S4-25 -Drone photography in Vietnam
A fun Guide for travellers
Part 3 Photography
00:00 Kerry Newsome Xin chào and welcome to What About Vietnam. Now, if you're thinking about Vietnam, you're obviously going to start searching social pages, Googling Instagrams, Reels, you name it. And amongst that search, you're going to find a lot of great photography and in particular, a lot of great drone photography. So when I was putting together the 3 part series, I had to include it as 3 parts because whilst we got a lot out of Thomas, like we really learnt some great tips on how to manage our phones or our cameras to get some great pics in Vietnam. But we couldn't just talk about photography and let it stand alone as drone photography and drone video is becoming, you know, something that everybody can do, even people like me.
I was fascinated with it back in 2018 and started to bring a drone camera into Vietnam to take some shots. Unfortunately, on the occasion, the weather was pretty awful. So, I didn't have such a great time of it. But at that time, there was a lot of nervousness around bringing a drone camera into Vietnam and doing drone video for a lot of security reasons. There were some people trying to bring it into the country and just for recreation. And, you know, they were getting stopped at security and asked questions. And, you know, there was lots of talk about being confiscated and things like that. So, it was a bit of a crazy time. But in today's chat with my really well informed and local guest, Anton. And you'll hear me try to pronounce his surname in the show, which I think I get right. We're going to talk to him about how he's kind of started droning in Vietnam, but started back in Malaysia. But let me do Anton justice by giving you a little bit of background to him. He's from Ukraine. And while travel is not easy from there, for the past five years, he's been traveling throughout Asia, starting in Malaysia, where he taught English in KL for three years. He really enjoyed that time. And he decided to venture a little deeper into Southeast Asia and found himself in Vietnam. Oh, surprise.
Malaysia spiked his interest in blogging as a hobby. And from there, his interest has grown. And he says, you know, when you travel alone, because timing just doesn't always work to join with friends, you still want to share your experiences with others. And I agree totally. So while his hobby started with Instagram, it's taken on a life of its own and morphed into a YouTube channel where filming from his Lumix G85 and his GoPro 8 was doing a satisfactory job. He said, you know, he just had the urge to take it up a notch. So here comes the drone as the best tool to capture those ordinary moments and panoramic views and turn them into extraordinary masterpieces. With the rise of apps and cutting edge technology that allows fantastic editing, capturing epic images and videos from unique perspectives in Vietnam, look now has never been easier. Anton continues to teach English from his base in Vietnam and says he feels like Vietnam has it all, beaches, mountains, hills to hike and old towns and basically anything you want whenever his schedule permits. He is out exploring more of the country and droning where he can.
I've put all the links in the show notes so you can follow him on his YouTube channel and you know, I first spotted Anton on YouTube doing one talking about Danang and I think you're going to get a lot out of that. So definitely worth checking out. From my perspective, Anton was able to simplify some of the basic protocols for using your drone for non-commercial purposes. And that's what we're going to stick to in this show. So. if you're the guy that's going to do the next Tourist in Vietnam love story, you will have to get some special permissions. This is definitely for your leisure and recreational traveler who has an interest in photography and in particular drone photography. It is the third part of the photographic series that I've just put together this month. So I hope you're really going to enjoy it. From my perspective, I've had some great fun using my DJI Mavic Pro 3. It's a bit of a monster one. It's about one kilo. But, you know, just the shots that you can get on the right day at the right time are worth it, definitely worth it. But he's Anton. Let's welcome him to the show and learn a little bit more about droning in Vietnam in twenty twenty three. Today, I'm very excited to welcome Anton Glushkoff to the program. He's having a little smile at me at the moment because I've I think I've got his surname pronounced correctly, but just really happy to have
06:01 Alright Anton you on the program and welcome to What About Vietnam. Hi, Carrie. Thanks for having me here. It's exciting.
