This is a truly unique and amazing, cultural and ethnic insight into China. Join us on this most exhilarating China Photography Workshop, taking an intimate look into traditional China.
This tour is packed with visits to ancient, interesting, beautiful and heritage sites, which include Mount Huangshan or Yellow Mountain- known as ‘the loveliest mountain of China’. We visit Yixian County- praised as a veritable Garden of Eden on earth, ancient world heritage villages of Hongcun (the unique buffalo shaped village used as a location in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) and Mukeng (with its amazing bamboo forest). We will see the unique Tangyue Archway Complex, made up of seven arches. Three were constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and the other four in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
We see the largest bonsai garden, numerous villages all completely unique, but all with equally fascinating features, such as the mysterious village of the Eight Diagrams-Chengkan, the Tianluokeng Tulou cluster (Round Houses) only found in mountainous areas in Southern China, which although made of thick earth (up to 6 feet thick) can stand up to 5 storeys high and house up to 800 people!
In Kunming we visit the Western Hills and pass the Dragons Gate. We will also have a birds eye view of Dianchi Lake. We then visit Sanqing Pavillion, which is situated over 300 meters above Dianchi Lake and looks like a ‘castle in the air’. We also see the famed Stone Forest in Yunnan, which is one of the best of its kind in China.
Time is spent in Lijiang, which is considered a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snowy mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by friendly people. Lijiang Old Town is a World Cultural Heritage site and was once the centre of the city and continues to maintain the original flavour of the local lifestyle, the typical local architecture and the profound cultural heritage of the region. It is graced by well preserved ancient buildings and the Naxi Culture. We also see the stunning Jade Dragon Snow Mountain… to name a few.
This trip will give you an insight into the true heart of China, visiting spectacles little known to outside tourists. Many of the places visited are ancient sites and will give you a real insight into a time gone by, whilst providing you with many varied shooting scenarios. You can expect to come home with a vast portfolio of images of numerous subjects.
Day 2: 19th May – Shanghai.
On arrival at Shanghai Airport, meet your guide and transfer to hotel. Evening dinner and meet rest of group. Overnight in Shanghai. (D)
Day 3: 20th May – Shanghai – Tunxi.
Following breakfast at hotel, transfer to train station G1508, 8:27/13:13 for your bullet train to Huangshan, meet guide and transfer to hotel. Later take the opportunity for a photograph shoot at the Xin’anjiang Riverfront Walk Scenic Spot and the best preserved commercial street- the Ancient Street of Tunxi, built in Ming- and Qing Dynasties. Overnight in Tunxi. (BLD)
Day 4: 21st May – Tunxi – Mt. Huangshan.
After breakfast, drive to Mt. Huangshan (the World Cultural and Natural Heritage site, the World Geo-park) and take the Yungu Cable Car up the Mountain. Enjoy the spectacular views at the Beginning-to-Believe Peak, the Flower-scattering Valley, the Lion Peak, and the Grand Canyon of the West Sea etc…
Mount Huangshan is known as ‘the loveliest mountain of China’ and is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds. We will watch the sunset at the Cloud-dispelling Pavilion. Overnight at Huangshan mountain. (BLD)
Day 5: 22nd May – Mt. Huangshan – Tunxi.
Watch the sunrise in the early morning. Go sightseeing of the Flying-over Stone, the Bright Summit. Later return down the Mountain by Yungu Cable Car. Drive back to Tunxi for dinner. Overnight in Tunxi. (BLD)
Day 6: 23rd May – Tunxi – Yixian County – Tunxi.
After breakfast, drive to Yixian County, which is praised as a veritable Garden of Eden on earth and visit the famous villages called Hongcun Village (world cultural heritage site, the unique buffalo-shaped village, one of the shooting locations for the Oscar-awarded movie ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’) and Mukeng Village with its amazing bamboo forest . These villages preserve old Huizhou-style houses built in the Ming & Qing Dynasties, characterized by white-washed walls, gray-tiles, horse-head gables and beautiful carvings. Drive back to Tunxi. Overnight in Tunxi. (BLD)
Day 7: 24th May – Tunxi – Shexian County – Wuyishan.
