Avatar Mountains China Photography Tour

“Off the beaten track Chinaís ancient towns and wild landscapes are the destination for this small group photography tour, with tuition and support from two professional photographers.”


Small group travel | unlimited photography tuition | group and one to one sessions | ZhangJiaJie | photograph mountains, caves and temples | free day with optional activities and workshops | FengHuang | photograph houses on stilts and markets | optional visit to Southern Great Wall

Description of Avatar Mountains China Photography Tour

Head far off the beaten track to photograph the real China on this 10 day photography tour. Western travellers rarely make it to the two beautiful and unique locations that are the focus of this holiday, and each provides the chance to create amazing photographs in a range of genres. This is a small group tour, with a maximum of only 10 participants, so you are ensured lots of individual attention and support from the two professional photographers travelling with you. The tour is supported throughout by an English speaking local guide, too.

Head to Chinaís Huan province to explore and photograph two UNESCO protected areas. The first is ZhangJiaJie, the national park where the film Avatar was shot, a landscape of jagged karst columns, caves and lakes. Here there will be lots of opportunities to photograph the dramatic scenery, and also the sunsets, wildlife and life on the street.

From here, move on FengHuang, an ancient town where houses perch on stilts next to the river and authentic traditions and markets thrive. Here, enjoy street, nightscape and architecture photography.

The two tutors on the tour are experienced UK photographers. Pre trip consultations and time getting to know everyone on day one will help them tailor their guidance to the needs and interests of the group, but they also offer individual advice. Short workshops and one to one sessions cover techniques and specific equipment and these will be brief and usually on location, so you get the most from your time out and about in China. All the tuition is relevant to each dayís shooting opportunities, too.

Anyone joining this photography adventure should be reassured that this is a holiday, not a boot camp! You can have as much or as little tuition and advice from the tour leaders as you want. All levels of experience are catered for and all workshops and feedback sessions are completely optional, but the expert photographers are always on hand to help.

Throughout the tour we will stay in local hotels or bed and breakfasts which are family run and independent. This is friendly, comfortable accommodation and rooms are on a single occupancy basis with private ensuite bathrooms. We are far off the tourist trail here, so the food is authentically Chinese. Hunan has plenty of local delicacies to try, from tasty home cooked meals to exciting street food. We work with our local guide to make sure that meals are suitable and appropriate for a Western palate.

There is lots included in the trip price: nine nights hotel accommodation; all hotel, airport and station transfers; all transport while on the tour; all entrance fees; all meals as detailed in the itinerary below; the services of an English speaking local guide; group and individual photography instruction, reviews and feedback by two professional UK photographers. Not included in this tour are international and internal travel to and from ZhangJiaJie (Dayong), visas (if necessary), alcohol, shopping and personal extras, and insurance.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


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Responsible tourism

Avatar Mountains China Photography Tour

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


We only run a couple of photography tours each year and we have a maximum group size of 10, thus keeping the environmental impact of international flights to a minimum. We donít include flights in our package to allow participants all over the world to make the best and most cost and environmentally effective travel arrangements for themselves (e.g. combining with other trips planned in the same area).
Our China trip includes two locations that are both UNESCO-protected sites, one a national park and one a historic ancient town centre, both ticketed for access, and we include these fees in our tour price, thus contributing to their preservation and maintenance.
As photographers of many genres including wildlife, we only work with whatís presented to us and we highly discourage any intrusive interaction with animals to provoke a reaction, which we consider an unethical and unfair practice. We guide our students to adopt the same policy.


We purchase our gifts and souvenirs from family businesses, local markets as well as organised local charities promoting welfare of local residents and we never haggle! While doing so, we are very mindful not to inadvertently encourage child labour, as we believe all children should be in schools, not selling on the streets, as hard as the realities on the ground may be. We encourage our photography tour participants to adopt the same practices. This is embedded in our tour structure where we aim to stay and eat local, visit local markets and stay in family-run accommodation.
For every tour we run we employ a local guide, for the whole duration of the tour, to assist with any language, social and cultural information, as well as offer first-hand local knowledge and thus raising awareness of culture and customs. We actively encourage staying, eating and shopping local, and not using international chains, and we arrange all accommodation, travel and meals accordingly and directly at source inasmuch as possible, to maximise value for both our customers and local providers.
While encouraging our customers to be creative and always seek new points of view and ways of creating images, we actively discourage practicing photography that is too intrusive to either people, nature and wildlife, or which depicts social situations in a way that is derogative, insensitive or offensive.

1 Reviews of Avatar Mountains China Photography Tour

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The rock formation at Zhangjiajie national park are very spectacular and stunning, the traditional Chinese Village Phoenix is a bit specail. Andreea and Matt are very attentive and they certainly look after you on the holiday, and even when I extended my trip to Beijing they kept the group together and we went on number of outings.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would do the trip in the next few years before the destinations become more touristy and enjoy the scenery which is quite special.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Most definitely, we stopped at local hotels, eat in local restruants and drank the local beer, I must thank Andreea and Matt for this.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very enjoyable, it would be extremely interesting to see Zhangjiajie in the Autumn and Winter which should be quite spectacular.

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