06:07 Kerry Newsome You said that's a really good start. Now we're going to be talking about something that I have a great interest in. And that's drone photography. We see a lot of it on your Instagram’s and your Reels and your YouTube videos. And I've seen the recent one that you did on Da Nang, which was fantastic. So I'm really going to ping you with lots of questions about how you came to get involved with drone photography in your interest. So let's start kind of right at the beginning, if I may, and say, OK, Anton, what made you decide to get into drone photography and in particular in
06:51 Alright Anton Vietnam? Good question. Well, I started my YouTube like two years ago and I started with my GoPro. That felt like amazing. It's got 4K stabilization. It was great. But when you start filming, it's never enough. So then I bought a new camera and then it was great. It was awesome. But then again, it felt like not enough. And I started thinking about drone because, you know, it gives you this perspective and it's an amazing tool. I just I can't get enough of it. There's so many things you can do that it can fly. It can film. It's got a stabilization. So any kind of altitude. So, yeah, well, one time I just think like, well, well, that's going to be my next step. I just got to get a drone and I was trying to choose one that would be perfect for me. I chose something not too expensive. I've got DJI Mini 2. So that's, I think, very good choice for a traveler, for a solo traveler. And, yeah, yeah, it did. It works perfectly well. And it's really fun. It is.
07:56 Kerry Newsome And, you know, some of the drone photography that we all see sort of gives a perspective of some places that you can't see from the ground. You just cannot get that perspective and that 360 degrees, which is what I think is fabulous, but getting back to some kind of basics for people who are thinking about bringing their drone to Vietnam, can you speak to us a little bit about just some tips maybe on carrying the camera, how best to do that? You know, we've got lithium batteries getting through security, you know, like some of the pointers there for people and especially just your recreational drone
08:46 Alright Anton flyers that are just in it for fun. Yeah, I've been thinking about this question. I have just posted this video about Danang, right? And it's about just flying a drone. To be honest, it was not the main idea behind it. I just wanted to create a theme for the video and I chose the drone because there were some issues with drone, but, yeah, now after this video, you know, my YouTube is very small, like there's like 400 followers and usually people don't should bombard me with questions, but this time at least six or seven people asked me like, oh, drone, how did you bring it in? How did you fly? Were there any problems? And I was generally surprised, like, what problems? What kind of problems are you talking about? Because I personally have never had any issues with it, never. And like I've lived in Vietnam for two years now. I've owned this drone for a year. And well, there were some issues, but there were more about filming in certain areas, there were some restrictions and sometimes there would be some people who would approach me and say, like, no, you cannot fly here. That that happened a few times.
But like I flew in and out two times. I flew once to Malaysia with my drone and flew once to Thailand. So I also I did domestic flights with the drone. And no one ever asked me anything. And I'm a bit of, I don't like check- in luggage. So I always carry everything with me. So they would actually be able to scan my bag and see that there's a phone with those three lithium batteries and they never said anything. There is one thing, though, I guess it works. I'm very tall and I think Vietnamese people, I might be a bit intimidating. I'm like two meters tall and I'm quite big. So it's like, you know, I know I've heard stories not related to the drone, but I know, like, in certain situations, like my friends would be bothered by some guys while with me they would be like,ok!!
10:43 Kerry Newsome Yeah. I think that's fantastic. Yeah. I mean, I know when I mean, I always bring a lot of luggage and I kind of stay my maximum of 30 days, so I've usually have got a fair bit as carry on, as well as check in. But in that carry- on proponent, I would kind of disassemble the drone, take the batteries out, put them in a separate bag and have heaps of chords and that. So I did get the odd look occasionally. And some of the security people would kind of go through things a little bit more thoroughly and asking me what they were, what the batteries were, what they were for, et cetera. And I felt this was kind of like four or five years ago when it was kind of still new in Vietnam. And I'd just say it was for a camera. And that was kind of the easiest way to explain it. Drone was, you know, how do you say drone in Vietnam? Don't know. So I just went for camera and I kind of do that and then I'd get it. And I didn't have any problems. But there was quite a bit of nervousness there for a while about the responsibility as a tourist, you know, that people were taking the precautions about flying and being safe with it. And obviously, you've already brought that up in that video that you did on Danang and for everyone listening, I'll put the link to Anton's video so you can check it out yourself. But it was it was good to bring up things like no- fly zones and things like that. And I've seen some drone photography where I've gone. There's no way they could have done that unless they were standing about there or they were over there or whatever. So I'm not sure. I mean, have you seen much kind of police watching of people with drones or seen other people flying drones irresponsibly, I guess?