Breakfast at hotel. After, drive to Shexian County- one of the historic and cultural towns in China, which is well known for its long history and profound culture. There you may appreciate the unique Tangyue Archway Complex comprising as many as 7 arches constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties- the largest one in scope so far in China. We then visit the largest bonsai garden of Huizhou School in China- Family Bao’s Garden; then on to the mysterious village of the Eight Diagrams-Chengkan Village, built in the Ming Dynasty. After seeing all the places, you may get some idea of the spirit of the architectural style in Ancient Huizhou Prefecture.
Drive to Huangshanbei Train Station and go to Wuyishan by G323, 16:45-18:11, meet guide and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Wuyishan. (BLD)
Day 8: 25th May – Wuyishan – Xiamen.
After breakfast, transfer to Jiuquxi and take a bamboo raft to enjoy some scenery along the water. Wuyishan is both of cultural and natural heritages of the world and it also is well-known as the ‘first mountain of Fujian’. After that, visit Wuyi Palace, which is the oldest palace in Wuyishan and one of the most famous for its ancient Taoism Architecture. Visit Song Dynasty Street.
After lunch, transfer to Wuyishan train station G5905/G5908, 14:47-18:01 and take the bullet train to Xiamen. Overnight at hotel. (BLD)
Day 9: 26th May – Xiamen – Tulou.
After breakfast, transfer to Nanjing Tulou by road (1.5 hours). Visit Tianluokeng Tulou cluster or Round Houses, which are unique. In Nanjing County there are more than 15,000 Tulous scattered through out it which includes 1300 large-scale Tulous.
The Tulous were built by Hakka people for whom they serve the duel purpose of giving them somewhere to live and to protect them. They were constructed from the 12th century right up to the 20th. Tulous are typically three to five story structures with a thick earthen wall and a single entrance. They tend to be vast, well-fortified structures, capable of housing up to 800 people. In fact, they originally functioned as village units offering safety, shelter and a sense of community. Among the thousands of Tulou buildings, the Tianluokeng Tulou cluster is famous for its special shape. It consists of a square earth building at the centre and surrounded by four round earth buildings (or more exactly, 3 round earth buildings and one oval shape earth building), figuratively nicknamed “Si cai yi tang” (four dishes with a soup). In 2008, the Tulous were named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later visit Yunshuiyao ancient town. Return to Tulou for dinner and overnight. (BLD)
Day 10: 27th May – Ximan – Kunming.
Transfer to Xiamen airport for your flight to Kunming- the Spring City, meet your guide and transfer to hotel.
You will visit the Western Hills after lunch. Follow the saying and walk past the Dragon Gate on Western Hill to get prosperity in the future. The Western Hills are also called ‘Sleeping Buddha Hills’, as when looked at from a distance, they have the appearance of a giant sleeping Buddha. They have also been given another name – ‘Sleeping Beauty Hills’ for the hills when viewed together look like a beautiful young lady laying beside Dianchi Lake with her face upward and her hair trailing into the water. You can see the outline of her face, chest, and legs clearly. You will have a bird’s eye view of the Dianchi Lake and appreciate the groups of Taoist sculptures in grottoes on the cliff in this scenic area. You will visit Sanqing Pavilion after Dragon Gate. Being over 300 meters (approximately 984 feet) above Dianchi Lake, the pavilion looks like a ‘castle in the air’. This temple has a Taoist influence, and ‘Sanqing’ in Taoism refers to the highest point.
After, transfer to visit Golden Temple which was built in Kangxi 10th year (1671) of the Qing Dynasty. The Hall of Taihe Palace was wholly cast in bronze, which weighs about 250 tons, and is the biggest one of its kind in China. You will have the chance to try local famous and traditional food, the cross bridge rice noodle. Dinner & overnight in Kunming. (BLD)
Day 11: 28th May – Kunming – Lijiang.
After breakfast you will drive about 86 kilometres to the Stone Forest. The Stone Forest has a unique karst topography, which is one of the best of its kind within China and it is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. You will visit Sani village which is near the Stone Forest.
