Aerial photo contest winners take Vietnam to ethereal
highs 1

Ban Gioc Waterfall, Cao Bang Province

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away

The first prize went to a panoramic view of the in Cao Bang Province near the border with China, taken by Nguyen Tan Tuan on December 1, 2018. The photo’s title is Tu hao bien cuong or Proud Frontier.

“It was raining lightly, then it gradually stopped as we approached the waterfall, revealing the beautiful sky under the sun. It made us really happy to get the chance to capture the waterfall in the rainy season which is as pretty as a picture, surrounded by magnificent forest. From above, the waterfall sounds could be heard throughout the forest,” Tuan said.

“Ban Gioc deserves to be (known as) Vietnam’s most stunning waterfall.”

Located around 340 kilometers (225 miles) to the north of Hanoi, Ban Gioc is the largest waterfall in Vietnam. It can be visited at any time of year, but the best time is said to be September and October when the summer rains that feed the falls are less frequent and the rice harvest is in full swing.

A video captures the beauty of Ban Gioc Waterfall.

Thác Bản Giốc ở Cao Bằng

Thác Bản Giốc ở Cao Bằng

Landmark 81, Saigon

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 1

Coming in second place was a photo of the Saigon skyline at sunrise, featuring the  building towering above the rest. The photo, taken on June 19, 2019 by Giang Son Dong, is titled Binh minh thanh pho or City at dawn.

“Ever since Ho Chi Minh City has Landmark 81, it has become a source of inspiration for photographers, especially for me and those who love taking drone shots. I usually spend early morning and evening time here hunting photos after work. I took this photo on June 19, a beautiful day,” Dong said.

Landmark 81 in Binh Thanh District is the tallest skyscraper in Vietnam and the 14th tallest in the world, with a height of 461.2 meters. Standing on the banks of the Saigon River, the skyscraper has a total area of 141,000 square meters and offers unparalleled views of the city and its environs.

College of Pedagogy, Da Lat

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 2

Clouds dispersing above the French-built College of Pedagogy on Yersin Street in downtown Da Lat was one of three photos that won the third prize. Photographer Tran Quang Anh called this picture Lang dang suong giang or Moving fog.

He said April to June was the  for many photographers who head to Da Lat. The Central Highlands town is at its mystical best at this time, with thick clouds and fog enveloping mountaintops and valleys that begin dispersing in dreamy fashion as the sun comes up.

“I often take pictures of the College of Pedagogy when it is foggy since it looks like it just came out of a fairytale. I can see the quiet Xuan Huong Lake and the whole downtown area submerged in fog when standing on the fourth floor of the building. I can also feel the wind passing through the pine hills,” Anh said.

Da Lat in Lam Dong Province boasts a year-round cool climate that is a rarity in tropical Vietnam.

Mount Fansipan, Lao Cai Province

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 3

A photo of a newly built Buddhist pagoda on Mount Fansipan with a statue of the Buddha standing on one of its peaks, taken by Tran Bao Hoa in January 2019, also comes in third place. Hoa called the photo Huyen ao Fansipan or Majestic Fansipan.

“It was very cold and fog covered the road when I arrived at Sa Pa in January this year. The atmosphere was spiritual and the Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda looked majestic at sunset. The floating clouds made me think that I was standing in heaven. For one hour, I took pictures when the temperature was -2 degrees Celsius. This photo was also the last one I took when I was there,” Hoa said.

Vietnamese scientist announced in June that  or 4.3 meters taller than previously measured by the French in 1909. 

Long Coc tea hills, Phu Tho Province

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 4

A fairyland photo of in Tan Son District, Phu Tho Province, around 100 kilometers to the northwest of Hanoi, by Nguyen Thi Hai Yen also earned third place in the competition. The photo captures a spellbinding scene as the first rays of sunshine light up the hills and mist still lingers.

The title of the photo is Trung du thuc giac or When the midland region wakes up.

Besides famous historical landscapes, the northern province boasts great natural beauty, including lush green tea gardens. Many people named the tea hills in Pho Tho the “Ha Long Bay of mountainous region.” 

Phu Tho is now the largest tea producer in the country. Long Coc tea hills is deemed as one of prettiest tea hills in Vietnam.

Below are the other pictures that made it to the Top 10.  

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 5

A photo of farmers of Thanh Binh District, the central Quang Nam Province, harvesting coi, or shichito matgrass, taken by Nguyen Sanh Quoc Huy. The photo is called Thu hoach coi or Harvesting schichito matgrass.

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 6

A photo of a herd of buffalos crossing muddy waters in the southern Tay Ninh Province was taken by Tuan, the first prize winner. The photo is called Theo dan or Following the herd.

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 7

This picture of boats with harvested  flowers was taken in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap during high tide season by Mai Thanh Chuong. He called it Mua nuoc noi mien tay or High tide in southern provinces.

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 8

Subtle shades of green and yellow stretch out in this photo of rice fields taken in Tri Ton District, near the , one of the seven peaks of in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, by Tran Bao Hoa. 

Hoa called it Sac mau Ta Pa or The colors of Ta Pa.

Top 10 pictures from Vietnam from above 2019 take your breath away - 9

Ha Thanh Nga took this picture of DK1-14, a marine defense platform off the southern coast of the beach town of Vung Tau. The photo is called Luong giao thong or Traffic flow.

The second drone photo contest was organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Photographic Association (HOPA) and a calendar making company. The competition received nearly 4,000 submissions from photographers across the nation.

Vietnam seen from above

Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Photographic Association