12:48 Alright Anton I haven't like personally seen people doing it, but I've seen videos where I know like, this is probably not legal. I have seen that and that is dangerous for multiple reasons. Responsible, you can get other people in trouble and you can get into trouble. Well, I think generally it's not a good idea when you are traveling. You don't want to get into problems. And normally with the drones like DJI application, DJI fly application is really smart and always use the restriction zones. It marks them on the map. Yeah. So it won't let you lift off and they will notify you. But I know like that people have these programs. There are some additional programs. They there's lots of things that can be done to drones and that's not safe. And yeah, in this case, that's a very easy way to get into problems because some of those restrictions zones can be related to government buildings or military buildings. And very problematic. Can become very serious.
13:56 Kerry Newsome And you don't have to do that. I mean, I think being responsible, which leads to my question to you about, can you suggest or would you recommend people do some homework before arriving into Vietnam just so that they get a bit of a lay of the land kind of thing?
14:08 Alright Anton I would sometimes use again the same application because you don't really need to actually fly the drone to access as you can open and you can look at the map. And yeah, I would say I just open the map and look at the area where I'm going to see whether any restriction zones, because like a couple of weeks ago I went to Thailand, to Koh Samui and Koh Tao, and then I decided to check, oh, so what's around these islands? Then I realized, oh, wow, actually, there is a big airport in Koh Samui. And obviously there's a restriction zone. So I thought, oh, OK, well, then it kind of changed my plan about my film because I realized that, well, I won't be able to fly my drone because the airport is just there in the middle and obviously it's not safe and you cannot lift off.
So, yeah, that's certainly yes. Googling, I don't know, because I well, when all these questions came about droning, I started checking on the internet. So what does the internet say? And I was like, yeah, you cannot fly to Danang with a drone. You cannot do this. You cannot do that. I'm like, what does this come from? Like, I mean, again, I don't know for sure. Like I talk from my personal experience. So maybe some people have had a bad experience. I wouldn't be surprised. But in my case, like, no, no one really bothered me. Again, maybe because of the size, because I'm flying DJI Mini. It's 249 grams. I've got the pro. If it is, yeah, if it is pro, if it was like one kilogram,
15:33 Kerry Newsome it's different kind of equipment that one. It looks like you're a professional. So you may have some profession in media or, you know, you're going to do something of a professional or business nature versus yours, which is, you know, more recreational, you know, more for traveling. So I think, you know, everyone, if you if you've got a drone or you're thinking about buying a drone and you'd like to bring that to Vietnam and you're not really kind of dead serious about making, you know, drone photography, your business or that kind of thing, I think it's much easier if you buy the smaller model, as Anton suggesting, and I'll put the name of the one that you use, Anton, in the show notes so everyone's got that. Yeah, because I did the same as you. I did a lot of checking of Googling and whatever. And then I found on some website there was some forms that you had to fill in to declare whether or not you were filming for business, you know, professional purposes or whether you were using the drone for recreational. And I was a bit conflicted then because I thought, oh, well, I do a podcast and I put it up on YouTube. Is that for professional or is that recreational? I don't know. What do you think?
16:59 Alright Anton Professional would be something related to bigger institutions if you're making like a big video for a big company that needs to legally check everything, because like if you're making a drone footage for, let's say, Apple, yeah, obviously they need to go through legal restrictions and checking, then yes, if I made a video for that kind of organization, I'd probably be a little more serious because then, yes, that could be checked.
If you're making for your own YouTube, I don't think you'd need to do that. I did check that again. There was one person who commented on my video and saying, like, oh, yeah, you must get a license. You must do that. You must do this. And I know that in America now, like if you go to a certain place, you must have a drone flying license. And it totally makes sense. But then I checked whether this is a thing in Vietnam. And apparently, not really. You can get a license. It looks like it's for commercial film. If you're making commercial video, yes. And that's like five hundred dollars. And it's like, as I understood, like for one day of flight or something. And yeah, but that's not exactly what I'm doing.
18:10 Kerry Newsome No, certainly not. And I'm sure if they saw the quality of some of my drone photography or my videos, they'd go, no, she's definitely not making money out of that. So, no. So tell us some tips about flying a drone in Vietnam. Are there any kind of peculiarities? I mean, the little bit of learning that I had was kind of not particularly extensive. The little bit I heard was, you know, things about flying in the middle of the day, kind of not ideal because of the direct sunlight and things like that. So do you have any tips for my listeners about if they are out there drone flying in Vietnam, things they should look out for?
