While in Saigon recently I was lucky to join up with Adam and the team from Saigon Unseen for their Moto Foto Tour.

The Moto Foto tour is an essentially Vietnamese experience where you are guided around several locations in Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a motor taxi and depending on your level of experience, spend time learning photography or accessing some great photo locations off the tourist path.

The first location we visited was an open air café in a park, where over caphe sua dah, we discussed camera techniques and composition before moving on to make some photos of people practicing tai chi then back on the bikes for a visit to Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District.

This is a thriving, colourful local market packed full of characters, most of them more than happy to be photographed. On a couple of occasions I was practically kidnapped by some guy wanting me to make some photos of his family and friends. They asked for nothing in return, for them the reward was simply the pride of having their family photographed.

We spent a magical couple of hours wandering the narrow alleys of the market laughing with the locals, playing with children and making many, many photos.

Following the market, and in the middle of a downpour where we had to stop the bikes to put on ponchos we headed to Jade Emperor Pagoda where the mood was somewhat more subdued.

It was difficult to adjust from the rush and fast pace of the market, to the muted atmosphere of the temple, with its dark corners and fading beauty, but that is one of the challenges of travel photography.

Overall this was an insightful half day that reminded me how much fun hanging out with other photographers can be. Enthusiasm is infectious and even after the best part of 2 weeks in Vietnam photographing daily, I came away with a renewed energy.

Click an image above to open a gallery.

More information on Saigon Unseen’s tours can be found HERE. 

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