South East China photography vacation

“This is a photography vacation, not just of places, but of people too; your skills will improve and your mind will be blown by the beauty of local Chinese life through a lens.”

Highlights

Guilin | Longji | Sang Jiang | Yangshuo | Putao village | Huang Yao | Mountain tea plantation photo shoot | Xing Ping | Cruise on the River Lee | Yu Long River Valley | Shanghai

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
10 Apr 2017
2340
excluding flights
5 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Apr 2017 departure
Our top tip:
Organise an additional tour of Shanghai the contrast to Guilin is extraordinary.
Trip type:
Small group. 6-8 adults, tour leader.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate. Some long days on foot with camera gear.
Accomm:
9 nights clean basic hotels.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available.
Meals:
None included, but lots of local recommendations given.
Included:
Accommodation, all transport, entrance fees, tour leader.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South East China photography vacation

Environment

Small groups
Our group size is usually 4-8 people.
Small group means we are less intrusive to the places we visit, we keep the disturbance caused to nature and communities to the minimum.
This also means that each attendee gets a lot more time with the lead and guides. A lot more opportunities to meet the locals and understand their way of thinking, needs and life styles.

Conservation;
We actively increase awareness and solicit against building new concrete buildings in old villages like Ping An where traditional building material is wood.

While trekking we encourage our participants to stay on the paths, not to damage environment, plants or any other artifacts they come across.

We spend most of our time areas away from the main commercial tourist areas, therefore providing additional income in local economies that may not normally benefit from revenue from tourism.

Suppliers
We use suppliers that match our environmental values. We encourage hotel owners to stick with traditional methods and to use carefully sourced local materials when extending or upgrading their premises.

Community

We make use of local suppliers and services. These include locally owned and family run accommodation, local drivers, locally produced and prepared food. This ensures that the local economy is supported. We also only employ local guides. We do visit local community projects and remote schools where our contributions are greatly appreciated.

Ethically correct
We respect people, their cultures. We approach people (where possible prior to the tour), we explain our aim and agree on a plan.


Fair trade
We do not exploit anyone in any way. We do pay people who spend time and effort to make us have a great adventure a fair fee.
We donate to places we visit to photograph like schools, family houses, social clubs.

At the end of our photo adventure, we encourage our participants to donate unwanted clothes, toiletries and other goods which we then get our local guide to distribute to local people in need.

We have had an excellent long-term relationship with our guides and suppliers and this helps to stabilise their income generation and so helps to create a more sustainable future. We use local Chinese leaders who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area.

Reviews of South East China photography vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2016 by

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


There were many memorable moments on the trip, in general visiting areas representing 'real' China i.e. the ethnic minorities have given me memories that I
will never forget. Photographically I have returned with what I believe will be many excellent images.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you're seriously thinking about this trip don't hesitate - book it! Oktay and our local Chinese guide Shandy organised and manged the trip extremely well
including those parts which were a bit tricky or unpredictable.

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


I feel the trip had a low impact on the at the places visited and supported the local communities much more than a 'large company' trip would have

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


I have traveled on similar trips with other companies and I would rate this trip highly. All my expectations were met including the hope that I would be
traveling in good company without any worries along the way. I have returned with many happy memories and I would not hesitate in recommending this
trip to my friends.

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2015 by

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


Every day was a new experience
The minority villages were like stepping back in time.
Photographing the sun set from the top of the wheat fields was calm,peaceful and beautiful.
Sunrise with the Cormorant Fishermen.
The colours of the sunrise on the River Li with the reflections of the Carst Mountains transposed you into the middle of a large
colourful painting. Rich in beauty and colour

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It's changing fast don't miss it.
Bring good walking shoes.
Go with an open mind and heart.
I can't wait to go on another trip with Oltay and Shandy they were both very generous with their time, nothing was a problem to them.
A very big thank you to you both.


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


Yes to all

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


It was a wonderful vacation/experience
The weather was perfect,
We had a very good choice of food.
Beer very good. Wine ghastly.
Excellent company we laughed a lot.
Oktay helped us with any camera problems and gave us some very good advice.
He went to the trouble of following us up after our return to see if he could help us with our photo's

Reviewed on 28 May 2015 by

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


This trip offers so many great memories which get even better as I reflect on them following my return. Being the only "big noses" around for over a week... staying in and wandering around Dong villages where seeing even a wheel was unusual.... sitting in the working man's club while the locals smoked pipes and played Majong cards....coming across a Kindergarten of over 100 children singing Twinkle twinkle little star in local dong language.... traveling up the River Li at 3am to catch the Cormorant Fishermen... the fire cracker procession...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to be flexible and do not expect a rigid itinerary as local arrangements can and do change. I only really discovered where we had been after seeing the GPS tracking map when we got home!
Always carry with you a hotel card with its address in Chinese .. just in case you get lost.
Free WIFI was available at all our hotels but don't expect a rapid service and get used to not having access to Google or other search service during your stay.

