China: Landscapes and Cultural Photography
UPDATE: As of May 3, 2019 this workshop is sold out. Please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.
Join Muench Workshops pro Kevin Pepper in China for amazing landscapes and cultural photography on this 14 day China photography workshop. We‘ve crafted our itinerary to capture some of the very best of China, and made our group size small and manageable, only eight guests and two pros! From the big city to the small towns, from the Great Wall to the Yellow Mountains, we‘ll arrange for incredible photographic opportunities each and every day. Accommodations are in 4-star lodgings, and we will have our own private ground transportation while we‘re on the road. We‘ll cover a lot of ground over 14 days, from Beijing to Huangshan to Hangzhou to Xian to Guilin and finally ending in Shanghai. Included are four domestic flights to move us around this large country! Everything is all-inclusive—all lodging, meals, transportation, photographic guiding and instruction, and our English-speaking tour guide.
Ready for an exclusive and amazing adventure in the Far East? Read on and then click the Sign Me Up button to join us!
April 15–27, 2020
Itinerary and General Information
April 15, 2020: Arrivals in Beijing any time before 3:00 PM this day. We’ll meet for group dinner and prepare you for our workshop in China.
April 16, 2020: After breakfast, we drive two hours to Great Wall Jinshanling. More than 2,500 years old, the Chinese built this impressive fortification to protect their civilization from the unruly northern tribes. We stay at an intimate guesthouse with our own private chefs. Here we have quick and easy access to a remote location at the Great Wall at sunset and sunrise. Guesthouse at Jinshanling, we photograph Great Wall Jinshanling under sunset.
April 17, 2020: Today, we photograph Great Wall at Jinshanling under sunrise and sunset. During the mid-day we’ll have our signature image review and critique session. Weather permitting, we expect to have a spectacular dinner with great views on top of The Great Wall!
April 18, 2020: After one more sunrise on the Great Wall, we drive to Beijing Capital Airport to fly to Huangshan in late afternoon. Huangshan, which means Yellow Mountain, has been a well-known destination for scholars, poets and the occasional recluse, all seeking personal inspiration and enlightenment—when you visit you will easily appreciate why.
Situated in the southern portion of the agriculturally rich Anhui Province and bordering Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, the picturesque Huangshan has long been effusively described as “awesome” “a wonderland” and “Heaven on Earth.” The formation of the remarkable peaks and breathtakingly sharp precipices has been attributed to the many thousands of years of geological activity on the imposing granite mountains, creating the astounding natural wonder visible today.
April 19, 2020: Early this morning, we'll drive 15 minutes to Hongcun, a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing typical South Anhui architecture (one of the most photogenic villages in China). The town is built along the banks of Nan Lake—a fine place for photographs of its traditional architecture. After lunch, we drive to reach the foothill of Huangshan. Late afternoon, we have another image review and critique session in the hotel.
April 20–23, 2020: For the next few days you will be in the spectacular Yellow Mountains. This area is a breathtaking sight in China. It is said to be the king of all the mountains. For thousands of years, travelers from all over the world, including celebrities and scholars, have been attracted to Huangshan by its reputation of being one of the most beautiful places on earth. Huangshan is well known for its unique scenic features: legendary pines, picturesque rocks, the sea of clouds, and hot springs. The scenery here shows different characteristics at different times and in different seasons. In April, flowers help paint the landscape and send perfume into the air.
Here we will have intensive photography in all of the best spots, scouted by us over the years. The scenery and photo ops at locations like “refreshing terrace”, “beginning to believe peak” and “Purple cloud peak” will blow you away.
Be ready for plenty of walking up and down well-paved stairs. To help you out, we’ve secured porters to carry your camera gear, the hiking is a lot, but one of the most rewarding you will ever do.
April 23, 2020: After one final morning photo session in the Yellow Mountains, we descend the mountain by cable car, and drive 4 hours on highway to Hangzhou, then further fly from Hangzhou to Guilin. We then drive 1.5 hours to our hotel. A long travel day, but the end destination is well worth the effort.
April 24-25, 2020: This morning, we will take a boat ferry across the Li River, which is considered by many as one of the most beautiful rivers in China. We start today early, before dawn, we have scouted a location to photograph beautiful sunrise pictures. We will also have the famous Cormorant fishermen for our private shooting sessions. Dressed as they have been for thousands of years—a straw or Palm bark-made raincoat dressed fisherman, cormorants, gas lamp, and bamboo raft. This scene is iconic, and will surely be one of the highlights of your trip to China.
After sunrise shooting, we visit Xingping, Xingping is an ancient town near Yangshuo. As we sit on the deck of the boat and look out over the unfolding landscapes, it will seem as if we are viewing one scroll painting after another.
This is territory that has inspired Chinese artists. We will have our prepared breakfast at a little restaurant and walk around Xingping Town. Over thousands of years, Xingping remains its Ming (1368-1644 AD) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) style of old architecture and the original town layout. At the dock, you can get a picture for the immortal scenery that can be seen on the back of the RMB 20 notes.
Driving from Xingping to Yangshuo, we stop at Fuli Fishing Town for the photogenic local market. On this road, we can see all kinds of orchards and fields: sugarcane, rice, mandarin orange, grapefruit, orange, mango, etc. And you can photograph en route.
After lunch, take a short rest. In the afternoon, we go out and photograph the sunset at Putao, one of the best remaining spots for a nice picture of water and the karsts mountain.
April 26, 2020: After sunrise photograph at a bridge near Yangshuo, we fly back to Shanghai. We then drive directly to photograph a Shanghai landmark—the Bund at twilight and evening from our favorite restaurant, “M on the Bund”. We’ll celebrate the fun times and great photos we’ve gotten.
April 27, 2020: Flights home anytime this day from Shanghai airport.
What To Bring
Please see our What to Bring page now for guidelines on packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
All meals and transportation during the workhsop
Internal flights in China
Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
Tips for guides and drivers
Fun, inspiration and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
International air travel to Beijing and from Shanghai. Travel Medical and Medical Evacuation insurance, which is required. Passport and visa fees, if any. Alcoholic beverages, and any items of a personal nature. Anything not specifically listed as included.
This workshop sold out quickly in the past. If China has your name on it, don’t delay, click the “Sign Me Up!” button and we’ll see you in China!
Gorgeous photos by Kevin Pepper