After lunch, drive back to Kunming where you can take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of tea houses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings.
Later you will visit Kunming’s Flowers & Birds Market, experiencing the Kunming Life, then transfer to the train station for your overnight train to Lijiang. Overnight in the train. (BLD)
Day 12: 29th May – Lijiang.
On arrival at Lijiang Train Station, your local English guide and driver will pick you up in the early morning and then transfer to your hotel for breakfast (includes Lijiang baba). Later visit Xiangshan local market, where you can see local people do business with each other.
Explore Lijiang Old Town. It is a largely Naxi settlement first built 800 years ago, located at the foot of the Lion Hill. This is the main region inhabited by the Naxi People, one of China’s 55 minority ethnic groups. In 1997, UNESCO made Lijiang a World Cultural Heritage Site. We see the Black Dragon Pool and Dongba museum, Shuhe Ancient Town and Yuhu Village with Joseph Rock’s Former Residence. Yuhu Village is the last village in the Lijiang Basin at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The houses were made of a unique stone called “monkey head” by Naxi people. Yuhe Lake is beside the village and the water in the lake comes from melted snow of the mountains. Dinner and overnight in Lijiang. (BLD)
Day 13: 30th May – Lijiang.
Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30km to Ganhaizi Meadow (3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visit through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed in Ganhaizi Meadow (3,100m) where hundreds of local people participate in this wonderful spectacle. After you will visit Baisha village and Baisha Murals, which is just one part of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO 1997. You will also visit Yufeng temple or named Jade Peak Temple, one of the most famous lama temples in Lijiang, which is at the southern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 13kms northwest away from the Old Town. The whole Yufeng Temple shows a distinctive and conjunct architectural style of Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism and the local Naxi Dongba Religion due to the cultural communion between different minorities and different areas in the Qing Dynasty. Dinner & overnight in Lijiang. (BLD)
Day 14: 31st May – Lijiang – Lu Lake.
After breakfast, drive to Lugu Lake located in Ninglang County. After arrival, you will go by canoes (Pig Slot Ship (猪槽船)) to visit Liwubi Island in Lugu Lake, visit Mosuo Culture Museum and learn the Mosuo custom in the museum. Enjoy the sunset wonder of Luguhu Lake in Luoshui Village.
You will visit a local Mosuo family and join the bonfire party at night. Lugu Lake is a deep lake dotted with some islets and surrounded by high mountains. The Mosuo people have been isolated in the valley and retain more ancient traditions and customs than the other people around them. In the past before the modern era, many Mosuo men left home to travel as caravan traders, but the women and children remained at home. The Mosuo people retain a lot of unique customs. Lugu Lake is beautiful and is said to be worth the comparatively difficult journey to go see the region. Dinner & overnight at hotel near Lugu lake. (BLD)
Day 15: 1st June – Lugu lake – Zhaimei temple – Lijiang.
After breakfast, enjoy the sunrise of Lugu Lake and drive to find some good locations for photography. You can also take a leisurely stroll around Lugu Lake, then head to Zhamei Temple. As the largest Tibetan Buddhist (Lamaism) Monastery in Yongning Area, Zhamei Monastery used to be a monastery of Kagupa (White Sect), and was converted to Gulugpa (Yellow Sect) in Yongzheng Period of the Qing Dynasty. Karmapa, a master and living Buddha, established Zhamei Monastery (Kagupa White Sect) when he travelled by Yongning in the Ming Dynasty. The full Tibetan name for Zhamei Monastery is Taluozhameigui. “Zhamei” was once the name for a place; it means inevitability. “Taluo”, in Tibetan, indicates the way to Nirvana. “Buddha is ubiquitous, everyone gets chance to meet him”. Transfer to Lijiang for dinner & overnight. (BLD)
Day 16: 2nd June – Lijiang – Guangzhou.
