A Travel Photographer Spent 210 Days in Asia and Fell in Love With Vietnam
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Dima Gilitukha is a successful stock photographer who combines his scientific background with long expeditions to exotic countries. Gilitukha’s photo series, which was part of his research on forest fires, made him well known on Depositphotos.
Dima recently spent 210 days in Asia, and this included a 1-month stay in Vietnam. On the trip, he took his camera and a set of lenses. The photographer’s intention was to keep generating stock content while traveling.
We wanted to know more about his adventures in Vietnam, which is why we asked him to answer a few questions and share some of his best shots from the trip.
Dima Gilitukha calls himself a travel photographer but also shoots portraits for clients sometimes. This is how he describes his professional approach: "I document my environment in a way that helps capture sincere moments. These can be portraits, architectural photography, or landscapes.
Vietnam was on the list of countries that Dima planned to visit on his big trip to Asia. He managed to travel from Southern to Northern Vietnam and lived with various tribes on their land. He also visited major cities, such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Can Tho, and more. The photographer replenished his portfolio with shots from his trip, creating a captivating travel blog.
Dima began his trip in the small village of Can Tho, located in the Mekong Delta. This area is known for its floating villages and the world-famous Cai Rang market. He then traveled north to a Chinese town called Hoi An, where he took a short break and enjoyed Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.
Dima’s path ran through Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which houses the world’s largest Hang Son Doong cave. Dozens of smaller caves and underground tunnels in this area were available for tourists and speleologists to visit.
Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay was an important stop during Dima’s travels. This area is one of the natural wonders protected by UNESCO. The bay is framed by high, picturesque rocks, and the water is absolutely clear.
Travelers from all over the world visit Ha Long Bay to see incredible landscapes, go boating, relax on the beach, and taste fish caught by local fishermen.
After days in the countryside, the photographer went to Hanoi, which also pleasantly surprised him. People here get up very early and love to start their day with morning exercises.
Vietnam manages to offer good traveling conditions for tourists. Even an inexperienced traveler with a small budget can explore the local culture and nature. There are many affordable places to stay in Vietnam, and the street food is inexpensive.
Dima spent several days in the alpine village of Sapa, where the Vietnamese grow rice on mountain valleys. In this part of Vietnam, he often met members of the Hmong tribe.
Once a month, during the Can Cau Saturday Market, various ethnic groups living in the mountains gather here to exchange goods and news.
Vietnam is also easy to navigate on your own. A good transportation system allows you to see as many cities, settlements, and tourist attractions as possible. For instance, sleeper buses make traveling around Vietnam very comfortable.
The floating villages in Can Tho were Dima’s biggest discovery. He was surprised that local residents cook food, raise children, and perform daily rituals while living on water.
Dima visited Hoi An on his second week in Vietnam. This small and cozy town fascinates travelers with its friendly atmosphere. Its narrow streets are decorated with lanterns and painted in cheerful colors. Here, you’ll hear relaxing acoustic music on every corner.
Communicating with locals was difficult for Dima. A tactic that helped him out was being attentive to Vietnamese facial expressions that are often straightforward. By doing so in conversations, he was able to understand people’s attitudes toward him.
Pictures from the Mekong Delta are among Dima’s favorites: “Just look at these children. They grew up in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but many of them have never been on land. Every day, they bathe in cold water and enjoy life! I am also fascinated by their dedication to tribal traditions, which is something I noticed when communicating with locals.”
Although locals don’t communicate with strangers often, Dima managed to find common ground with them. On one of his hikes, he met friendly tribe members and soon became their guest of honor.
“The Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribes live side by side, but speak different languages. They lead a measured life in the highlands: women make handicrafts, and men grow rice. Their villages are surrounded by picturesque mountain slopes covered with rice fields,” Dima told us.
Dima has been a Depositphotos contributor for over 6 years. He admits that photo stocks motivate him to explore the world through his camera lens, improve his photography gear, and grow professionally.
As a photographer, he suggests visiting Vietnam in June when there are a lot of sunny days and the rice fields are at their best. And as a traveler, he recommends getting to know the country through the wonderful people who live there.