Pham Huy Trung backpacks along the country to take breath-taking aerial photographs, and they have caught the eye of National Geographic’s editors.
Trung, a Ho Chi Minh City resident, is arguably the Vietnamese photographer with the largest number of photos published in the U.S. magazine, which covers science, geography, history, and culture. Here are some of his photos of Vietnam’s landscapes.
Long Coc tea hills in the northern province of Phu Tho are shrouded in mist. Long Coc, 112 kilometers from Hanoi, consists of numerous smaller hills covered in tea plantations.
Trung said the most beautiful photos of the hills are taken before the sun rises when the mist rolls around gently.
Tea farming is an important occupation in Phu Tho and the main source of income for many locals. A typical tea plantation in the hills of Long Coc measures around a hectare.
Rice field in Ta Pa Hill of An Giang Province during the harvest season.
With more than 2.2 million people, An Giang is the most populous province in the Mekong Delta, home to around 22 million people or 24 percent of Vietnam’s total population. Farmers in the delta grow more than half of the country’s rice and account for 80 percent of rice exports.
This photo was taken in Phan Rang-Thap Cham Town in the south central province of Ninh Thuan. A shepherd drives his flock back home after a day of grazing on wild grasses.
Trung said: “Many of NinhThuan’s shepherds are from the Cham ethnic minority and are hired by rich families with large flocks. Their typical work day lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but they earn little.”
Its hot and sunny weather yearround makes Ninh Thuan an ideal place for sheep farming. Today its sheep population is estimated at 100,000. It is not unusual to see a group of three to four children sharing the herding job.
The photo was featured by NatGeo in 2018 and received global plaudits from photo editors and travel magazines.
The first rays of the sun cast their light on a tea garden in Pleiku Town in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. Tea is a major agricultural produce here. Stay a little longer in the morning, and you will have the opportunity to meet workers who come to pick tea leaves.
NatGeo chose this as the best photo of the day on February 1, 2018. It captures the mystical beauty of tea hills in Moc Chau, a highlands district in the northern mountain province of Son La, as they are enveloped by a blanket of fog early one morning.
Rows of coconut trees along Non Nuoc Beach in the central city of Da Nang. They stretch five kilometers in an arc shape along the foot of Ngu Hanh Son Mountain. In 2017 the beach was named among the top 25 in Asia by TripAdvisor readers.
A woman catches fish in the Ru Cha mangrove forest in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue amid cha trees (excoecaria agallocha, a mangrove species).
“Photographers flock to Ru Cha during autumn when the yellow flowers of the cha trees started blossoming. This is the most ideal time of the year to hunt for photos in the Ru Cha mangrove forest,” Trung said. But it is easy to get lost without help from locals, he warned.
A fisherman rows his boat in the middle of Bay Mau coconut forest, two miles from the old town of Hoi An in central Vietnam.
It has become a popular tourist attraction in Hoi An and is described as “a version of the Mekong Delta in the ancient town” with boats being the sole means of transport here. A boat can only accommodate two people and a trip costs VND200,000 ($9) per person.
A flycam shot of a woman picking water chestnuts in a flooded myrtle forest in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap fetched Trung an honorable mention in the “Journeys and Adventures” category at the 2018 Siena International Photography Awards, considered one of the world’s most prestigious contests.
Trung said he took this photo during the flood season which peaks in October every year. “The photo got me fame.”