China Photo Expeditions 2020
14-Day Spring Expeditions
Departure on April 12

Group size: 6-8


Yunnan Province - Photograph interesting Chinese green karstland formations surrounded with crystal clear waters, sunset and sunrise from Qinglong Mountain, and the Zhuang, Miao, Yi and Bai ethnic villages. Enjoy a large outdoor performance, and visit the Blue Moon Valley.  Stroll the streets of ancient Lijiang.  Meet minority villagers. 
Guangxi Province - Capture sunset and sunrise against the brilliant shining limestone along the Li River. Take sunrise pictures of Guangxi's jagged karst land scape from the Xianggong mountain. Watch fishermen working with their cormorants and oil lamps on bamboo rafts. Attend a riotous performance on the Li River. Explore the lively West Street and quiet Yulong village.
Fujian Province - Visit China’s most beautiful mudflats in Xiapu, with its people earning a living on fishing for thousands of years. Photo the floating houses, the marine life, bamboo poles, seaweed harvesting, fishing nets, fishing boats and dotting fishermen blend into the mudflats as the sun rises and sets, which create bright-colored graphic pictures and a dreamlike world of light and shadow.  
Itinerary of Spring Expedition 2020
Date Places Tour Note
4/12 Portland/Seattle Alaska Air; leave Portland at 10:45pm, arrive Seattle at 11:40pm Air
4/13 Seattle/Hongkong Cathay Pacific Airline. Leave Seattle at 1:00am. Air
4/14 Hongkong/Kunming Arrive Hongkong at 5:10am, leave H.K. at 11:25am, arrive Kunming at 2:00pm, check in Hotel. Dancing show “Dynamic Yunnan,” at evening (option) Air/Bus
4/15 Kunming/Puzhehei Bus to Puzhehei in late morning. Sunset at Qinglong Mt. if we have time. Bus
4/16 Puzhehei Sunrise at Qinglong mountain. Visit Caihuaqing village in the morning, Bailong lake and Swan lake in the afternoon. Bus
4/17 Puzhehei/Kunming/Lijiang Fly to Kunming at 10:25am, than fly to Lijiang at 3:00pm, arrive Lijiang at 4:00pm Bus/Air
4/18 Lijiang Lijiang Impression outdoor performance in the morning. Blue Moon Valley in the afternoon Bus
4/19 Lijiang Visit Black Dragon Pool Park in the morning. Visit ancient town of Lijiang and bird-eye view of ancient town from Lion mountain in the afternoon. Bus
4/20 Lijiang/Guilin/Yangshuo Free timet in the morning. Fly to Guilin in the afternoon (2:35pm/4:30pm). Two and half hours bus to Yangshuo. Air/Bus
4/21 Yangshuo Sunrise at Yangshuo Big bridge. Visit Yulong village, Yulong bridge and Fuli bridge in the moning. Visit West Street in the afternoon (free time). Watch outdoor performance " Impression of Liu Sanjie" in the evening. Bus
4/22 Yangshuo/Xingping/Yangshuo Sunrise at Gongnong bridge. Bus to Xingping (half hour) in the morning, to take the bamboo rafts ride on the Li River for about one hour. Back to hotel to take a rest. Bus to Xingping again in the afternoon, visit Xingping old town, sunset on Li River (bamboo rafts, fishmen, cormorants, and lanterns. Photo the fishman casting his net as well). Bus/Boat
4/23 Yangshuo/Guilin/Fuzhou Sunrise on Xianggong mountain (20minutes climbing). Bus back to Guilin, visit Tianxin village and photo "glass field" on the way. Fly to Fuzhou at night (9:40pm/11:30pm). Bus/Air
4/24 Fuzhou/Xiapu Free time in the morning (hotel is located at West Lake park, please enjoy the park in the morning). Two and half hours bus drive to Xiapu in the afternoon. Sunset at Dongbi. Bus
Sunrise on Beiqi. Photo farmers and water buffalos walking under big Banyan trees at Yanjiaxi in the morning, and fish traps at Bachimen in the afternoon. Bus
4/26 Xiapu/Fuzhou airport Sunrise on Beidou. Pictures of fishnet at Nanwang, and the fishman casting his net at "Red Forest". Three hours bus drive to the airport in the evening. Fly to Hong Kong at 8:45pm, arrive H.K. at 10:35pm, LV H.K. at 11:55pm, arrive Seattle at 9pm at the same day. Leave Seattle at 11:15pm, arrive Portland at 12:10am on 4/27 Bus/Air
Price: $4,790/person
Single room supplement: $800/person
(Airfares subject to change)
Departure will be on April 12, 2020
Tour package features:
  • Round-trip international airfare from Portland, Oregon, or from WA and CA, plus all airfares in China.
  • Sightseeing tours by air-conditioned motor coach.
  • Fine meals during the whole trip.
  • Four-star and five-star hotels or best hotel at local site.
  • Medical insurance in China.
  • Itinerary can be adjusted if photo opportunities appear.
  • Spring tour deadline for registration is Feb. 1.
  • Call Su Zhou at 503-639-8396, e-mail:
  • Tour web site: and click on Tour 2020.
  • Tips not included. We collect tips in advance, to be announced later.
Yunnan Province
Located along China’s southwest frontier, Yunnan offers an unmatched diversity of landscapes, climate, and people.  The Tibetan highland frames its northwestern fringes; tropical rainforests and volcanic plains lie to its south.  In the center are plains and hills, crisscrossed by some of Asia’s great rivers – the Yangzi, Salween, and Mekong.
The seat of the pastoral Dian Kingdom founded in the 3rd century BC, Yunnan was for centuries an isolated frontier region that resisted Han influences and upheld local identities.  Even today, the province is home to a third of China’s ethnic minorities and has much in common with neighboring Myanmar, Laos , and Vietnam.

