Zhangjiajie National Park &

Xiapu Coastal Mudflats Photo Tour

Oct 21 – Nov 2, 2020

We will visit Hunan and Fujian province of China during this tour. 

First, we will photograph the very first national park in China – Zhangjiajie National Forest Park,  which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Well known for the towering sandstone pillars, sometimes in seas of cloud, and tranquil streams. It’s also where the movie “Avatar” got its inspiration for “Hallelujah Mountain”. The fall is the best season to photograph the early morning mist over beautiful pillars and peaks.

Next, we will stay and photograph the beautiful ancient town of Fenghuang (means Phoenix). 


After visiting Hunan province, 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 province. 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. 


Our last 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/drying seaweed, fish or other offerings by the sea, tendering their nets and cages, etc.

When: Oct 21 - Nov 2, 2020
Where: Hunan and Fujian province

Price: US$4,399 based on double occupancy. (US$470 extra for single occupancy)
Group size: 12 maximum
Category: Photography Tour
Tour Leaders & Photography Instructors: William Yu
Language spoken: English 

Tour URL: www.williamyuphotoworkshops.com/zhangjiajie-xiapu
Contact: info@williamyuphotoworkshops.com

Tour Highlights: ​

  • Shooting the mist-shrouded peaks and pillars at Zhangjiaje National Park

  • Photographing the unique Tianmen(Heaven's Gate) Mountain, with a huge hole at its peak.

  • Visiting the ancient town of Fenghuang, Hunan province.

  • Capturing the beauty of Hui'an women.

  • 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:

  • 11 nights of accommodation(Oct 22 - Nov 1) in hotels with private bathroom with double occupancy. (Single occupany USD470 extra). 

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

  • Entrance fees of scenic areas, parks.

  • One way airfare from Tongren(TEN) - Xiamen(XMN)

  • Local tour guide and Model fees.

The cost does NOT include:

  • International Airfare to/from China.

  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages.

  • Hotel at the city of Zhangjiajie(DYG) on Oct 21.

  • Meals

  • Gratuities to local guide and driver.

Physical demand: 

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

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Oct 21 - Arrival/Meet and Greet at the hotel in the city of Zhangjiajie.

You arrive in the city of Zhangjiajie(DYG), Hunan province, China.  We will meet and greet at the appointed hotel in the evening to kick start this exciting journey.

Day 2: Oct 22  Visit Tianmen(Heaven's Gate) Mountain in the city of Zhangjiajie

The Tianmen mountain is famous for its unique natural miracle - the Tianmen Cave (Heaven's Gate in Chinese). The cave is on the precipices and is over 1260 meters elevation, the height of the cave is 131.5 meters and the width is about 50 meters,  it's considered to be the gateway to heaven. 

We will take Tianmenshan Mountain Cableway to the top, it is the longest mountain cableway in the world, the length of the cableway is 7455 meters, starting from the city center of Zhangjiajie to the 'Hanging Garden' on the peak.  On the way up, the Tianmen Avenue will come into view. The mountain road is only less than 11 kilometers but the elevation rises rapidly from 200 meters to 1300 meters. It is one of the most amazing mountain roads in the world.

Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area 'Coiled Dragon Cliff Glass Walkway opened to the public on August 1st, 2016. It offers a new way to enjoy the stunning mountainous landscapes — though you might be too terrified to appreciate the views! Walk if you dare!

Overnight at Wulinyuan.

Day 3 – 5: Oct 23 – 25.  Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

In these three days, we will be moving around inside Zhangjiajie National Park, photographing from morning to afternoon. There are tons of photo locations on the mountain. We will pick our locations based on the light.

Day 6: Oct 26 - Photographing the ancient town of Fenghuang (Phoenix)

The ancient town of Fenghuang was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on March 28, 2008 in the Cultural category. It was regarded as the most beautiful town in China by New Zealand writer Rewi Alley. It was built in 1704, with 300 years of history. The ancient city is a gathering place for Miao and Tujia ethnic minorities.

Overnight in Fenghuang.

Day 7: Oct 27 - Fenghuang (Phoenix) – Xiamen

We photograph Fenghuang in the early morning, then drive to the airport (TEN), flying to Xianmen (XMN), Fujian province.

Overnight in Quanzhou.

Day 8: Oct 28 - Fully day photography of Hui'an Maiden

Heading to Hui'an after breakfast to photograph the working scene of Hui'an maiden in their village.

Accommodation: Hui'an, Fujian province.

Day 9: Oct 29 - Heading to Xiapu

Driving to Xiapu after breakfast. Photographing fishermen working on the beach mudflats in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 10: Oct 30 - 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 Dongbi beach in the afternoon, documenting the working scene over there.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 11: Oct 31 - Crab nets and Houseboats

Today we will shoot 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. In the afternoon, we will photograph the unique houseboats in Yantian area.

Accommodation: Xiapu, Fujian province.

Day 12: Nov 1 – 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 13: Nov 2 - The beautiful banyan tree forest and scenic village of Yangjiaxi, Departure.

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.

Arrive at Fuzhou airport (FOC) by 2:30pm. 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. 

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 PayPal.com or send a check (U.S. residents only). The balance is due June 20, 2020. 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 June 20, 2020, allowing plenty of time for participants to book the flight to Zhangjiajie(DYG).

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:

  • No Refunds for USD300 deposit if cancelled, It can be applied to the tour in the future.

  • 50% refund of full payment June-July 20, 2020.

  • No refund after July 20, 2020.

I have some questions, how do I learn more? 

Please send email to info@williamyuphotoworkshops.com

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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