18:56 Alright Anton Yeah, middle of the day, it's my problem too. I'm a little bit lazy. I need to solve it. It's easy. There's this thing called energy filters, like a small filter that you attach to your camera. It's basically like, you know, like sunglasses, but for your drone. And then you can film everything and it doesn't get overexposed. Yeah. And it's kind of easy to buy. And I should because I have an ND filter for my camera because it's the same thing. There's too much sun. I think it's overexposed. And yes, certainly if you want to make nice footage, something like nice and smooth ND filter would be helpful. There was a problem like lifting off sometimes. Like if you want to lift off, you know, Vietnam, there's all these wires and buildings and that would be sometimes a challenge. I wouldn't like it's especially in a city in the time. It's really hard to find like a free spot, a safe spot just to lift off. Because of the congestion. I would struggle with that sometimes.
19:55 Kerry Newsome Yes. And the wires. Yes, of course. Yeah. And what about things like birds?
19:59 Alright Anton Oh, yes, yes, birds. They terrify me. And they are really, really interesting, especially for some reason, swallows. They just like they start circling around drone. I had some footage when you fly it and I see like, wow, those swallows, they are getting quite serious about it. And once I filmed, I traveled in the Ha Long Bay and there were these huge eagles that would be like circling around. You know, swallow is not going to do anything.
20:30 Kerry Newsome It's tiny, but eagle. It could have it for breakfast. It hits the drone.
20:36 Alright Anton Sure. I was like flying around. I didn't film it, but I saw eagle just like one meter away from drone.
20:43 Kerry Newsome I was like, OK, it's not to go back. How do you go navigating the weather? Because let's face it, you can have your drone up there and you're watching the skies and very quickly it can change. So you've got to kind of get, get down and get down quickly sometimes. Have you had that experience?
20:58 Alright Anton Actually, No, I was really lucky. I haven't really filmed anything in the south of Vietnam yet. Like I haven't done in the South, it's the tropical weather that's where the rain happens all the time. North Northern weather is more stable, so it can rain. But then you can see it coming. It would be kind of like a day before it builds up and then, you know, the next day is going to be bad. But it could be windy. The wind is a challenge and it burns the battery really quickly. And sometimes difficult to film anything. Sometimes it's so strong that even the gimbal cannot handle it. It's just impossible. And then it's dangerous because you can't really lift off easily. Landing is challenging. I think wind has been the biggest challenge because it just spoils everything. And then, you know, like you have a pro drone, so it's heavier and it's much more stable.
Mine is small, so it's great for travelling. But it's light. So when the yes, yeah. And heavy rain, I would think. Oh, yeah. I mean, rain. Actually, yeah, I was in Bana hills near Danang and the rain was approaching us. Yeah, that just I have to cancel. I see there's rain and, you know, these drones are just not made flying when there's water around it. So, yeah, there are some clouds, a bit of a drizzle. And, yeah, I had to cancel the whole plan because it's just unsafe. The drones do collapse, whatever.
22:38 Kerry Newsome So, yeah, if it happens, then I guess you've got to kind of throw it in, don't you? Yeah, I had a crack at doing Bana hills and it was just fraught with danger. Like every time I tried to set it up to lift off, there'd be some people that would come and I was trying to go like to the furthest point and it was late in the day. So nearly everyone had left. It was quiet. It was quiet and normal. And like, I thought I really wanted to get that kind of as the day was ending, kind of feel and look about it, et cetera. But then the wind came up and started to rain and like I just yeah. So I had to cancel the whole thing. Have you had any success up there? Bana hills?
23:25 Alright Anton No, no. It was in a way a bit of a disaster. But yeah, I was, you know, Bana hills are made with this golden bridge with these hands. I was like, whoa, this is going to be so cool. You know, they build all this artificial village, which is kind of cool anyway. Not really a big fan one. But it is cool. I think so too. Cool. And I thought, wow. Yeah. And then I thought, wow, it's going to be great to fly my drone. And then I get there and it gets covered in clouds like almost immediately. And it starts drizzling. I'm like, OK, well, I can use my camera. It's going to be fine with it. But drone, unfortunately not. And also, like usually they say, as I see it, like on the top of the hills, it's usually almost well, especially for a small drone. It's hard to fly. The wind is too strong. And I've also watched videos that sometimes on the top of the hill, the wind can be so strong that just can carry your drone away and you won't be able to get it back and it's going to be gone. And it happens. So I'm very, very careful with that because like you can fly away. And then on the way back, because of the strength of the wind, you just can fly back. Keep your drone in physical sight or do you let it go? I don't. I do let it go a lot. It's nerve-racking. It's terrifying me still because it's not very expensive, but still it's quite a bit of money. Yeah. So you don't want to lose it. So it's nerve-racking. And yeah, I lose it. I was like, well, very cool because, you know, I need to fly around and see stuff. And yeah, I had a funny case once. I was in Ninh Binh and there's huge complex like temples. It's amazing. It's gigantic. But I didn't want to fly my drone there. So I decided to, OK, we're going to walk around and I get out. And then I lift off just fly around. But I didn't really realize that actually the parking lot is really far from the temple complex, it's like almost a kilometer away. So I lift there and realized, oh, wow, actually I need to fly quite far.
