Photo Tour Summary:
Whether you are landscape shooter or street/portrait lovers, this tour is designed for you. You will embrace both with this tour at their best locations and time. We will first visit the beautiful Yunnan province in the southwest China at its best season, photographing both unique landscape of world's largest rice terraces and beautiful environmental portraits of Yi and Hani people. Then, we will take a short flight from Kunming to neighboring Mandalay, Myanmar, where we will be shooting at prime locations like Ubein bridge, Inle Lake and of course, the renowned Bagan valley, with its iconic temples, monks, and markets. This ultimate Asia tour covers two countries, most excitingly, two most desired photo destinations of the world at their best season.
When: Jan 17 – 31, 2018
Where: 6 nights at Yunnan, China and 7 nights at Myanmar
Cost: US$ 4,999 based on double occupancy, extra US$550 for single occupancy
Group size: 12 maximum
Category: Photography Tour
Tour Leader & Photography Instructor: William Yu
Language spoken: English
Workshop URL: www.williamyuphotoworkshops.com/yunnan_myanmar2018.html
- Photographing the largest concentration of rice terraces in the world at its best season.
- Visiting local villages and markets, taking enviornmental portraits of ethnic Yi and Hani people.
- Documenting the annual "Long Table Feast" Festival in Yuanyang.
- Exploring the unique limestone formations – "Stone forest" near Kunming.
- Shooting sunset at the iconic Ubein bridge at Mandalay, Myanmar.
- Capturing the famous leg-rowing fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar.
- Visiting Long Neck Tribe near Inle Lake, Myanmar.
- Photographing the world renowned Bagan valley with ts temples, monks and markets.
- Balloon flight over Bagan at dawn (optional and USD300 extra).
Yuanyang, Yunnan province.
Yuanyang, Yunnan Province, is a Hani minority ethnic settlement atop a ridge of the Ailao mountain range at an elevation of around 1570 meters. It is a popular destination with photographers due to the vast areas of nearby mountains which have been cultivated into terraced rice paddies for at least the past 1300 years by the Hani people. Despite the overwhelming scenic beauty of its landscape and colorful local minorities, mass tourism hasn't developed in this region, mainly due to its remote location, and until fairly recent, relative inaccessibility. The terraced areas of interest to visitors are mainly found between 1000 and 2000 metres above sea level. The winter temperatures here, although never freezing, are such that they only support one rice crop a year. The terraces are filled with water until May, when planting begins. Overall, Yuanyang offers a great venue for both landscape photography and environmental portraiture. This is one of the most visited areas of our photo tours around the year.
The UNESCO's World Heritage Committee inscribed China's cultural landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces(mainly in Yuanyang) onto the prestigious World Heritage List on Jun 22, 2013
It's the Golden Land of thousand year Buddhism, the history and traidition mark this ancient country. A poet said,"If you would like to understand Myanmar, you must visit and experience at least two places: Bagan with thousand sacred temples, and Inle Lake with its mind-purifying water."
As travel photographers, we will capture images of monks and villagers, bustling markets and shining temples. Embarking on sunrise and sunset photo shoots. Witness the sunrise on the stupa-studded plains of Bagan, and capture fishermen poling past the floating gardens of Inle Lake.
The cost of this Workshop is US$4,999, it includes:
- 13 nights (Jan 18 - 30, 2018) of hotels with double occupancy. (Single occupany USD550 extra).
- One way airfare from Kunming to Mandalay on Jan 24.
- Transportation: Dedicated Bus and driver will be with our group for the entire trip.
- Entrance fees of scenic areas, parks.
- Local guide throughout the tour.
- 3 Meals per day in Myanmar.
The cost does NOT include:
- Airfare from your home to Kunming(KMG), Yunnan province, China.
- Airfare from Mandalay(MDL), Myanmar to your home.
- Meals in Yunnan province, China
- Hotel on the first night of Jan 17, 2018. You will book it online by yourself. Details at itineary below.
- Alcohol, snacks and beverages.
- The gratuities for the driver and local guide are not included in the price, it generally cost $15/day/person.
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.
- Please email email@example.com ASAP if you have any food allergy.