The province’s capital, Kunming, is one of the more relaxed cities in China .  Farther north is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang, capital of the Naxi Kingdom , with cobbled streets and ancient architecture.  Tiger Leaping Gorge, an impressive, steep-sided ravine, offers superb, accessible two-day hikes.

Su’s Note:  We will arrive Kunming in the afternoon, rest or attend a show titled “Dynamic Yunnan,”(option) directed by China’s reportedly number one dancer Yang Liping in the evening.  Next morning, we will drive to Puzhehei, known as "Guilin of Yunnan", which is located about 300km southeast of Kunming in Wenshan prefecture and is inhabited by Miao, Yao, Yi, Bai and Zhuang people. "Puzhehei" in the Yi language, means "a pond teeming with fish and shrimp". With an area of 40,772 acres, the scenic area mostly consists of clusters of limestone peaks, karst caves and natural lakes. Puzhehei was approved as National AAAA tourist scenic spot in 2009. It has been named as the National Wetland Park in 2012. We will spend whole day in Puzhehei, photo sunset and sunrise at Qinglong Mt. Fly to Kunming (one hour) in the morning, and fly to Lijiang (40 minutes) in the afteroon on April 17.


Lijiang:  Set in a picturesque valley with a stunning mountain backdrop, Lijiang’s ancient town, Dayan, is a labyrinth of cobbled alleys lined with wooden houses, cafes and the workshops of traditional craftsmen.  Home to the Naxi people, Dayan is one of the most pleasant urban scenes in Chin .  Lijiang came to international attention in 1996 when an earthquake killed over 300 people and devastated the city.  Money poured into Dayan’s relatively sensitive reconstruction, and numerous hotels as well as an airport were built.  In 1999, Lijiang was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Su’s Note: We will stay at Lijiang for three days.  First, we will enjoy the outdoor performance of “Lijiang Impression,” directed by China’s famous film director, Zhang Yimou, who also directed the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008.   Afterward, we will visit Blue Moon Valley, where gets the water out of the melting snow that runs from the mountains and forms four lakes and a few waterfalls. The head of the valley has natural white water terraces.
During in Lijiang, we will take pictures at Black Dragon Pool Park in the morning.  There is a perfect spot to take pictures of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.  The mountain is so high that is always covered by cloud, but if we are in luck we may see the peak. We will stroll at Shuhe Town, the earliest inhabited place of the ancestors of the Naxi. Before and after dinners, the ancient town of Lijiang is a worthy place to visit.  Lijiang has been classified as a “National Town of History and Culture.”  Its ancient architecture is well preserved and even the original water-supply system for the town still functions effectively even today, reflecting the wisdom of the ancient Naxi people.  We will have enough time to see more of this ancient town--a cobweb of narrow cobbled alleyways, crisscrossed with canals, and free of traffic.  It’s extremely pretty and very popular. To sample the native life, head off into the alleys where the local people live.

Guangxi Province
Guangxi and Guizhou share a dramatic mountainous landscape of weathered limestone (Karst) pinnacles, which hide some of China’s largest cave systems.  Despite the abundant rainfall, the region possesses poor soil, which discouraged Han settlement until the late Ming period.  As a result, the area saw little development, and many indigenous groups, especially the Miao and Dong, have retained their traditional customs, including several festivals.  Guangxi is also home to the Zhuang, China’s largest ethnic minority, and became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 1958.          