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


This vacation undoubtedly benefited the local people. We stayed in small local boutique style hotels and hostels. We ate in local restaurants and supported the Dong communities we visited.

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


A great experience, with a great host and an invaluable local guide. I was the least experienced photographer on this trip having only just purchased my first DSLR. My learning curve climbed more steeply than the Karst landscape around me.
Even without the very unique photography opportunities this trip provided, it would have been a superb vacation where you are immersed in rural SE China.

Reviewed on 14 May 2015 by

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


The fisherman was very exciting because I had never shot at night in circumstances like these. It was fun and I learned a lot, and even got some very good shots!!!!!!! but there were many highlights. walking down to the waterfall and taking pics of the Yao and their long hair was fun. the bridge was beautiful, and meeting people in the streets and taking their pics. was fun, a very different approach from the one I generally use. the local festivities were interesting, we were lucky to be there at the right time....

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


relax and enjoy and keep you eyes open to see as much as possible

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


Yes

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


I enjoyed the whole trip. I think it was well planned, even leaving it open to
changes, tour leaders know their way around well and we had plenty of interesting photo opps. and they are always available and helpful.
I would rate it 10 out of 10.

Reviewed on 03 May 2015 by

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


Getting up early followed by seeing the fisherman on the river, very closely followed by meeting and having lunch with a family and meeting those men playing cards

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Relax about eating, Oktay is super careful of your health. Pack light as you will be lugging your gear around.

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


Yes we use locals a lot, employed local guides drivers and models. It was a great trip as we got to interact in a great way with lots of local people. Shandy (our local guide) was great in facilitating information exchange when there was no
common language.

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


9 out of 10

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2014 by

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


Meeting people in their daily environment: harvesting, rice picking, at home and having the opportunities to take pictures of that.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Visiting a beautiful part of China, with small rural villages, lovely landscapes and
nice people. Traveling in a small group offers the opportunity to take nice pictures.

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


The way the trip was organised benefited local people, I think.

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


Highly recommended photographic trip.

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2014 by

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


Engaging with the local people, in particular families in Chengyangzhai

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Approach with an open mind to cultural differences. Be prepared for some
potentially long days on your feet, with your camera gear!

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


Absolutely!

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


It was a fantastic trip, well balanced and well organised. Oktay was very
friendly and approachable and provided fantastic technical photographic support
to those that needed it, when they needed it. He was also very knowledgeable when it came to local cultural matters and engaged well with the local people. For those times when his knowledge fell a little short, the local Chinese guide
that accompanied us for the whole trip was invaluable, she was also very
friendly and helped make this trip unforgettable.

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2014 by

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


Oktay gave me a wonderful introduction to China from all his (and his assistant Sandy's) experience. He knew just the right places to go for photography and the right people to meet. Oktay is a great professional and I had an excellent and instructive time with him.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If possible go to both Guilin and Shanghai with Oktay - the contrast is extraordinary.

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


Yes - we used local resources; we went to out of the way places, photographing
them, which will help develop local tourism; on several days we just walked or bicycled and didn't use road transport.

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


Very highly.

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2014 by

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


Spending time taking photographs in the rice fields

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Oktay the photographer is very good , he is very good in answering any
queries you may have.

If you wish to spend time in Shanghai on your own be aware that they do
not speak English

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


Yes

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


I enjoyed this tour - the company was good and the photographic
opportunities were wonderful

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2014 by

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


The early morning that we went to photograph a fisherman and his trade.

This trip was very well organized and went on perfectly. From airport delays to hotels changes...
Every thing was planned and went on without without any delay or confusion.
The local guide, Sandy, organized meals, transportation, hotels...and did so that nothing went wrong.


2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Okay had give us instruction as to what to bring, help with planes...
I don't know what needs to be added.

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


Yes. Small group, paying some of the people that helped us getting good photographs instead of "using" them, paying local people fairly...was all benefitting the local economy

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


Wonderful.

Reviewed on 11 Nov 2014 by

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


I enjoyed it all. Perhaps the most memorable things were getting involved with local people in the villages - helping ( for a short time ) with the rice harvest & eating in the farmer's home, wandering in the village & getting a small glimpse of peoples normal lives. Also our local guide, Shandy, who was with us all the time. She was undoubtedly the best & nicest local guide I have ever had, so caring, thoughtful, efficient & altogether a delightful person to be with.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?




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


Yes undoubtedly.

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


Excellent. I loved it. Great photographic opportunities & a real opportunity to experience a wee bit of local life.

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