After breakfast transfer to airport for your flight to Guangzhou for your connecting flight home. (B)
N.B. The day-to-day schedule should be taken only as a general guide. A variety of factors, including adverse weather conditions, difficulty with transportation and politics can lead to enforced changes. Because of this it is not possible to guarantee that any of our tours will run exactly according to the planned itinerary. The trip leader will make any changes, which are necessary.
Tour land cost for 2017: £4220.00 based upon minimum of 4 paying participants. All our programme prices are based on twin share / double occupancy.
* Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in the hotels mentioned or equivalent – subject to availability. Any single room subject to supplement shown.
* All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch and (D) Dinner.
* Airport transfers on arrival and departure.
* All internal transport as the itinerary.
* Professional photographer Simon Watkinson on hand throughout the tour delivering photography guidance, tutorials and feedback sessions.
* All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle where appropriate.
* Services of an English speaking local guide (or a naturalist in National Parks).
* Bullet train ticket from Shanghai to Huangshan, Huangshan-Wuyishan, Wuyishan-Xiamen in 2nd class.
* Internal air ticket from Xiamen to Kunming, and Lijiang to Guangzhou in economy class.
* Entrance fees at monuments and parks where applicable.
* Basic porterage at airports, rail stations and hotels (not tips).
* All currently applicable taxes.
* Any international airfares to Shanghai, China.
* Airport taxes.
* Visa fees.
* Travel Insurance.
* Medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs.
* Expenses of a personal nature table drinks, laundry, telephone calls Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
* No tipping is included.
* Any other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary or ‘includes’ list.
* Domestic economy airfares, indicated in the itinerary, are subject to change.
* Any airport taxes.
* Any other taxes subsequently introduced by Government, State or Tourist Ministry.
* Personal clothing & equipment.
* Optional trips.
* Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of World In Focus.
* Anything not specified in the Cost Includes section.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £475.00
DEPOSIT: £500.00 (non-refundable).
If you are a single person booking this holiday you do not have to pay single supplements, if you are happy to share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single client of the same gender. However your booking is accepted only on the understanding that if no roommate is available then you accept a single supplement will be levied. Single supplements are payable if you specifically request to have a room to yourself. If you have requested single accommodation we will do our best to secure this although this may not always be possible.
Shanghai Golden river view hotel 4*
Tunxi Xin’an garden hotel 4*
Huangshan Beihai hotel 4*
Wuyishan Huanyu hotel 4*
Tuolou Wanjia hotel 4*
Xiamen Huaqiao hotel 4*
Kunming hotel 4*
Lijiang Wanfu hotel 4*
Lugu Island hotel 4*
All meals included as specified.
Most hotel restaurants usually provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, continental, Indian and traditional cuisine. Please ask the staff if you have any specific request, especially regarding flavours and spices, as they will do their best to adjust menus accordingly and cater for your tastes.
Amazing Facts about China…
* China is the 3rd largest country by area at 9,706,961 sq km (3,747,879 sq miles).
* Ice cream was invented in China around 2000BC. The first ice cream was soft milk and rice mixture packed in the snow.
* Despite its size, China fits into just one time zone. It originally was made up of five different time zones, meaning that in some parts of China, sunrise can be as late as 10am!
* Ketchup originated in China as a pickled fish sauce called ke-tsiap.
* Chinese woman traditionally marry in festive red – a lucky colour. White symbolises death.
* America’s fastest “high speed” train goes less than half as fast as the new train between Shanghai and Beijing (150 mph vs 302 mph).
* China’s enormous Gobi Desert is the size of Peru and expanding 1,400 square miles per year due to water source depletion, over-foresting, and over-grazing.
* China has 64 million vacant homes, including entire cities that are empty. This is because China is building MASSIVE cities just to keep builders busy and generate growth. The result are ghost metropolis.
* 100 million people in China live on less that $1 USD a day.
* Reincarnation is forbidden in China without government permission.
* In China, over 35 million people still live in caves.
* Table Tennis is China’s national sport.
* A new Skyscraper is built in China every five days.
* Company executives in China can be sentenced to death for committing fraud.
* China has four mega cities of over 10 million people, the most of any country.