25:27 Kerry Newsome . So you did it? So you lift off from the car park and you had to fly it all the way back to. Oh, right.
25:38 Alright Anton Yeah. It was almost a kilometer. And yeah, like I finally reached it and realized, oh, this is so far away. And it was my literally first trip with the drone. I wasn't really out of physical sight. It didn't go so far away from me. Yeah. And then I started flying around. And then I started losing traction. And one point the screen goes black. Yeah. My heart just drops back.
26:01 Kerry Newsome Yeah. And I find I get that little bit of anxiety with it because I go through that euphoria. Oh, wow. Because I can see what it's seeing and what I'm capturing. So I'm getting excited. But then I'm going, oh, holy hell, this is like a kilometer away or whatever. I've got to kind of get it back. Otherwise, my just anxiety levels just go through the roof and I don't enjoy it then. But in those few moments when I'm really hot or and I'm following a ravine or a river or going around places and behind mountains and things like that, I've done that and yes, it's exciting, but it's a bit scary because you don't want it to crash or not be able to bring it back.
26:46 Alright Anton Just one of the most just one of the most useful lessons that I got from my experience. You know, when you carry your camera, you have this mindset, OK, I need to get in the place and just film around everything I see. That's your mindset. And with drone, it's absolutely different. And I just I'm learning this now that the key point is that you need to find a good vantage point that is like there's no obstruction around you. So it can be maybe 500 meters away from what you actually want to film. But if it is a little bit elevated and there is no walls, no buildings, no mountains, that's like a perfect spot to lift off and film because it would make this mistake. Get very close to the place. And then there is a wall, a brick wall.
27:29 Kerry Newsome And one of the other tips, I don't know that whether you think this is worthwhile, but you almost have to do a little bit of a reconnaissance trip. Don't you think like you can't just kind of arrive and think, oh, yeah, this is just going to be a cinch. Off we go. No, no problems. You almost have to go and do a bit of a surveillance of the area, pick some vantage points where people are not. Do you agree?
27:53 Alright Anton Oh, yeah, totally, totally. 100 percent like the best footage you can make only if you go to the place for a couple of days, just walk around, look what's around, like check the mountains, views, scenery, and then after that, you film stuff. You can get to do it. And that's what I'm going to do in April. I'm going to go to Ha Giang and it's getting my second trip. Like I went there in October, last October. I filmed something, but it was my first trip. So, it was like, well, is this the spot? Is this great? I mean, we need to go further now. I know. So I'm going to go in April and spend like more than a week there. I'm going to film everything there. So, I have time to stop. I know some place that I want to film now. And, you know, but I mean, I live in Vietnam. I had this luxury of, you know, going first and then second. But then the same thing with Koh Samui, I spent like in Thailand, I spent a week there. And yeah, first two or three days were just walking around. And the third, fourth day I just filmed everything. And the footage was amazing. But because I kind of did the recon and I knew where should I go to talk to people? Like, where's the beautiful spot?
29:03 Kerry Newsome Yeah, because that was going to be my next question in just, you know, do you kind of seek out the locals because they always know the great spots? And do you kind of get some advice from them as to help you pick those places and times of day and you should come back in September or something like that?
29:23 Alright Anton Yeah, I think somebody told me before that, oh, well, this is for that season….
29:32 Kerry Newsome Yeah, I know. Didn't you read that somewhere or listen to a podcast that could have told you that?
