Zein-o-Din Caravanserai. (near) Yazd, Iran

Zein-o-Din. (near) Yazd, Iran

Classic Iran in Focus: A Photo Tour

  • A village girl in Kandovan. Tabriz, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Apadana Palace in Perspolis. Fars, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Ancient village Abyaleh. (near Isfahan) Yazd Region, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • The Grand Bazaar mosque. Tehran, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Jewelry display at the Friday market. Tehran, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Siyo Se Pol (the 33 Bridges). Isfahan, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • A merchant at the Grand bazaar. Yazd, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • An image by Ali Matin
  • Tower of Silence. Yazd, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Old door in Abyaneh village. Esfahan. Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • A shrine. North Tehran, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Gate of Nation in Persepolis. Fars, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Sahebol Amr mosque. Tabriz in western Azerbaijan. Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • Gate of Quoran (Darvazeh Quarantee). Shiraz/Fars. Iran

    An image by Ali Matin
  • The Great bazaar. Tehran, Iran

    An image by Ali Matin

Day :
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Tour cost:  

Tour price includes:  
Tour price does not include:  

Trip Payment Schedule:  
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 Matin was born in Tehran, Iran in 1972. Matin is an accomplished professional landscape and architecture photographer with over 20 years of experience and numerous books published in both Farsi and English.

Matin’s photographs have been published in three photography books, all of which can be purchased on Amazon: Images of Iran (Yassavoli, 2003); Vistas of Iran (Jehoon, 2005); and Persepolis: A Ghostly Grandeur (Kia Press, 2006), which is a pictorial tour of the ruins of the ancient Persian capital.

On this tour, “Classic Iran in Focus,” Matin will draw on his experience as a photographer of Iran's landscape, monuments and people to scout locations for our photo tour group as we wind our way through Iran's breathtaking scenes. Matin is fluent in both English and Farsi. He
lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Aye Yar Riverview Resort. Bagan, Myanmar

The Aye Yar Riverview Resort is situated on the bank of the legendary Ayeyarwaddy River, a prime riverside location in the old Bagan.

Classic North Vietnam in Focus - A Photo Tour

  • Row of women in Ao Dai. Temple of Literature. Hanoi, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Opera House - Vintage car in front of Metropole hotel at night. Hanoi, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Gates to the old city. Hanoi, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Villagers go to work floating a shallow river in Tam Coc. Ninh Binh, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Bicyclist on a dry levee. Ninh Binh, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Interior of Phat Diem cathedral, built in Chinese architectural style. Ninh Binh, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Villagers working in rice fields among karstic mountains of Tam Coc. Ninh Binh, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Colorful crowd at the Sunday market. Bac Ha, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Dry terraced hills and village. Bac Ha , Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Black Hmong girls in Sapa - Flower Hmong women sell their colorful clothing at the markkt. Bac Ha, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Elevated view of monolithic islands from above, evening. Ha Long Bay, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Women selling sea shells and pearls from row boats. Ha Long Bay, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Woman buying produce form grocery boat, Vang Vieng village. Ha Long Bay, VN

    An image by QT Luong
  • Ha Long Bay. Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong
  • Bicycle loaded with mats, old quarter. Hanoi, Vietnam

    An image by QT Luong

Day 1:
Arrival in Hanoi
Meet upon arrival and transfer to your hotel.  Afternoon visits:  Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple plus a guided walking tour of the famous “36 streets” of the Old Quarter, each of which is named after the goods sold there. Welcome Dinner is followed by a traditional water puppet show. Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi

Day 2:
Hanoi - Night train to Lao Cai

Enjoy an excursion to Duong Lam ancient village. Board the Victoria Express train to Lao Cai after dinner. Overnight on Victoria Express

Day 3:
Lao Cai - Bac Ha - Sapa
Upon arrival in Lao Cai, proceed to Bac Ha where you’ll visit the famed Sunday market. Enjoy a scenic drive to Sapa, the spectacular mountainous town on the Vietnam/China border.  Victoria Sapa Resort

Day 4:
Trek along the footpaths of Silver Stone Mount. Visit the Red Dao minority community at Lech village. Enjoy the breathtaking views that include dotted peaks, rice terraces and the Muong Bo River. Return to Sapa. Victoria Sapa Resort

Day 5:
Sapa – Night train to Hanoi
Early morning shoot. You will have some free time to souvenir shop at the colorful local market and to explore this animated little town.  Transfer to Lao Cai to board the Victoria Express train back to Hanoi.

