.m. Today we explore the reality of the traditional rural lifestyle of northern Vietnam where very little has changed since feudal times. We will drive to Tan Vien, an interesting basket making and fishing village that uses unique tools to create its products. We will watch and photograph the people making their lovely baskets and then follow a farmer and photograph him fishing. Then we will drive to Cao Thon a nearby musk incense village. For over 300 years, the craft of making of musk incense has been handed down from generation to generation. Cao Thon’s musk incense has a unique fragrance that no other villages across Vietnam can reproduce or copy. It’s said that the incense powder is a mixture of oriental herbs. We will travel from house to house to photograph the different way each family produces this highly sought after incense. Then we will have an opportunity to visit Hoang Ba temple where we will see local monks.

In the afternoon we return to Hanoi for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture. After the puppet show you will have a rare treat backstage, with the opportunity to photograph these puppets.

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Day 3 Saturday, March 11: Chuong and Cu Da villages

You will be picked up at 5:00 a.m. and take an hour drive for early morning market in Chuong Village and senior women in the village making conical hats which they sell. You will have a breakfast box on the bus. We will then drive to Cu Da village, a vermicelli making village. Both villages are good for photography opportunities.

We will return to Hanoi for lunch. You’ll have free time in the afternoon to explore more of Hanoi or relax after getting up so early. 

Day 4 Sunday, March 12: Hanoi – Pu Luong

After breakfast we will drive to Pu Luong passing through a mountainous jungle landscape on the way. When we arrive, you will have lunch in a Thai ethnic minority group’s stilt house then to Ban Don village. 

In the afternoon we will walk around the village and photograph the neighborhood and local community. Our dinner will be in Don village.

Day 5 Monday, March 13: Pu Luong

After breakfast, we will stroll around Don village and then off to Deo Village, a small Thai minority community where we will visit local families in their stilt houses and drink green tea. In the afternoon, we will photograph the large water wheels, which make exciting pictures.

We will have dinner back in Don village.

Day 6 Tuesday, March 14: Pu Luong – Hanoi

After breakfast, we will drive back to Hanoi. We will stop in Mai Chau for lunch and spend time photographing locals engaged in their textile craft making and the huge craft market. We then move on to Pom Coong village and then to Flag Point, which is an incredible lookout.

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Day 7 Wednesday, March 15: Hanoi – Hue – Dong Ha

It’s another optional early morning, at 5:30 a.m. we head to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for the raising flag ceremony. You may see local people doing Tai Chi on the way back to your hotel. We will be picked up at noon for our flight to Hue. Once in Hue, we will drive an hour and half to Dong Ha before checking into our hotel.

Day 8 Thursday, March 16: DMZ tour

As this excursion covers a large area of the wartime ‘De-militarized Zone’, better known as the DMZ, our guide and driver will meet us at the hotel at 7:00 a.m. to drive north to Quang Tri province. Our first visit will be the Old Citadel of Quang Tri. From there, we’ll drive to the battle sites of Khe Sanh Base with en-route visit Van Kieu, an ethnic minority village. After lunch in a local restaurant, our route will take us to Hien Luong Bridge and Ben Hai River, as well as the Vinh Moc Tunnels, which have been preserved more of less in their original form.

Day 9 Friday, March 17: Dong Ha – Hue

After breakfast, we go back to Hue, stopping en route to photograph unique local locations including farmers and visit a lotus flowers farm. Since we have been pushing a rather hectic pace, we slow down a little today for some rest. Of course, you can wander around Hue making photos on your own or with others in the group.

Day 10 Saturday, March 18: Hue – Hoi An

First thing in the morning we go to what is considered the most beautiful beach in Vietnam, where we will be able to photograph the awesome beauty of the Chuong village and Lang Co beach. After which we will drive up the Hai Van pass which was a major strategic importance in the history of Vietnam. For a long time the pass represented a major barrier to any land army that attempted to move between the northern and central regions of the country.  It is here you will see fortified look outs that have been strafed by bullets.

We will have lunch at local restaurant in Lang Co.

In the afternoon, we arrive in Hoi An and photograph the unique area.

Day 11 Sunday, March 19: Hoi An Town

After breakfast, we will photograph Hoi An, the ancient town that is now a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage area. An ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina, the town was a meeting point for many cultures that left their mark in the different architectural features of its wooden buildings. The original traditional street pattern still exists, as does the quay that once welcomed ships from all over East Asia and beyond. Many ships remained there for months at a time, waiting for favorable trade winds to carry them home.

After dinner, we will photograph the beauty of Hoi An at night.

Day 12 Monday, March 20: Follow the Thu Bon River to Hoi An’s poorer communities

After breakfast, we will be picked up at 8:00 a.m. and cruise upstream on the Thu Bon River to visit Thanh Ha – a poor village living mainly on making small-scale pottery objects and utensils. We will then head downstream to Kim Bong village to visit the house of a local carpenter. In the afternoon, your time will be your own. We’ll spend the night in Hoi An.

Day 13 Tuesday, March 21: Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi farewell dinner

Breakfast, check out of hotel and go to the airport for our flight to Hanoi.

You will have leisure time for shopping and exploring more of Hanoi.

Then we have the saddest part of the trip, our farewell dinner!