29:37 Alright Anton Yeah, yeah, I should. I mean, with drone footage, I actually never really asked anybody because I think it's well, I did, but I not with the local, like with the expats who lived in the area. And I asked them about the rules and regulations, like in Thailand and sometimes in Vietnam to like, where could I go? I would ask them for direction and ask for the places because locals usually know it better. And in Vietnam, things don't really get updated on the Internet. So, you can't really always rely on the Internet and believe whatever they say there, because things change dramatically and people don't always change it on the Google. So you can look at the place and the world can be open, but then you go there is closed and there were, for example, like in the Danang, there is this beautiful temple with Lady Buddha statue and then there's a little peninsula that goes around it. And I thought, wow, this is so nice to go there. Like a beautiful peninsula, like a bit hilly road. And then, no, I couldn't because there was this guy standing and he said, like, no, you're not allowed because you're on a fully automatic motorbike. Only semi-automatic motorbikes are allowed to go to that peninsula for some reason, because as far as I understood, like the terrain there is kind of challenging. So in a fully automatic motorbike, no. So if I had talked to somebody in the Danang, then I would have known probably. So, yeah, it's important. I always talk to locals because they especially like in the hotel, in the hostel, they always know some things that are not on internet.
31:14 Kerry Newsome I think challenging around that region that you're talking about in Sontra is there's a military base also that was very strong there for a while. And I think still part of it is. So I've been tempted to go around, but I've got a shake of head by local police or whatever, saying, like, don't even think about it, you know. So, yes, so it is it is a nice Hai Van pass and all that is awesome. So that would be a great place. So that leads to what places have you filmed that you highly rate so far? I know you've got a few on your list coming up, but what are the ones that you've done so far that are really great?
32:00 Alright Anton Ninh Binh is magnificent. It's just unbelievably beautiful. And like, you know, they compare it to Ha Long Bay and Ha Long Bay is also amazing. But the thing is that Ha Long Bay is on the water. So you film, you need to be on the boat usually, and you kind of restrict it. You can easily walk around to get a better spot. No, you can restrict it. It's amazing. But in Ninh Binh, yeah, you just cycle around and it's fast. It's amazing. Those vast mountains are so beautiful. And like, yeah, the first video I made with my drone was from Ninh Binh and it just it's I couldn't get enough of it. And, you know, there's this point when you're just sitting there, you film and you're realizing, wow, this is unbelievable. This is so beautiful. And yeah, that's one of the best places. Ha Long Bay, I'm going to go there again.
32:56 Kerry Newsome But it's… It is. And I mean, all the photography I've seen, you know, that adds up, absolutely. And I've had people on the show that run tours, Flipside adventure tours, the guys there run motorbike tours and things around. And just the way he spoke, Tom Stone, you know, how he spoke about that area, you could just tell he was just so passionate. And it just came through in everything he said. So I would think Ha Giang and I think places like Mu Cang Chai. I mean, you're sitting in the best seat in Hanoi. I mean, you can go kind of left or right or wherever. You've got plenty of choices up there because I think the scenery is definitely more extensive. There's more of it in the north than the south. And yeah, it's just got those jaw dropping vistas, really, aren't they? So you've got some projects coming up and I know everyone will want to see them. So tell us what you've got in store for yourself. Where are you going to head?
34:03 Alright Anton It's just I spend a lot of time on creating a video. I am a bit of a perfectionist and it doesn't really go well along with YouTube. They want people to post every week very regularly. I don't like that. And that's why my number of my subscribers are very low. But I stick to my strategy. I spent like two months, like one video because I also have a full- time job. So two months is one video. And I travel a lot. So I have a collection of places that I need to still process. Right now, working on one in Hoi An is going to be amazing. One of my favorite places. Yeah, I got just two more weeks to make it. Yeah, it's unbelievable. It's one of my most favorite places in Vietnam. And yeah, I made really nice footage there and a nice story. So that's yeah, that's in progress.
But then I also have Nha Trang, I've got Ha Long Bay. What else? Well, in Thailand, Penang in Malaysia. Well, Thailand. I'm going to make a video about Bangkok Hotel. There's like a really strange and unusual hotel. It's called The Atlanta. And it's like really old. It's like one of the oldest hotels in Bangkok. And I stayed there for like four days. I just was running around. It's outstanding. It's got like the oldest swimming pool hotel in Bangkok. It's called The Atlanta. And they kept the design and style. I feel like it's still very, very old, but very well maintained. Then Koh Samui.