Day 6:
Hanoi - Ninh Binh
Arrive early in Hanoi.  Breakfast at hotel before driving to Ninh Binh (65 mi. south of Hanoi). The “Ha Long Bay on land” is a phenomenal site with a unique limestone terrain. Visits include a boat trip to the Tam Coc grottoes, Bich Dong pagoda and a stroll through nearby villages.  Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Day 7:
Ninh Binh
Morning photo shoot at the Pier, local market.  Afternoon visits include Noi Lam temple and Phat Diem cathedral. Enjoy a tranquil, peaceful boat trip to Trang An grottoes.  Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Day 8:
Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay

Transfer to Halong Bay via Hai Phong. Upon arrival, begin your fantastic cruise in the luxury Indochina Sails and visit Vang Vieng floating village on small rowing boat.  Indochina Sails

Day 9:
Ha Long Bay - Hanoi

Early photo shoot of the dramatic sunrise on the Tivov Mountain. Mid-morning, disembark and return to Hanoi with a visit to the ceramic village of Bat Trang en route. Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi

Day 10:
Ninh Binh - Hanoi
Sunrise photo shoot around Hoan Kiem Lake, followed by visits to the centuries-old Temple of Literature and the historic residence of Ho Chi Minh. Enjoy a free afternoon or join your photography director on an exciting walking tour in the city.  Farewell Dinner.  Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi

Day 11:
Hanoi - Departure
Savor your sumptuous breakfast at Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi. After you check out, a transfer to the airport will be provided for you. (B)


Departure: December 12, 2014
Tour cost: $3490 Single suppl: $890

Tour price includes:
  • Service of QT Luong, Insiders Asia tour director and local guides
  • 4-5* hotel with tax and service charges
  • All meals (bottled water per meal) except 3 lunches
  • Sightseeing as noted in itinerary & entrance fees/camera fees to sites and museums
  • Airport transfers for participants arriving Day 1 & departing Day 11
  • Surface transportation in air conditioned vehicles
  • Visa provision services
  • Tips (local guides & drivers)
  • Luggage handling (two pieces of luggage per person)
Tour price does not include:
  •  International (trans-Pacific) airfare
  • Visa fees
  •  Laundry
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Beverages such as soft drinks/alcohol at group meals
  • Travel insurance (recommended)

Trip Payment Schedule:  
  • At time of reservation: $300 (non-refundable)
  • 150 days prior to departure: 20% of tour cost
  • 120 days prior to departure: Balance
Cancellation Schedule : All deposits are non-refundable. Refunds of final payment will be honored as follow:
  • 61-90 days prior to departure: 75% refund
  • 45-60 days prior to departure: 50% refund
  • 44 days or less to departure: No refund
In the event Insiders Asia cancels the tour, a full refund (deposits & final payment) will be honored. We recommend travel insurance.

With over a hundred rooms, Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi is truly a boutique hotel, the first in the heart of Hanoi....
Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa is the only luxury hotel in North-Western Vietnam, opened in March 1998. Built as a traditional mountain chalet with accented wooden décor and a welcoming stone hearth fire...


Quang-Tuan Luong is a full-time freelance nature and travel photographer from San Jose, California. Although his experiences have taken him around the world, he is particularly attracted to the countries of South-East Asia, all of which he has visited. He has an extensive knowledge of photography and all its artistic, technical, and business aspects.

Born to Vietnamese parents in France, he was trained as a scientist (PhD
U. Paris). The revelation of the high Alps led him to become a mountain
climber and wilderness guide. When he came to the US to conduct research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing, he felt in love with the National Parks. After he became the first to photograph all of them in large format, Ken Burns featured him in "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" (2009).
His photographs, published in three dozen countries (National
Geographic Society, Time, Life, Outside, Scientific American, GEO ...),
the subject of two coffee-table books, have been profiled in several
photography magazines and National Geographic Explorer, as well as seen
in galleries and museum exhibitions on both US coasts.


Photo participants' comments on Classic Vietnam in Focus 2012 led by the same team.

Vicci Tallis
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

"Once again many thanks for a trip of a lifetime.  We had an incredible trip and reliving it through the photographs...

What plans for the tour next year?"

Deborah & Ron Harris
Eureka, California

"During my journey through Vietnam I felt as if I truly did get a view of the country, people, food and culture that I would not have gotten had I traveled with a larger group or on my own – an “Insiders” view, if you will. It did not go unnoticed how you spent time with each of us while ensuring that all was well and if it was not, you paid every attention to putting the smallest thing right. I don’t know how you did it, but even the people on the tour were a perfect eclectic mix. I would be happy to travel with any one of them again and especially you Phuoc. Your smile was our guiding light. Thank you for a great experience."

Kendra V Sharp
Corvallis, Oregon 
"Thank you so much, Phuoc! I so appreciated the attention to detail. You made sure we were always comfortable (with, for example, a roomy bus), and you have the perfect combination of calm for handling arrangements/participants and feistiness to ensure we were getting a good deal. Tuan did a wonderful job as the photo leader, as I expected he would. I just learned so much from him in his workshop sessions…They were extremely valuable. I just felt so lucky to be able to go on this trip. Do keep me on the list if you decide to do another tour. This could be an expensive habit!" 

Barrry Andrews
Laguna Hills, CA

“Thanks for a wonderful trip.”

Mark Wainer
"I am looking forward to another Insider's Asia photo tour. It was a great pleasure to travel with you…Thank you for the memorable photos of me. I have thousands of photos from the tour but only a handful of myself until I received your email. What a wonderful touch for a tour leader to take memorable photos of the participant and e-mail them to him. Great idea! Added value and great memories. QT said he would be doing a journal of the tour on his blog* and that is also falls in the category of great idea, added value and great for memories of the tour. Thanks again."

*Vietnam Photo Tour Diary



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