Day 14 Wednesday, March 22: Hanoi departure

7:00-8:30 a.m. Breakfast, leisure and/or check out of hotel

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in the Vietnamese culture and stunning landscapes will find this to be a memorable trip. Your photographic experience doesn’t matter, even if you shoot entirely with an iPhone you’ll come away with amazing photos. There will be some walking involved, especially if you want to explore the towns and villages, but there won’t be long, exhausting hikes. Rest stops, restroom breaks and meal times have been carefully planned. Loren and Sarah will be available at all times for professional photography instruction. 

The weather

This is Vietnam, which is mostly jungle, but we planned the trip to be when the temperature is most moderate and not during the rainy season. It seems like it is always humid in most of Vietnam, so plan on doing a little sweating, but we’ll be in air conditioned vehicles and hotels. In the north expect plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies with little, if any, rainfall and an average temperature of 78 degrees. In the central part of the country the average temperature is 82 degrees and there are usually sunny skies in March. But we always want to be prepared for rain, especially for our camera equipment. It won’t be hot or humid enough to have any concerns or need for special precautions for your camera gear. Loren will have plenty of CTBs (clear trash bags) in case we get a quick shower.

What’s included:

  • Professional photography instruction with two professional photographers and local guide
  • Transportation while you are in Vietnam, which includes flights and travel in air conditioned vans and buses
  • Single occupancy lodging (a $500 discount is available for couples traveling together)
  • Breakfast each day, lunch and dinner as listed in itinerary
  • Entrance fees to locations on itinerary
  • Pre-trip planning assistance including flight suggestions and help with visa requirements.
  • Tips and gratuities (But we always pass the hat for bonus tips for our local guide!)

Not included:

  • Flight to Vietnam
  • Alcohol
  • Lunch and dinner not listed in final itinerary
  • Personal items
  • Snacks


March 8-22, 2023


Registration is $5900. Previous clients: $5450. Register before July 31, 2022 and get a $250 discount! Registration fee includes professional photography instruction, pre-trip planning, single occupancy lodging, ground transportation and all meals. If you are a couple or have a roommate, there is a $500 discount per person for a double room. The registration fee does not include airfare to Vietnam, alcohol, snacks, beverages or personal items. Rates are net, per person, in U.S. dollars. Final payment is due November 15, 2020.

Maximum group size: 10

Photo by Sarah McGarghan

Photo Equipment

You’ll want to have a wide angle, telephoto and possibly a macro lens. Make sure you have lots of memory cards, spare batteries and charger and maybe a polarizer filter. Since we’ll be doing a good deal of walking you’ll want to have a backpack or another way to carry your equipment. While we will be in safe areas, it is always wise while traveling to keep you camera and lenses out of sight. Loren will be shooting extensively with a tripod but that may not be for you. If you bring a tripod you’ll want a sturdy tripod, don’t skimp here either on quality or size. Stay away from light “travel tripods” since we are going be shooting things you probably won’t see again in your lifetime and getting a fuzzy photo because of shaky tripod would be criminal. If you aren’t absolutely sure of everything that your camera does, bring your instruction manual so we can help you fix any problems. I always suggest people download a PDF version of their camera manual to their phone.

Deposits and Cancellations

A $2000 deposit must be paid in order to secure your space in the workshop. Full payment must be received by November 15, 2023.

Notice of your cancellation must be made in writing, at which time the following refunds are offered:
• 120 days or more before workshop: Full workshop refund minus the deposit. Your deposit will be refunded if your spot can be filled.
• 120 or fewer days before workshop: no refund guaranteed. Your payments will be refunded if your spot can be filled.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a workshop. Workshops are sold as a package only.

If a workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of any money paid, but Loren would have to be on his deathbed before he’d cancel. But if he is on his deathbed and needs to cancel the workshop, LorenPhotos, LLC, will not be held responsible for your other expenses, such as airline ticket, that may be associated with the canceled workshop. It is highly recommended that you purchase trip insurance to be safe, but we’ve never cancelled a destination workshop and it would take a major catastrophe before it would be cancelled.


We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance before leaving your home country to cover at a minimum the following: medical evacuation, repatriation of remains and medical insurance.  We highly recommend the following travel insurance sites:

About Loren Fisher

This workshop is being led by Loren Fisher, who has been a professional photographer since 1978. He worked at seven newspapers including USA Today, is a past president of the New Jersey chapter of ASMP and sells his fine art photography at his gallery in Woodstock, VT. He has lead dozens of workshops in places like Iceland, Chile, Italy, France, Guatemala, Florida, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Boston and Washington, D.C. He has published two photography books “Pope John Paul II: An American Celebration” and “Branson Backstage.” Loren has been to 50 states and over 20 countries.

About Sarah McGarghan

Sarah McGarghan, professional photographer, past president of the Vermont Professional Photographers Association and tour operator, is passionate about photography and traveling. Through her visits to Vietnam she has discovered the most amazing people and places and guides. Most recently, she visited Vietnam with a group of  photographers where she traveled to little known places in which they captured amazing images. In the fashion in which she organizes trips, the group traveled along glorious back roads visiting small communities and larger cities. Each place they stopped was more enriching than the last! Sarah will be there to coordinate all aspects of the trip and to ensure your trip to Vietnam will not be soon forgotten.

What else you need to know

Once you register, you will receive more information about the trip. It includes suggestions for traveling in Vietnam including photo equipment and clothing and visa information. It is highly recommended that you have trip insurance and evacuation insurance in case of sickness or an emergency.

Questions? Email Loren at Loren@LorenPhotos.com or call/text 802-332-6611.

Register now