Southeast China Country Lives Photo Tour

Photographing traditional cultures of Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, China, May 11 – 21, 2018



This tour is full. Please email for waitlist.

We will visit Zhejiang and Fujian province in Southeast China during this tour. 

First, we will photograph two classic rural scenes at two locations in Zhejiang province: 

  • Villagers crossing an acient stone bridge with the morning mist at the background

  • Traditional fisherman and their sail boats on beautiful Ou river.


After visitng Zhejiang province, our next stop is the coastal area of Xiapu county, Fujian province, the most charming coastline of China, Xiapu is located at the northeast part of 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 coastline, which is known for its traditional way of life - Sea farming and fishing in coastal mudflats. The scenery is constantly changing with tidal movements. It provides abundant photography opportunities for beautiful coastal sunrise/sunset, as well as photographing people collecting seaweed, fish or other offerings by the sea, tendering their nets and cages, etc.

The next stop will be the county of Hui'an, the hometown of famous Hui'an maidens(or Hui'an women). who are part of a distinct Han Chinese community residing in Hui'an County of Quanzhou, Fujian, China. They have a distinct dress and marital customs that have been the focus of both anthropologists and governmental censure. More than their appearance, Hui'an women is better known to outside is their industrious and virtuous qualities. Before 1990s almost all men in Hui'an women's town made a living as a fisherman. They went to sea far from their home land even for months one time, so Hui'an women had to shoulder all the responsibilities for raising children, taking care of aged parents, cultivating farmland, doing daily housework, and even arranging house building. This situation got improved as Hui'an grew into the most important stone products production base of China. Many of Hui'an men choose to work at a nearby factory, yet you can also find so many young Hui'an women cutting, polishing and carving rocks in every workshop.

Our last leg of the tour will focus on so called "Tulou" in Yongding and Nanjing county, Fujian province. "Tulou" literally means earthen buildings. They are Chinese rural dwellings unique to the Hakka people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian, China. They were mostly built between the 12th and the 20th centuries. A tulou is usually a large, enclosed and fortified earth building, most commonly rectangular or circular in configuration, with very thick load-bearing rammed earth walls between three and five stories high and housing up to 800 people. Smaller interior buildings are often enclosed by these huge peripheral walls which can contain halls, storehouses, wells and living areas, the whole structure resembling a small fortified city.

A total of 46 Fujian tulou sites were inscribed in 2008 by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, as "exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization in a harmonious relationship with their environment".

When: May 11 - 21, 2018
Where: Zhejiang and Fujian provinces
Group size: 12 maximum
Category: Photography Tour
Tour Leaders & Photography Instructors: William Yu
Language spoken: English 

Tour URL:

Tour Highlights: 

  • Photographing traditional villager and fisherman scenes in Zhejiang province 

  • Capturing the beauty of Hui'an women.

  • Visiting the unique earthen buildings(Tulou) of Hakka people.

  • Exploring photographic elements at the most charming coastal area in China

  • Capturing traditional lives in coastal farms and fishing villages.

The cost of this tour includes:

  • 9 nights of accommodation(May 12 - 20) in hotels with private bathroom with double occupancy. (Single occupany USD300 extra). 

  • Transportation: Dedicated Bus and driver will be with our group for the entire tour.

  • Entrance fees of scenic areas, parks.

  • All Meals from the dinner of May 12 to the lunch of May 21.

  • Local tour guide and Model fees.

The cost does NOT include:

  • International Airfare to/from China.

  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages.

  • Hotel at Shanghai Pudong International Airport(PVG) on May 11.

  • Airfare from Shanghai Pudong International Airport(PVG) to Wenzhou(WNZ) on the morning of May 12.

  • Gratuities to local guide and driver.

Physical demand: 

The entire trip is relatively easy physically, no long or tedious hikes/climbs. Most shooting spots are quite accessible from the road or parking lot.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: May 11 - Arrival/Meet and Greet at the hotel of Shanghai Pudong International Airport(PVG).

You arrive in Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). We will meet and greet at the appointed hotel in the evening to kick start this exciting journey.

Day 2: May 12 - Flying to Wenzhou(WNZ), Zhejiang province.

In the morning, Our group flys to Wenzhou(WNZ), where the bus will pick us and drive to the town of Dagangtou, photographing the sail boats on the beautiful Ou river.

Accommodation: the city of Lishui, Zhejiang province.

Day 3: May 13

Morning: Villagers crossing bridge | Afternoon: Fishermen working on the mudflat.

We will photograph the villagers crossing a stone bridge in the early morning at Xiandu, Zhejiang province. Then, we drive to Xiapu, Fujian province, photographing the fishermen working scenes in the late afternoon light. 