35:43 Kerry Newsome So there's about like six or seven videos waiting, waiting to be edited. I can understand. What about places like the Mekong Delta? And you've got Can Tho, Con Dao Islands, Phu Quoc?
35:54 Alright Anton Been to Phu Quoc, it's nice, but at that time I didn't have my drone. So I'll definitely go there again because it's such an easy island to get to. And it's just so nice and relaxing. Con Dao, I haven't been there yet. It's in my plans. So when I go there, I'll definitely… The same thing with the Mu Cang Chai. I haven't been there yet. That's just one of the ideas where I want to reach at some point in the future. Because Vietnam has so much to offer. It's unbelievable. I lived in Malaysia before this for three years and it's great. It's awesome. But then one of the drawbacks is that the number of the places where you can go is kind of limited. Like in Peninsular Malaysia, there would be maybe eight spots where you can go. Approximately. Yeah, nice. But then Vietnam has over 20, 30 places that are just amazing. And that's partially why I'm in Vietnam. I left Malaysia during the Covid period and everything was very restricted and closed. So I couldn't really travel much. So I headed to Vietnam because I got all these opportunities to travel to Hanoi and North.
37:18 Kerry Newsome It's so beautiful. And I mean, you haven't mentioned Sapa. Have you been to Sapa yet?
37:22 Alright Anton Yeah, once. It was it was actually kind of funny story because I did this trip to Sapa in 2019 just before Covid and it was the year when I bought my motorbike. So I got my motorbike. I started driving motorbike for the first time in my life in Malaysia. And I was like, cool. Now I know how to ride a motorbike.
So I had a long holiday in December, like one month. And I thought, cool, I'm going to do a trip across Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh on my own. And then my friends were like, yeah, can you really get through? No, this, you know, like, no, it's not safe. I don't know? And I was very enthusiastic, but then I decided, OK, fine, fine. OK, I'm going to do Sapa. So I decided to do Sapa trip on my own, my first trip. And it was it was hardcore because it's a long way. It's like over 300 kilometers and I'm not experienced. So, I was I was naive. I thought I would get from Hanoi to Sapa in one go. And like everything's going to be cool because I did some trips in Malaysia. But Malaysia and Vietnam are very, very different. Yeah, like Malaysia is the highway. So you can go like 110 kilometers per hour. And it's easy. It's safe because the roads are built for that. You can go 140, 150. It's just straight. And, you know, there's a lot of space for manoeuvre. Vietnam, like, no, 60 feels dangerous. And so, yes, I had to stop in the middle, like in Yen Bai, because it was too much. And then I had my first motorbike accident there. I fell and I slipped. And, yeah, I got a little bit bruised. And like it was just, you know, first time experience in my life. Like, oh, my goodness, what am I going to do? And I fell.
My bike wouldn't stop. My knee was bruised. And there was this Vietnamese guy who just ran to me and helping me. Like, I put on bandages, clean my wounds, like do stuff. And I was like, oh, well, and he wouldn't speak English at all. Like we were just, you know, trying to exchange with gestures. And I like want to offer some money because he helped me a lot. He checked my bike, you know, because I was in a bit of a shock. And when you fall, the hands were trembling and he was so kind. And he's still like, go there, go there, fix your bike. And they fixed my bike. And then it was it happened just, you know, there's this bottleneck road on the way to the winding road. So just I fell right at the beginning of it. So I fell, got injured, bruised, but then I still had to go all the way up.
40:00 Kerry Newsome And especially you're probably in shock and you're riding that bike. Oh, my goodness. Oh, I know people have very adventurous ideas about with motorbikes, but I've heard too many bad stories that, you know, and especially that trip that you're talking about from Hanoi down to Ho Chi Minh. Oh, my gosh, that is fraught with danger. I don't think I know anybody that's done that trip that hasn't ended off the bike at some point, because, as you say, 60 kilometers is fast in some of those areas and the roads not all the best. So when you got to Sapa, was it worth it, like in your mind, did it kind of meet expectations?