- The power voltage in China and Myanmar is 220V. Although
most cameras and laptops are made to work
from 110V to 240V. Please bring
- The climate in Kunming is mild, and
subtropical in Yuanyang even in January. Average daily temperature in Jan: 60F - 80F (15C-27C). However, it
can be chilly in the morning and evening. We recommend to bring a lined jacket or
fleece hoody. Yunnan’s mountain micro-climate are
unpredictable. Fogs or drizzle can come and go any
time. Please bring water-repellent/rain clothings for
yourself and for your photography equipment.
- In Myanmar, the average January temperatures are 72-86F (22-30C). Please bring mosquito repellent.
- Please bring US dollars in cash and ATM card. You
can exchange the dollars in hotel and/or use your
ATM card to get Chinese RMB. ATMs are conveniently
available in Kunming, however, not every ATM machine may accept your
ATM card. Some of our clients tried couple of
different banks ATMs to get cash. ATMs are hard to
find in rural areas like Yuanyang and Honghe. Foreign credit card are only accepted in hotels in Kunming, not many businesses in rural areas accept foreign credit cards.
- ATMs and credit card machine are very rare in Myanmar, you shall bring new US Dollar bills to exchange Myanmar KATs. Old or wear-out US bills are oftern refused.
- Kunming is the provincial capital of Yunnan province, the airport code is KMG, the forth largest airport in China. To get there, you can transit through major Chinese hubs like Beijing(PEK), Shanghai(PVG),Hong Kong(HKG) or direct flights from Singapore, Seoul, and Bangkok.
- The tour will end in Mandalay, Myanmar on Jan 31. You will arrange your own flight out of Mandalay.
In the market, Yuanyang, Yunnan province.
Day 1: Jan 17. ARRIVAL IN KUNMING
Your arrival in Kunming (KMG), the provincial capital of Yunnan province, China. I will greet and meet everyone of this group 7:00pm at the following hotel lobby.
Kunming Jinjiang Hotel
98 Beijing Rd
Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
City of Kunming, Yunnan province.
Day 2-6: Jan 18-22 YUANYANG, YUNNAN PROVINCE, CHINA
Our bus will pick up our group in the morning of Jan 18, driving to Yuanyang where the world's largest concentration of rice terraces reside. We will have five very active days of photography there, subjects including:
sunrise, sunset, environmental portraits of ethnic villagers, street photography at the local market. We will also photograph a special annual event: Long Table Feast Festival, where a whole village gathers to eat together, the tables lined all along the road. Overnight in Yuanyang.
Mist over rice terraces, Yuanyang, Yunnan province
Women working at home, Yuanyang, Yunnan province
Yuanyang, Yunnan province
Day 7: Jan 23 YUANYANG TO KUNMING
Driving back to Kunming, visiting the famous "Stone forest" limestone formations on the way. Overnight in Kunming.
Stone Forest, Yunnan province.
Day 8: Jan 24 KUNMING TO MANDALAY
Taking one and half hour early afternoon flight from Kunming to Mandalay, Myanmar. Check into the hotel. After brief rest, we are heading to the iconic Ubein bridge, photographing sunset.
Ubein Bridge, Mandalay.
Day 9: Jan 25 MANDALAY TO INLE LAKE
Driving to Inle Lake after breakfast, passing rice patties, villages... shooting subjects of opportunities on the way. Overnight at Inle Lake.
Leg-rowing Fishermen, Inle Lake.
Day 10: Jan 26 INLE LAKE
Shooting sunrise over the lake, continue to the Ywama village, photographing the long neck Padaung women. After lunch break in the hotel, we are heading to the lake again, shooting the fishing scene, leg-rowing fishermen and sunset. Overnight at Inle Lake.
Long Neck Women, Myanmar
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Day 11: Jan 27 INLE LAKE TO BAGAN
Heading to Bagan after breakfast, shooting villager working scenes on the way. If time allows, we will photograph sunset over thousand temples in the Bagan valley.
Young Monks, Myanmar
Day 12-14: Jan 28-30 BAGAN
Three busy days of photography in Bagan. Including the majestic sunrise and sunset over Bagan valley at different locations; Environmental portraits of monks in several temples; Local markets bustling with people; Farmers working in their villages... Early morning hot air balloon ride is an excellent way to photograph Bagan from above, it's an optional activity, subject to weather and other elements. USD300 extra.
Young Monks, Myanmar
Day 15: Jan 31 DEPARTURE.