* In China there is an ‘Elderly Rights’, Law, making it illegal for anyone with parents over 60, not to visit them regularly.
* In 1556 the Shaanxi Earthquake in China was the deadliest earthquake on record, with 830,000 deaths.
* Rich people in China can hire body doubles to serve their prison sentence.
* China has recently overtook the US as the world’s largest economy.
* The longest traffic jam in China was 10 days and 60 miles long.
* China owns all the giant pandas in the world, any panda outside of China is being leased. Even those cubs being just born, instantly belong to China.
* The Forbidden City, a palace complex in Beijing, contains about 9,000 rooms!
* The artistic writing called calligraphy was invented in China.
Expect high humidity, but pleasant warm weather with relatively low rainfall before the summer monsoon season that starts in June. Temperatures range from 16°C to 24°C. On average there are 10 days of rain during the month of May in the areas we are travelling, however, the rain is usually considered ‘refreshing’ due to the humidity and warm nature of the climate at this time of year. May is considered one of the best times for travelling to China, as there is a stretch of warm, relatively dry weather before the heat and rains of summer set in.
Simon Watkinson, your tutor and guide for this trip advises all group members to take the following photography equipment. If you would like to discuss equipment or have any photography related queries, please do not hesitate to contact Simon Watkinson during office hours on 07511 075 739.
You will need a Digital SLR with lenses offering a focal length from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (70 – 200mm or longer), a laptop computer loaded with Adobe Lightroom. Additionally we strongly recommend a back-up device such as an external hard drive.
Suggested Camera Body: A 35mm SLR camera system with interchangeable lens will allow you to get the best shots in most conditions.
Suggested Lenses: A wide angle (16 – 35 mm or 24 – 105 mm or similar) and a telephoto (70 – 200mm or 100-300mm or similar) are very useful. Skylight / UV filters protect your lens.
Filters: A polarising filter is essential for landscapes. Optional ND filters x 4 and x 8.
Batteries, Memory & Storage: Bring spare batteries (2 or 3), battery charger, travel adapter, sufficient memory cards and an external digital storage device.
Camera bag: Preferably a backpack type.
Lightweight tripod: of a professional quality.
Miscellaneous: A brush for cleaning your lens and air blower are important and your camera and lens need to be in protective cases. Shutter release cable.
Laptop Computer: loaded with Adobe Lightroom if you want to process your images on tour.
Casual clothing is the order of the day. Hard wearing, easy to wash travel clothes are ideal. You may wish to pack one set of slightly smarter clothes to wear at the hotels. Laundry service will be available at all the places we stay. During the day you will need a wide brimmed sun hat and sunglasses. Lightweight, comfortable walking shoes are advised for throughout the holiday and for sightseeing.
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
You will require a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into China; British Nationals also require an Chinese entry visa, which should be obtained prior to departure. Visas for China start at £151 and can be obtained from >> visaforchina.org
It is a condition of booking with World In Focus that you have adequate travel insurance cover. It is very important that you obtain insurance cover against the usual risks associated with adventure travel, from the date of booking until the date you return home. Please ensure that your insurer is aware of your World In Focus itinerary and agrees to cover the activities being undertaken. Please ensure that your insurance provides adequate protection against the two major concerns: medical / repatriation expenses while abroad and cancellation / curtailment charges in the event that you, a travelling companion or a close relative fall ill either before or during the trip.
World In Focus do not provide any advice on travel insurance.
We require confirmation of your insurance, the policy number and 24-hour emergency telephone number of who ever you take insurance out with.
For more information, please email Tammy >> at the World In Focus office.
You can book using the cart buttons below. All bookings are taken on a first come, first served basis. We strongly advise booking as early as possible to ensure we can secure the best hotels. You can also pay by bank transfer if you email Tammy >> in the office to confirm this.
We can allow you do arrange an interest free payment plan. All we ask is that you pay your deposit to secure your place and ensure you pay your full fee by Tuesday 20th February 2018.
For full terms and conditions on our Overseas Workshops- see here >>
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We look forwards to welcoming you to China!
We strongly advise booking early to avoid disappointment.