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Author Topic: Need Recommendations for China travel  (Read 8594 times)
GordonLH
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« on: January 22, 2007, 10:37:52 PM »
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I am interested in traveling to China for photography and  would appreciate any recommendations on travel companies specializing in photography tour packages. Especially any first hand experiences with such companies and specific packages. I am leaning toward a flexible "go on your own" type of excursion but may consider a group tour. The areas I am interested in are: Li River, Guilin, Xian, Beijing.

Thanks,
Gordon
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NicoChina
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 09:45:14 PM »
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Hello.
I'm french, living in China (Nanjing) and i would be interested if anyone has some piece of information about such travel company.

When do you plan to go, and how long if i may ask?
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erusan
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 09:47:17 PM »
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Be sure to check out Michael's report on street photography in Chine, somewhere last year. There might be some info there you can use.
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erusan
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Alexis Alvarez
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 06:52:36 PM »
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I've only been to Yunnan Province in Southwest China and would recommend visits to Dali, Lijiang, and Zhongdian very highly.  Lijiang esp, the old town is full of wooden houses hundreds of years old.  All three cities are beautiful.

I went with a group called the Imaginative Traveller, did some hiking and trekking.  Very reasonable prices, great tour guide, fabulous trip.

alexis
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 06:54:51 PM by Alexis Alvarez » Logged

feppe
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 09:28:03 PM »
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I've been to Guilin and Beijing (and Shanghai, HK and Macau) and highly recommend both. Was on a student exchange so can't help with the tour guides.
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NicoChina
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2007, 10:11:31 PM »
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I think Beijing can't be avoided if you go to China... you need at least a great wall shot and probably something about the forbidden city

I wasn't a big fan of Guilin. I strongly suggest that if you go there you manage to take a small bus to Yangshuo (avoid the big tourist boats, waiste of time..), and visit Yangshuo's surrounding with smaller boats/bicycles/whatever transportation you can get. This place is worth a few days for sure.

Basically the best accessible photo locations for a short trip were those on LL's workshop (Guilin's surrounding => Yangshuo, HuangShan-Yellow mountains, some street pics...) + Beijing and the great wall. The region between Shanghai and Huangshan is also quite cool. It is famous for its great canal and gardens (Suzhou and surrounding villages, Hangzhou...), as well as Yunnan.

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I've been to Guilin and Beijing (and Shanghai, HK and Macau) and highly recommend both. Was on a student exchange so can't help with the tour guides.
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Cruiser
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2007, 11:32:45 AM »
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I am interested in traveling to China for photography and  would appreciate any recommendations on travel companies specializing in photography tour packages. Especially any first hand experiences with such companies and specific packages. I am leaning toward a flexible "go on your own" type of excursion but may consider a group tour. The areas I am interested in are: Li River, Guilin, Xian, Beijing.