After breakfast, we are heading to Mandalay airport, biding farewell to each other, the end of this amazing trip.
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.
Rice terraces, Yuanyang, Yunnan province.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What will cover technically for photography?
The main focus of this tour is to open up your mind's eye, keenly
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, I 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. I 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(14mm through 300mm),
filters including polarizer, graduated neutral density, neutral density.
- 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.
- Myanmar requires tourist visa too, its eVisa Program allows tourists to apply for a visa online rather than physically applying at an embassy or consulate.
How do I sign up and pay for this tour?
A deposit of $400 is required for this tour 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 Oct 17, 2017. You can send the balance with a check or wire transfer. All participants must sign Liability Waiver Form before the tour starts.
How many participants do you allow?
Photo tour size is limited to 12 attendees, which ensures that
every attendee will get full attention.
Market day, Yuanyang, Yunnan province.
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.
No Refunds for USD400 deposit if cancelled.
50% refund of full payment Oct 17 - Nov 1, 2017.
No refund after Nov 1, 2017.
I have some questions, how do I learn more?
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inle Lake, Myanmar.
Testimonials / Endorsement:
"I have worked with William Yu on many occasions and let me state emphatically that he is one of the best workshop instructors ever and one heck of a talented photographer too! You will enjoy your time with William and learn far more than perhaps you ever imagined in the workshops he offers!"
Bryan F Peterson
The Perfect Picture School of Photography
I have never been on a "photo tour" before. We travel a lot and I have to say it was one of the best experiences ever. Most importantly in my mind is that I thought it was well planned out - getting to the locations at the right times and I also liked that we got to go to some of the iconic locations that we see in photos (late at night when no one was there), as well as a few that we don't normally see. I felt the amount of time that we had in most locations was great. It was nice that we could as a group be somewhat flexible to stay one place a bit longer and/or go to other places when the lighting wasn't as good. I appreciated that you corralled people up when they weren't on the bus on time... but always being super nice about it. I liked that we could get to a hotel location and some people could rest, but I usually had several hours to explore the town/area on my own. The accommodations and food were all good, if not excellent. Another thing that I thought was really great was having a bus twice as big as the number of people so we had room to put all of our stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and others in the group and appreciate all that you did to put this trip together. I hope that I can shoot with you again some day.
Lorna Midice, USA
What an amazing 10 days in Iceland. To summarize the experience in a few words will not do it justice. Both William Yu and Lurie B. gave me an experience that will stay with me forever. Both of them combined talent and knowledge about landscape photography and finding wonderful places to shoot. The local arrangements were good and the organization well done. We had plenty of time to set up, to experience and to share. This hand-on experience was good for al level of photographers. We visited some far remote places and some fun places. Shooting pieces of washed away chuck of ice from the glacier was one of the most fun highlight of the trip. Thank you to both of you for sharing your expertise and for making this a safe and fun photo tour. The group was made up of wonderful people, by the end of the trip, our group was really tight. Thank you Guys for this amazing trip. Looking forward at shooting the Northern lights in winter.
Jean-Claude Veille, USA
The tour was fantastic - way beyond my wildest expectations. perhaps i had no idea how beautiful and picturesque iceland is; it seems like a different planet of its own!. everything was to my satisfaction - the price; the sights which i am sure we could not have seen without William and lurie; they did a good job in picking the right places; the food was delicious and excellent. The driver was great, transportation comfortable and the fact that we had 2 seats each was a big plus.
I am amazed and impressed at the photos that are all popping up in facebook. from the pictures that are being posted i continue to see different perspectives and angles i never would have seen. we all went to the same places but no two pictures are alike. i am lucky to have been with a superb group of photographers. I certainly will take a winter trip to iceland in the future. and looking forward to another learning trip with you - will try to make it to tibet at least!
Many thanks for organizing everything!
Minnie Domingo, USA
Earlier this year, William led a group of 10 on a marvellous and photographically rich tour of minority tribal villages in SW China. It was my first time in China. William's arrangements showed very careful preparation and a smooth liaison with his local co-guide Anton. Notably, we were impressed with Anton's ability to secure accommodation for all of us at five minutes' notice after one hotel declined to acknowledge the booking. Also, William took care to detail his co-guide to quietly offer assistance to an older member of the group. If I had any suggestions it would be to say: "Let's have a bit more time to interact and compare notes each evening." Even so, I can hardly wait to join William again!
