Taking pictures in the right way in Chau Doc floating market

In spite of not being as large as the Cai Be Floating Market near Can Tho, the Chau Doc Floating Market still has its own vibrant and colorful charm making it beautiful to photograph. You can travel to Chau Doc Fl

oating market through Indochina travel

Life at Chau Doc
Life at Chau Doc-source: Internet

In the early morning hours, you can see about 30 boats congregating just pasting where the Chau Doc River merges into the Hau River. There is a market on the water simply making sense in a region with a vast network of waterways, small and large.

These barges laden with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits come from all over the Mekong Delta. Since the market features products that don’t spoil easily, don’t expect to see meat or leafy greens, though. Not only there is less haggling in the floating market than in a land-based one, they are also much quieter. Locals do not need to hawk their goods but conveniently display them on long poles for everyone to see. Vietnam travel tours

Chau Doc floating market
Chau Doc floating market-source: Internet

Typically starting early, this market reaches its peak at around 6-7am and tapers until noon. Most of the purchasers are smaller boats, re-sellers, who come and buy goods to then either supply smaller markets or to sell themselves at the market. It is just as convenient to hop on a boat and shop at the floating market as many people live on the water’s edge.

Chau Doc Floating Market provides a photographer with so many subjects, colors and angles making it such a pleasure to shoot. Here are some tips to capture stunning photos from this special event.

Find the right boat and guide

Find the right boat and guide
Find the right boat and guide-source: Internet

To visit Chau Doc floating market, which is located in the middle of the wide Hau River, you have to enjoy a boat trip to see it in any detail. Even though there are many boats for hire, most of these boats tend to be small, without room to maneuver. It means that you will be basically locked into one shooting position. As well, as the driver might not be able to speak English, you will have difficulty letting him know what kind of angle you are looking for.

Since you are able to move about the boat, from side to side and front to back, using a larger boat that is still river-level (as opposed to the larger two-story cruise boats), offers you the best vantage point for photography. Moving around the boat means you will have more options for backgrounds. Set a subject against a solid background helps to train the viewers’ focus where you want.

Chau Doc Floating Market has so many angles, colors and subjects
Chau Doc Floating Market has so many angles, colors and subjects-source: Internet

You can avoid busy backgrounds that may obscure your subject if being able to reposition yourself. The boats are often piled high with produce which means the only way to move things is tossing them from one place to another!

How to shoot?

While shooting, also look at how to capture the similar or same subjects from different angles helping to tell different stories. The Vietnamese sailors have numerous superstitions like many seamen around the world who work around the dangers inherent to water, whether it is lakes, rivers or open oceans. Here, you can easily see the eyes, a distinctive feature of boats in Vietnam, which is thought to ward off monsters or evil spirits, and to also guide the boats away from all the dangers and safely come back home.

Tips for photographers at Chau Doc
Tips for photographers at Chau Doc-source: Internet

If you go: Depending on what you want to see and how long you want to be out on the water, small boat hire prices are negotiable. Do expect to haggle on pricing. Do not expect the drivers to speak much English.

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