China photography tour, Guangxi & Hunan
Description of China photography tour, Guangxi & Hunan
Head well away from China’s big towns for an incredible fully guided photographic trip of a lifetime! This is a 15-day small group, guided photography tour including several stunning locations: from the karst mountains and rivers of the Guilin region to the cormorant fishermen of Yangshuo, from paddy fields of LongJi, to the ancient city of the Phoenix with its houses on stilts, the waterfalls of Furong then all the way to the top of peaks in ZhangJiaJie national park, home of the Avatar, the photographic opportunities are endless!
This tour has been specifically designed for photographers of all levels and includes unlimited professional photography coaching and advice throughout, as well as the support of an English-speaking local guide where needed.
All locations are hand-picked, well researched and regularly updated to offer the best photographic opportunities across all genres including landscape, street, night photography, and even portraiture and fashion as the tutors often organise a local model for a shoot.
The two tutors on the tour are experienced UK photographers and members of the Society of International Travel & Tourism 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 as required.
Anyone joining this photography adventure should be reassured that this is still 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.
We pride ourselves in ensuring we stay ‘local’ therefore providing the most authentic experience whilst supporting the local communities too! Throughout the tour we will stay in local hotels or bed and breakfasts that are family-run and independent. This is friendly, comfortable accommodation and rooms are on a single occupancy basis with private en-suite bathrooms. We are far off the Western tourist trail in most locations, so the food is authentically Chinese – however special dietary requirements can also be accommodated. 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 a lot included in the trip price: 14 nights hotel accommodation; all hotel, airport and station transfers; all transport while on the tour; all entrance fees; two meals / day; the services of an English speaking local guide where needed; group and individual photography instruction, reviews and feedback by two professional UK photographers. Not included in this tour are international and internal travel to Guilin and from ZhangJiaJie (Dayong), visas (if necessary), meals that are not included, alcohol, shopping and personal extras, as well as travel insurance.
1 Reviews of China photography tour, Guangxi & Hunan
Reviewed on 28 Aug 2018 by Phil Duddles
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.
PlanetWe 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 don’t 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 locations that are 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 what’s 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.
All our in-country travel is over land, therefore reducing carbon emissions generated by flights, and we make use of local resources such as guides, translators etc. As our entire experience is based in as much as possible on staying, eating and shopping local, we stay close to the source of food as most of this will be locally grown and produced. We offer vegetarian alternatives and the Chinese diet is typically very low-dairy anyway, contributing to reduced CO2 emissions. Inside the locations we are visiting, most of the travel is very environmentally friendly such as walking, electric buses, rowing boats etc. Some of the locations we stay in provide water bottle refill options and we encourage our participants to bring their own bottles and use these facilities, to contribute as much as we can to addressing the single plastic use issue which is a well-known problem in Asia.
PeopleWe 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 local drivers, guides and translators as necessary, 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.
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