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 4: May 14 - Photographing at coastline of Xiapu

Today is a fully packed day, starting photographing sunrise at the coastline, then visiting Bailu village with seaweed harvest and processing scenes. We go to Xiaohao beach in the afternoon, documenting the working scene over there.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 5: May 15 - The beautiful banyan tree forest and scenic village of Yangjiaxi

After shooting sunrise and coastal working scene in Beiqi, we will visit Yangjiaxi village with its beautiful giant banyan tree forest, which are the north most banyan trees in China. If lights cooperate, we can get wonderful environmental portraits there. Models of villagers for various scenes are arranged for us. After that, we will roam around the coastal beaches, photogaphing working scenes and other graphic elements.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 6: May 16 – Seaweed drying/collection scenes and sunset

We will visit Shajiang village in the moring, famous for its S-curve channel in the mudflat where fishermen are busying drying and collecting seaweeds.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 7: May 17 - Fuding crab nets and Sher ethnic people

Fuding is the coastal town famous for its unique crabnets on the coastal mudflats, the nets form colorful and unique patterns and textures, we will have fun photographing these graphic elements while sipping the tea. After Fuding, we will visit Sher ethnic village, photographing Sher people. 

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 8: May 18 - Sunrise at Beiqi and Hui'an women

Today, we photograph sunrise at the beautiful beach of Beiqi. Then, heading to Hui'an to photogaph the working scene of Hui'an women.

Accommodation: Hui'an, Fujian province.

Day 9: May 19 - Morning: Hui'an women | Afternoon: Tulou at Nanjing

This morning, we continue to photograph Hui'an women at their working sites. Arrive at Nanjing Tulou in the afternoon. 

Accommodation: Nanjing, Fujian province.

Day 10: May 20 - Exploring several Tulou sites/villages, Fujian province.

We will visit several different tulou villages, photographing villagers, and buildings.

Accommodation: Nanjing, Fujian province.

Day 11: May 21 - Shiqiao village and Departure

We visit the ancient village of Shiqiao in the morning. After lunch, The bus takes us to Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport(XMN). The end of the tour.

NOTE: We reserve the right to adjust/alter the itinerary on location, adapting to local weather, light conditions, or sudden local event/situation to better manage time and/or photo opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What will we cover technically for photography?

The main focus of this tour to open up your mind's eye, keenly identify photographic opportunities and make creative decisions, then properly execute it in terms of exposure and composition. The process will cover all elements of design: line, shape, form, texture, pattern and color, as well as techniques like long exposure, selecting lenses, using of graduated neutral density filter and polarizing filter, etc. During the breaks, we will review post-processing workflows, techniques using photoshop, lightroom and some third party plug-ins. 

I will give instructions/recommendations on every photography opportunities. Questions are always welcome and encouraged. We will have group review every couple of days during downtime or at the evening.

What to bring for this trip?

  • Your camera, tripod, lenses covering the range of wide angle through telephoto(15mm through 400mm), filters including polarizer, graduated neutral density, neutral density. Telephoto lens of 300mm or 400mm are highly recommended for Xiapu, Fujian province.

  • Be sure to obtain China Visa from your local Chinese embassy or consulate. Most foreign citizens are required to obtain Visa before traveling to China.

How do I sign up and pay for this tour?

A deposit of $300 is required for this workshop to hold your spot, you can pay by Visa, Mastercard or PayPal via or send a check (U.S. residents only). The balance is due Feb 1, 2018. All participants must sign William Yu Photography Workshops/Tours Liability Waiver Form before the tour starts.

How many participants do you allow?

Workshop size is limited to 12 attendees, which ensures that every attendee will get full attention. We need minimum of 8 attendees to make the trip. We will let you know whether it's a go or not by Feb 1, 2018, allowing plenty of time for participants to book the flight to Wenzhou(WNZ).

What photographic skill level is required to benefit from this tour? 

Any people who has a basic understanding of exposure all the way to the advanced amateur and professional who is in search of a fresh perspective! 

What is your refund or cancellation policy? 

No refunds will be given for delays or cancellations due to inclement weather, (which interestingly, can result in some of the most some amazing shots!), either before or during the tour. If the tour is cancelled by the organizer, we will notify you immediately and you will be issued full refund. We are not responsible for any additional costs you may incur due to any delays or cancellations. Here is the policy of refund due to cancellation:

  • Before Jan 1, 2018, full refund of deposit minus USD50 fee.

  • After Jan 1, 2018. No refund of deposit.

  • Feb 1 - Mar 1, 2018: 75% of full amount will be refunded.

  • Mar 1 - Apr 1, 2018: 50% of full amount will be refunded.

  • After Apr 1, 2018: No Refund.

I have some questions, how do I learn more? 

Please send email to

About William Yu

William is San Francisco based travel photographer, photography instructor. Travel and photography are his passions, every year, he leads small group of photographers to journey through some of the most unique and beautiful places in the world...


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