Deciding where to go in Vietnam can be difficult, but Instagram makes it easier. Search for Vietnam and immediately, you’ll be granted an all-access pass to the vibrant beaches of Phu Quoc, the misty mountains of Sa Pa, and the bustling pavements of the Old Quarter in Hanoi. And apart from the cliches, users are given a chance to see a side of Vietnam that’s never seen in mainstream articles or media.
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of accounts to sift through? To make the process a bit easier, here are five instagrammers who have captured the beauty of Vietnam at its best.
A post shared by Lee Starnes (@leestarnes) on Aug 21, 2016 at 7:16pm PDT
Photographer Lee Starnes has a fearless way of getting intimate with his subjects. The viewer is caught off guard by the sheer tenacity of the still images, with the people in front of the lens taking over the moment. You’ll feel pleasantly unsettled by how inviting and distant the image is all at once. Starnes is a photographer for Saigoneer and is a creative director at Unbranded Creative.
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Get lost in Hanoi and discover the local charm. #visitvietnam #hanoi #vietnam Thanks for sharing @denise.ter.beek! #alleyway #vietnamese #dailylife #explore #backpacking #backpacker #travelphotography #traveler #travelphotographer #travelblogger #globetrotter #instatravel #instavietnam #instaphoto #instagood #discover #local #lifestyle #hanoian #getlost
A post shared by Visit Vietnam (@visitvietnam) on Aug 20, 2016 at 4:53am PDT
Browsing through this feed is like spinning a color wheel. The photo sharing community centers on bringing forth Vietnam at its most vibrant. While oversaturated shots tend to feel harsh, the enhanced warmth makes Vietnam look more inviting. Offering a diverse sample of the most beautiful destinations in the country, you’ll be instantly sold on the idea of Vietnam once you’re through.
If only I could speak the language, a tale that spans the ages could be heard. #SaPa. #Vietnam. Photo & caption by @fitoperezphoto. ____
A post shared by Vietnam Sans Frontières (@ig_vietnam) on Aug 21, 2016 at 3:43pm PDT
This account showcases the soft spoken side of Vietnam. Shadowy, low-light conditions create an atmospheric reel. It’s a more subdued delivery of photos, favoring washed-out filtration as opposed to juicy pops of color. The intensity of this collection comes from its loyalty to the moment. Every picture feels candid and sincere, showing the unpretentious version of Vietnam.
A more stylistic telling of Vietnam, Stefan is a storyteller and he embraces the art of carefully crafting beautiful renditions of the world around him. While his instagram feed is not densely populated with Vietnam-related shots, there is enough evidence to show that he understands that quantity does not dictate quality. The shots he has, primarily of Ho Chi Minh City, are very theatrical conversations between light and shadows.
Mom's letter to grandpa when she was around 5. One page says: 'Dear dad. I'm Tú, your little daughter. I write randomly. I do love you dad so I don't play with dirt, don't eat on the sly, don't cry anymore'. The other page with grandpa's portrait and the words: 'Please buy me a more beautiful shirt than my sister's'. Mom didn't write well back then so grandma was holding her hand to help finish this letter. Photo by @phamhaduylinh #letterfromhome #archive #letter #handwriting #portrait #draw #family #carpet #still #travel #hanoi #vietnam #everydayvietnam
A post shared by Everyday Vietnam (@everydayvietnam) on Aug 11, 2016 at 6:54am PDT
Inspired by Everyday Africa, this visual forum curated by Vietnamese photographer Linh Pham is dedicated to the exploration of humanity at a personal level. Almost every picture features at least one human in the frame. It reads more like an anthropological essay than a mere gallery, a fascinating portrait of Vietnam through the scope of its people.
Do you have any Instagram accounts in Vietnam that you love? Please comment with suggestions and we’ll add them to the article.