Yangshuo: A small highway town at the end of the Li River Cruise, Yangshuo is surrounded by some spectacular karst hills interspersed with green paddy fields.  It was nothing more than a rural marketplace until the late 1980s when it became popular with visitors taking the cruise from Guilin.  Not as tranquil as it used to be, Yangshuo remains a good base from which to explore the surrounding peaks and river as well as a few caves and outlying villages.

West Street: An 820-ft long cobbled street running between the highway and the Li River, West Street is lined with restored rural architecture dating from the Qing dynasty.  Today, it has a glut of friendly restaurants, cafes, guesthouses and souvenir shops aimed at foreign visitors.  Restaurants serve western cuisine such as wood-fire pizzas and steak as well as local specialties. including a variety of fresh fish dishes.  Shops sell a range of inexpensive Chinese souvenirs, from Mao memorabilia and wooden theater masks to antique wooden panels, batiks, silk t-shirts, scroll paintings, modern and traditional clothes and pirated Western music CDs.  A few shops also sell factory-reject designer wear at bargain prices.

Su’s Note:  We will arrive at Yangshuo in the evening for a two-and-a-half day stay. Yangshuo is a paradise for photographers and, if weather allows, we will take home praise-winning pictures.  Because of this, we will need to change our normal sight-seeing schedule to take advantage of Yangshuo’s morning and evening light.  We will get up early each day and be out to take sunrise photos and be back to the hotel to rest in the daytime.  We will be out again in the late afternoon to take sunset pictures. (Our schedule depends on the weather--please have your fingers crossed.) 
One the first day, we will drive to Yangshuo Bridge to take sunrise pictures on the Li River, then return to the hotel for breakfast.  We will also visit bustling West Street (five minutes’ walk from our hotel) in the afternoon.  That evening, we will enjoy another outdoor performance, this one “Impression Liu Sanjie,” directed by the same film director Zhang Yimou.  This night-time show uses the Li River as its stage, the lights coming from the hills behind in the bend in the river. On our second day, we’ll get up early again, heading to Gongnong bridge to get sunrise photos, then heading to the town of Xingping. Chinese say “ Guilin scenery is the best in the world,” but Guilin people say “Yangshuo scenery is better than Gulin’s.”  and the local photographers say “Xingping scenery is better than Yangshuo’s.”  We will take a boat ride about one hour on Li river, then go back to the hotel to eat and relax.  We will go to Xingping again in the late afternoon, take an another boat ride to a place where we can get pictures of cormorants catching fish for fishermen who work with the cormorants in the light of oil lamps on thier bamboo rafts after sunset. On our third day, we will get up early again. We will take the bus to Xianggong Mountain and take 20 min. hiking for sunrise pictures. Bus to Guilin at noon and stop by Tianxin village to take "glass field" pictures (please see the first image on the left below). Fly to Fuzhou at night. It is a long day!

Fujian Province
Fujian Province, with its capital Fuzhou, is on China's southeastern coast. It faces the island province of Taiwan across Taiwan Strait to the east. Fujian occupies an area of around 120,000 square kilometers (about 46,335 square miles). Its permanent resident population is slightly above 34.7 million. Many minority ethnic groups live in Fujian province: Hui, Miao and Manchu.  Fujian has a year-round warm and humid climate. Annual average rainfall ranges from a low of 1,400 mm to a high of 2,000 mm, and annual average temperature from a low of 17Description: to a high of 21Description: It is hospitable in all seasons for travelers in this province.
Xiapu, known as the most charming fishing village of China, Xiapu is located at the northeast part of China's Fujian province. As a small region along the southeast China coastline, Xiapu nevertheless has the largest mudflat in the country, encompassing 40 square kilometers and more than 400 kilometers of coasline.
Along its tiger-striped beaches, bamboo structures and poles, buoys and fishing vessels provide human counterpoints to the area's natural beauty. Xiapu ranks the first place on the list of "Top 10 Paradises for Photographers" by CHIP FOTO-VIDEO Digital, a famous Chinese professional photography magazine. If you are fascinated with nature and folk photography, being committed to capturing the perfect balance of light and shade, Xiapu fishing villages ought to be your next destination, which is simple, bumble but a real paradise for photographers, and is bound to bring you a completely new visual impression.
Su’s Note:  The itinerary in Xiapu will really depend on the weather. I will hire a local photographer to be our tour guide. We will get up early every morning for the sunrise pictures. Also, granitoids distributed on Xiapu hilly coastline tightly next mudflat, as if to provide the natural viewing platform, those hills next coastline are between 100 to 300 meters in height, and the hillside slope is easy on foot and on. A lot of time we shoot down from high direction, a 300mm lens is needed.