Classic China Photo Tour
14-Day Beijing, Guilin, Hangzhou, Huangshan, and Shanghai Tour
This photographic tour is for photography lovers planning to visit China for their first time, and wanting to exercise their interest on an in-depth journey. Record a multidimensional China, including historical sites, natural landscapes, idyllic scenes, and modern life.
- Specialized English-speaking guide with professional photography experience
- Professional guiding to photographic locations
- Shoot the best of traditional Chinese architectures and the Great Wall of China
- Visit Guilin's attractions that only senior travelers and shutterbugs can find
- Maximize the beauty of Guilin's Li River and the idyllic life
- China's most beautiful mountains and ancient villages with exquisite ancient dwellings
- Splendid modern China shots
About China Highlights
Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
A great tour
Our trip to Beijing was brilliantly organised and stress free. As usual with China Highlights our guide Ivy was really well prepared, knowledgeable and dealt with all the security, covid checks and tests etc. It made the trip really easy. more
A warm welcome awaits you in arrivals. Your personal guide and driver will be ready to transfer you in comfort to your hotel. They will go the extra mile, making sure you have everything you need.
Your photographic tour starts with shots of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, which are star representatives of traditional Chinese architecture. The golden roof of the Forbidden City, the magnificent layout, and the exquisite decoration are great photographic materials.
Your private guide will also lead you to the top of the hill in Jingshan Park, where you can photograph the panorama of the Forbidden City and Beijing below.
You will take a rickshaw to visit Beijing's old hutongs, where you can see and imagine how Beijing used to be during the past centuries. Visiting a traditional quadrangle courtyard is also included.
The Great Wall at Mutianyu is a Great Wall section with fewer travelers. You can enjoy photographing this world wonder more with more space. The restored wall and steps make your Great Wall photography more convenient.If you are interested in the bleak but beautiful scenery of the wild and ruined Great Wall sections, check out our Great Wall Hiking guide and ask your personal travel advisor to customize this itinerary to suit your choice.
First you will fly from Beijing to Guilin. In order to get you well prepared for your next photographic day, your private guide in Guilin will accompany you on direct private transport from Guilin airport to Yangshuo.
The rest of the day is free time for you to enjoy leisurely Yangshuo. Feel free to ask your guide for recommendations.
You will be an early bird this morning, because you will climb up to the top of Xianggong Hill. There you will photograph the breathtaking sunrise where the Li River makes a right-angle turn. (About a 20-minute, mildly strenuous climb.)
After the photography at Xianggong Hill, you have two options:
Have a short hike in the Stone Village, where almost 90% of the dwellings were built by piling up flat stones without cement.
- Visit an ancient village at the foot of Xianggong Hill to encounter the local people's simple life.
- In the afternoon, you will be driven to Xingping Ancient Town to get another photography highlight: the rose sunset (in conducive weather) and evening fishing scene on the Li River, with a bamboo fishing raft, a cozy gas lamp, an experienced fisherman, and several cormorants.
Another early start for sunrise or a misty morning on the Li River. Accompanied by your private guide, you will be punted by bamboo raft from Xingping Town to Xialong Bay (下龙湾), a classic section of the Li River, including the 20 yuan banknote scene. The boatman is also your model if you want to photograph morning fishing scenes.Your next photography location is Xingping Ancient Town, which developed from a small fishing village. There you can feel the simple fishing life and appreciate the ancient dwellings, built in Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasty styles.
If there will be a sunset, China Highlights will guide you to Laozhai Hill to shoot a magnificent sunset photo of this majestic karst landform.
If weather conditions do not allow you to see the sunset, you will be driven to Yangshuo Town to enjoy the colorful night life.
Hop on a bamboo raft to enjoy the elegant Yulong River. Different from the Li River, this Li River branch radiates its charm and beauty quietly. The unfurling aquatic plants, and the slowly winding river with farm land, lofty mountains, and verdant bamboo on both sides are great photography materials.
In the afternoon you will fly to Hangzhou, the most poetic city in China.
Take a boat on West Lake and soak in the beautiful love story - Legend of the White Snake. Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is looks out on the 1 yuan banknote image. Leifeng Tower, the Su Causeway, and the unfurling willow trees are icons of West Lake.
Lingyin Temple is hidden among verdant aged trees. The vivid Buddhist sculptures are the pinnacle of Chinese religious culture, attracting many pilgrims.
Your private guide and driver in Huangshan will come to Hangzhou to transfer you to Huangshan, where the Yellow Mountains are located. The distance between Hangzhou and Huangshan is about 300 kilometers.
On arriving in Huangshan, China Highlights suggests you have a rest, and get well prepared for photography in the Yellow Mountains.
You will take the Yuping Cable Car (玉屏缆车) to ascend. Don't miss the grandeur during this 10-minute cable car journey; it's breathtaking. Prepare a light pack and wear comfortable shoes, because you will tread many steps to discover the elegant scenery of the mountains.
Your private guide is also a natural beauty discoverer. Accompanied by your guide, who is familiar with the vast mountains, you can easily arrive at the right places at the right time.
You will shoot the natural beauties in the 'Front Hills' area, including Guest-Greeting Pine, Lotus Peak, Celestial Capital Peak, and Turtle Fish Peak. (The turtle fish is a legendary animal with a dragon's head and a fish's body.) Get well-prepared for the sunset glow, the seas of clouds, and the grotesque pine trees and rocks.
Your private guide will get you up in time to photograph the sunrise on the Yellow Mountains. Bright Summit and Flying Stone are great places for taking sunrise photos. Bright Summit is also a great place for shooting the gorgeous rocky scenery and the seas of cloud.Xihai ('West Sea') Grand Canyon is a ideal place for photographing dreamy scenery with wispy clouds. The entrance to this canyon, White Cloud Pavilion, is a great place for viewing the sunset.
Before going downhill, you can take the chance to rise early and photograph the sunrise from Dawn Pavilion.
After finishing your discovery of the Yellow Mountains, you will continue your Huangshan tour to one of China's most beautiful ancient villages - Hongcun. Charming Hongcun was the setting for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (the winner of Oscar Best Foreign Language Film Award 2001).
With a history of over 800 years, the village displays original Hui style architecture (traditional Anhui Province architecture). This elegant ancient village is frequented by art students and artists capturing its beauty on paper.
Your guide will escort you to departures for your flight to Shanghai. He'll assist with checking in, handle your luggage, and accompany you to the correct security check.
You will have a lasting impression of modern China through visiting Shanghai, the financial center of China.
An early visit to Shanghai Museum will let you enjoy some of the best cultural collections in China without the crowds. The ethnic minority hall on the fourth floor is a ideal place for snapping the ethnic minorities' costumes.Yu Garden will immerse you in the traditional garden architecture of China. You may be astonished that the designer could put so many architectures in such a small garden.
The Shanghai International Financial Center will offer you a bird's eye view of Shanghai's towering skyscrapers from the 400-meter-high observation floor. Enjoy panoramic photography of Shanghai.
The Bund on the Huangpu River shines in the night. It is an ideal place for Shanghai night theme photography.