40:28 Alright Anton . It was strange. So like I reached it and I reached it really late, exhausted. And, you know, again, I was like it was my first trip in Vietnam on my own. Super naive. I was like, yeah, it's going to be cool. I like these kind of holidays. But again, like now I'm more experienced and now I kind of know what to expect and what to look into. But then, yeah, so I got injured and I didn't book a hotel. I didn't do anything. I was I didn't I didn't do research. I didn't do anything. I just like, yeah, let's go and see how it goes. So I get there and it's cold. It's like there are all these construction sites and everything. And I get into a hotel and it's freezing. There's like no insulation, no central heating. I'm shaking because, you know, like my bruises and everything and the water is cold. It was like, oh, this is a disaster. And I didn't like that sound. It was like, no, no. So I started Googling. Finally, I decided to check on the internet. So what's good? And then I then I Google this place. I think it's a village down from Sapa, basically like 30 minutes ride a motorbike. Motorbike again was exciting. So I decided to go there.
So I get on the bike, go down. The road is terrifying. It's just muddy road. And, yeah, I was I was scared. I was so scared. I was thinking my worst fear was that whatever starts raining because this muddy road was dry. So I could get through. But if it is wet and I know I was injured, so I was thinking, wow. It's I was terrified. But that village was amazing because it's located in the valley. And so these huge mountains are round the waterfalls and fields. It is so beautiful, so quiet, so peaceful, you know, and just, you know, it's a village. So everything's kind of simple. You just walk around and go for a little hike. Most of the time, I we're just like in my hammock and just staring at the mountains. And it was that was enough that that was perfect.
42:45 Kerry Newsome I was thinking about your bike trip up to Ban Gioc, I'm not saying that right, either.
42:51 Alright Anton The big waterfall that's on the Chinese border there right at the top. I mean, to this waterfall that you mentioned, I think it's said like “Bunzop” but it's because northern and southern accents are different.
So in the south, they'll pronounce in the one way in the north and another way. But when you go to the very north, the border, they'll have some different accents. It's very confusing. But yeah, that waterfall. Yeah, yeah, it's really beautiful. I'm a little bit concerned about flying my drone there because it's right on the border with China. So actually, I think it might be really easy to lose the drone. I have seen people filming with drone there and flying just, you know, around the waterfall. But I feel it might be dangerous. And I heard people were asking not to fly a drone. I couldn't understand why, because, I mean, just across the river, there's Chinese border, you can see all those Chinese walking around. And yeah, but I made a video about it. It was I was really lucky because it's in the middle of the covid outbreak. There was like a little break, like a month break when they eased the restrictions and just got a taxi and went there and was empty. Like the video about it is amazing. It's my channel, too. But any last minute tips for my drone flyers that come to Vietnam? Like when you're filming mountains or buildings, well, OK, let's say mountains. Don't fly over the mountain and behind. That's one of the things that I just need to remember. Like I when I lift off, I want to be like in the middle, like in the valley. And then I fly around the valley. Then the connection doesn't get cut off. But if you see a beautiful mountain and decide to fly above, then it's very easy to lose the drone. I had a couple of these nerve wrecking experiences when the connection goes away. And then normally, normally the screen goes black, but it doesn't mean that you have lost control of your drone, so you can also see like in the corner, there'll be like a small map that shows you where is the drone. You can actually see the drone still follows your controls. So it means like the broadcast has been interrupted, but you still have the control of the drone. So in this case, I'll just turn around, go up and then go back as fast as possible. Yeah, that would be better up to try to regain connection and then return because you still usually have control and then there is automatic. That's always my side card. And you can set the. Yeah, but you need to set the altitude because if you set like 50 meters, it means it will go up to 50 meters and then fly and then land. It's like 20 meters. Yeah, you'll go to 20 meters and then ram into the mountain. So you have to think like what's around. I would not so nice fly like in Hoi An. And I would know that there is not a single building that is taller than 30 meters. It's just very low rise. So I could fly that this is my return point would be like 40. So I know it's even if I lose it.
45:47 Kerry Newsome Yeah, it's a good feature of the of the drone that automatic home button. They should have one installed for everybody on whatever they do on automatic home button. Thank you very much for coming on, Anton. I've loved talking with you and I'm hoping everyone listening has got a few handy tips so they don't either crash into mountains, lose their drone, but still have a wonderful time droning in Vietnam.
46:17 Alright Anton . Thanks a lot for having me, Kerry. It was a great pleasure. It was lovely to talk to you.
Alright Anton Danang Video - https://youtu.be/ifTbSl3mgAA
Alright Anton Ninh Binh video - https://youtu.be/-z4MNMApXmw
Alright Anton Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall - https://youtu.be/8L0Q0El8mOw