Anne Forbes, Australia
If you are thinking of going you should. It is an experience of a lifetime. My husband and I joined William on his September 2013 China workshop. You go to places where you would have difficulty going to on your own. We loved it.
Christel Sarsfield, Canada
This was my first trip dedicated to photography so I was a little apprehensive about several things including the varying levels of the other participants' photography skills.
William handled all the different skill levels so well. We all received advice, assistance and a healthy dose of positive reinforcement. He was patient and reassuring while handling all our travel details, hotel accommodations, meals and many MANY questions.
William was very knowledgeable about the area we visited and knew exactly where to go, when to be there and how long we should wait for a shot before calling it a day. The sites we visited weren't just the regular landscape and workshopist sights, we also visited markets and villagers in their homes. This was an extraordinary privilege for us to be able to do. It made the trip personal and the resulting photos are more than an improvement in skills, they are warm memories.
I'm an American expat and have lived in Asia for many years but although I have traveled extensively throughout Asia, I cannot imagine that I would ever have had an opportunity to do a trip like this. It's a hard place to reach and to even know about but William made this happen for me. I cannot wait to see what adventure is in store next because I will absolutely be singing up for it.
Rebecca Lynn Fowler Wong, U.S.A.
"I was one of the lucky seven who was fortunate enough to go on the trip to Yunnan China offered by William Yu. It was the highlight of my year, still is. As I write this I still cannot get over how much I was able to do and see during this trip. Time travel is hard to do and that is exactly what we did. We stepped back in time and visited a place to marvel over. Yunnan is a wondrous place and William was an exceptional host, good humored, prepared, (even for the tissues to clean the utensils, thank you William) knowledgeable and generous. Photos have appeared on my computer that I would never have believed possible but for William’s help.I am very very happy that I was able to go on this trip and hope to join William on another adventure."
Joanne Martin, Canada
Hello, William. My wife and I are still talking about the China workshop, and how we
can now say that we left the Shanghai "bubble" and roughed it in the
Yunnan province. You hosted a great workshop, and I appreciate how
open you were in not only sharing the information but also taking time
to explain the concepts. Mr. Ma also definitely had a unique
personality brought an interesting mix to our group.
Carl Smiley, U.S.A.
January, this year, I attended William's photography Workshop in Yunnan, China. What an amazingly wonderful experience - I have not stopped talking about since my return - to have a chance to photograph those beautiful rice paddies planted on terraces up in the mountains was very special, but even more special was the chance to visit the rural villages to photograph villagers as they went about their daily lives. William organized a superb photography workshop though which photography greatly improved and my world was broadened.
Sheila Wertheimer, U.S.A.
This is my first time joining William's China Photo Workshop, It's very impressive. William is very attentative to all aspects of the workshop. It's thoughful of him having Mr. Ma, the most experienced local photographer, as our workshop guide, who enables us to shoot in the right locations at right time.
During the workshop, William is extremely patient to share his photographic knowledge and skills with us, in terms of exposure, composition, post-processing, lighting, lens selection, etc. This trip is well exceeding my expectation, I sincerely hope to join more future China workshops with William. By the way, William is fluent in both English and Mandarin, which is great plus to me.
Louis Huang, Taiwan
A girl in Yi ethnic dress, Yuanyang, Yunnan province.
About William Yu:
William Yu is San Francisco based travel photographer, photography instructor and the owner of William Yu Photo Workshops. Several times a year, he leads small group of photographers to journey through some of the most unique and beautiful places in the world, capturing culture/people/festivities and landscapes. If you'd like to learn, practice photography and experience the cultures in the most beautiful locations around the world, just follow his lead. William is also travel photography course instructor at Bryan Peterson School of Photography(www.bpsop.com) founded by renowned photographer Bryan Peterson. William's photos have been published in Photography Magazines in USA, China and Europe. His travel photography clients include Amazon.com, Ubisoft, Accenture, Google, Ogilvy One Worldwide, Microsoft, American Airlines, Earnest & Young, MTV Networks, Bloomberg Finance, Westjet, Figaro Magazine, etc. You can view William's work at williamyuphotography.com , follow his instagram @williamyu.photography. Friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/williamyuphotog