Thanks,
Gordon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=97107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I was in China last Sept for 3 weeks and the Li River was so hazy, not a shot came out satisfactory.  The pollution is hideous all over China- you literally can not see the sun on some days (the locals will tell you it is humidity, but humidity doesn't make your eyes water and lungs cough).  I would recommend hiring your own small boat or guide for the Li and hit it at the crack of dawn.  The light is horrible from 8am or so on.  Maybe it improved late in the day, but I wasn't on the river then.  The larger tour boats do not provide any ability to set up a shot as you want.  It is a gorgeous landscape with great shots around every bend in the river.  Nearby, you can escape into rice patties and get nice rural shots.  The city of Guilin is quaint, but other than the sun and moon pagodas, not much happening.  Xian is not very photogenic.  Beijing is spectacular.  You can wander old neighborhoods for hours and the night markets are wonderful and bright with color.  The Great Wall is only and hour or so from Beijing, but also go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.  I imagine the cooler, winter months may provide better air conditions (just a guess) and fewer crowds?  That was my experience anyway, I hope others had more hospitable atmospheric conditions.
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pandamao
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2007, 11:40:06 AM »
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I was in China last Sept for 3 weeks and the Li River was so hazy, not a shot came out satisfactory.  The pollution is hideous all over China- you literally can not see the sun on some days (the locals will tell you it is humidity, but humidity doesn't make your eyes water and lungs cough).  I would recommend hiring your own small boat or guide for the Li and hit it at the crack of dawn.  The light is horrible from 8am or so on.  Maybe it improved late in the day, but I wasn't on the river then.  The larger tour boats do not provide any ability to set up a shot as you want.  It is a gorgeous landscape with great shots around every bend in the river.  Nearby, you can escape into rice patties and get nice rural shots.  The city of Guilin is quaint, but other than the sun and moon pagodas, not much happening.  Xian is not very photogenic.  Beijing is spectacular.  You can wander old neighborhoods for hours and the night markets are wonderful and bright with color.  The Great Wall is only and hour or so from Beijing, but also go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.  I imagine the cooler, winter months may provide better air conditions (just a guess) and fewer crowds?  That was my experience anyway, I hope others had more hospitable atmospheric conditions.
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If you are worried about the pollution, I strongly suggest you go to Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan Province. It's just a amazing place.  If you want to know how it look like, you can watch the Chinese movie "Hero" which was filmed there.
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BobShram
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2007, 02:15:41 PM »
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I have been to the north, the centre and the south, I did not see the sun once while I had my feet on the ground, only in the plane above the smog. You can get some different type lighting shots early in the morning some times, smoggy orange. I lost 10 pounds in 10 days The food did not agree with me (meat and potato's I am). People were on the whole very plesent though you can get your self in trouble if your not carefull.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 03:26:55 AM »
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If you are worried about the pollution, I strongly suggest you go to Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan Province. It's just a amazing place. If you want to know how it look like, you can watch the Chinese movie "Hero" which was filmed there.
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I'd add Huanglong and Sukunianshan in Shichuan if you like grand nature.

A few images taken in the area last fall:

[a href=\"http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157594364221841/]http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlangui...57594364221841/[/url]

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 07:00:19 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
sbacon
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 08:12:51 AM »
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I traveled to Xi'an for business in May 2005 and had a wonderful experience - people, culture, history, architecture, food - it was all amazing.

I took a local day-tour to see some of the popular sights - $US45/day included lunch and English speaking tour guide. It was OK, as tours go, but certainly not photographer oriented. These types of tours can be booked at just about any of the larger hotels.

If interested, here's my Xi'an Travelogue.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 08:31:38 AM »
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I have been to the north, the centre and the south, I did not see the sun once while I had my feet on the ground, only in the plane above the smog.
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Are you sure you were not in LA?
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NicoChina
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 10:40:17 PM »
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I'd add Huanglong and Sukunianshan in Shichuan if you like grand nature.

A few images taken in the area last fall:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlangui...57594364221841/

Cheers,
Bernard
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I was in Sichuan last week (Emei Shan / Jiuzaigou), unfortunately huanglong is closed in winter. Anyway it would be easier to give advice if you can tell when and how long you plan to travel to China.
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Khun_K
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2007, 05:32:57 AM »
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I was in Sichuan last week (Emei Shan / Jiuzaigou), unfortunately huanglong is closed in winter. Anyway it would be easier to give advice if you can tell when and how long you plan to travel to China.
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The great west of China is one of the most beautiful zone of the world and one may spend a lifetime there without stop being astonished. It includes the Gobi (the rock desert) and sand desert, high mountain, tribe, highland and grassland, often right next to each other. You can visit some Chinese photo magazine that they often organize photographic trips for just photographers, serious ones! And at very reasonable cost.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2007, 07:43:35 AM »
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The great west of China is one of the most beautiful zone of the world and one may spend a lifetime there without stop being astonished. It includes the Gobi (the rock desert) and sand desert, high mountain, tribe, highland and grassland, often right next to each other. You can visit some Chinese photo magazine that they often organize photographic trips for just photographers, serious ones! And at very reasonable cost.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=102567\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Would appreciate some links to these photo magazines and trips. If you have taken one, would appreciate more details. Thanks.
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Khun_K
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2007, 09:46:40 PM »
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Would appreciate some links to these photo magazines and trips. If you have taken one, would appreciate more details. Thanks.
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I am not sure if you read Chinese, but the links as follows are very easy to get thru or perhpas you can ask your friends around to translate for you;

Chinese Photography - this is my favorite one [a href=\"http://www.cphoto.com.cn/]http://www.cphoto.com.cn/[/url] , on the lower left corner are the liks to many other photo interests magazine or tour companies
This is a good photo tour organizer http://www.detian.com/asp/infro.asp
Ths is a website devoted for photographic in the wester region of China. http://www.xbphotool.com/ , the links on the website of the lower right hand corner exhibits some most beautiful routes in the world - covering Xinjian provice, Mongolia all the way to Sichuan and Tibet. Some links are no longer active but some still working
http://www.dpnet.com.cn/
http://www.ub-mongolia.mn/
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/xinjiang/

Another way may be also convenient that you can go to local book stores to find the pictorio books to find the photos and scenery you like most, ask your friends wheer they are, and they can always find some tour company to arrange it for you. China has became serious obssessed about photography, especially for landscape. Lots of material available at hand almost everywhere.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2007, 08:06:05 AM »
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I am not sure if you read Chinese, but the links as follows are very easy to get thru or perhpas you can ask your friends around to translate for you;

Chinese Photography - this is my favorite one http://www.cphoto.com.cn/ , on the lower left corner are the liks to many other photo interests magazine or tour companies
This is a good photo tour organizer http://www.detian.com/asp/infro.asp
Ths is a website devoted for photographic in the wester region of China. http://www.xbphotool.com/ , the links on the website of the lower right hand corner exhibits some most beautiful routes in the world - covering Xinjian provice, Mongolia all the way to Sichuan and Tibet. Some links are no longer active but some still working
http://www.dpnet.com.cn/
http://www.ub-mongolia.mn/
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/xinjiang/

Another way may be also convenient that you can go to local book stores to find the pictorio books to find the photos and scenery you like most, ask your friends wheer they are, and they can always find some tour company to arrange it for you. China has became serious obssessed about photography, especially for landscape. Lots of material available at hand almost everywhere.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=102744\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the links. They seem to have lots of photo info in China. In fact, way too much for me to ask an interpreter to link through them all.

Yes, there are plenty of books and sites about China photo and tours. But finding a *good* tour or tour guide that specializes in photography is not easy. With language barrier, it will also be difficult to correspond with them and find out the details. That's why a referral from someone who has used such services would be a great help. If you know of such services, please post them here.

Actually, China is but an example. I'm really surprised that posters here don't ask similar questions before they leave home.
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Khun_K
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 04:23:57 AM »
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Thanks for the links. They seem to have lots of photo info in China. In fact, way too much for me to ask an interpreter to link through them all.

Yes, there are plenty of books and sites about China photo and tours. But finding a *good* tour or tour guide that specializes in photography is not easy. With language barrier, it will also be difficult to correspond with them and find out the details. That's why a referral from someone who has used such services would be a great help. If you know of such services, please post them here.

Actually, China is but an example. I'm really surprised that posters here don't ask similar questions before they leave home.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=103216\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
There is Chinese photographic association that should be helpful, and I think it should not be difficult to find out one nearby you but language may be a problem, but not suppose to be a big one since you can live there so I assume you must be able to get around it. If you do have problem, send me an email off the line, I will refer you to my assistant in my Shanghai office and may be she can help you to get the lead.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2007, 07:53:12 AM »
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There is Chinese photographic association that should be helpful, and I think it should not be difficult to find out one nearby you but language may be a problem, but not suppose to be a big one since you can live there so I assume you must be able to get around it. If you do have problem, send me an email off the line, I will refer you to my assistant in my Shanghai office and may be she can help you to get the lead.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=103448\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't live in China. Would appreciate links to the "Chinese photographic association". Thanks.
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KeithRyden
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2007, 05:05:52 PM »
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Any advice on navigating Chinese immigration check points with photographic equipment?  Posted customs and duty-free allowances for China indicate a single still camera is permitted - what allowances are made for people carrying multiple camera bodies?  Any restrictions on lenses or other related equipment for non-professional/non-commercial use?
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