Mount Huangshan is renowned for its magnificent natural scenery which includes massive granite boulders and ancient pine trees which are often further enhanced by cloud and mist effects. This dramatic landscape includes formations of natural stone pillars, grotesquely-shaped rocks, waterfalls, caves, lakes and hot springs, formed by its complex geological history. The area features numerous imposing peaks, 77 of which exceed an altitude of l,000 m, with the highest, the famous Lianhua Peak (Lotus Flower Peak), reaching up to l,864 m. 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. Huangshan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the sister national park of Yosemite.
Xiapu is a small region along the southeast China coastline in Fujian Province. Xiapu is still unknown to western tourists, so consider it a real privilege to be one of the first western photographers to visit this unique coastal scenery!
The home of seaweed and nori in China, Xiapu’s coast area size is twice the size of the inland area. Its history dates back to the Jin dynasty (282 AD), when it was a regional center. The coastline is 480 km, and there are more than 200 islands and 138 ports. The total tidal flat is 69,300 hectares.
A typical image includes thousands of bamboo poles draped with seaweed, egrets, and local people working on the mudflats. This is the theme of many a Chinese ink painting.
Day to day program
Note: we are currently working on making this itinerary even more efficient. The order of things may change.
Day 1: Hangzhou
After we arrive at Hangzhou Airport, we will drive to our Hangzhou hotel. We'll have a Meet & Greet, dinner, and a briefing for the next day.
Day 2: Hangzhou to Huangshan
This morning, we drive 4 hours to Huangshan where we will stay a night at the bottom of the mountain. Here we'll visit and photograph the Tangyue Archway. This complex has the best preserved arches in the Anhui province. If time permits, we will visit a bonsai garden as well.
Day 3: Hongcun and Huangshan
In the morning we'll drive to Luzhou to photograph Hui style architecture in large fields with yellow canola flowers. After a brief stop here, we will visit Hongcun, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most photogenic villages in China. The town is built along the banks of Nan Lake - a great place to take photographs of traditional South Anhui architecture and culture.
After lunch, we'll drive to reach the foothill of Huangshan. We will ascend the eastern side of Huangshan, taking a spectacular cable car ride up the mountain. Once we reach the top, we'll walk slowly downhill to our hotel, with lots of photography along the way.
Day 4-6: Huangshan, on top of the mountains
We spend another three full days photographing in Huangshan, high up in the mountains. And in order to explore the best sections of the park, we will stay at two different hotels on the top of the mountains.
The terrain is steep and the peaks are high. You will feel dwarfed by the size of the landscape you're in. There are many walkways and paths that connect all the viewpoints and peaks. And each platform will give you a new perspective on the magnificent mountains and gorges.
Day 7: Huangshan to Wulingyuan
After our last morning photography session on top of the mountains in Huangshan, we will descend after breakfast and take the cable cart down.
We have quite a long drive ahead of us to Shanghai, where we will catch a plane to Wulingyuan (which we have renamed "pillar country"). We check in to our very comfortable hotel in Zhangjaijie to catch some good nights rest, so we are ready for our next big adventure.
Day 8-9: Wullingyuan, on top of the mountains
Today we visit two different shooting locations. We start with a visit to Zhangjaijie forest park (Yellow Stone village), where we will take the earliest cable cart up, to get a taste of the sandstone pillars.
After lunch, we check out from our hotel and take the 335-meter elevator up to Yuanjiajie to photograph the "Avatar rock" and a 2 km gorge.
Our local vans will meet us at the top of the elevator and drive us to our guesthouse, close to Tianzi mountain, where we will stay the two coming nights.
For these two nights up on the mountain we have selected a number of spectacular viewpoints for you, from where you can photograph the peculiar pillar-like landscape. We will be driving around in vans (4 people per van) to catch the best light in Tianzi mountain and Yuanjiajie.
Day 10: Wulingyuan
After our morning photo session, we will descend the mountain again by elevator and visit Zhangjiajie forest park (Yellow Stone village) another time, to see it with afternoon light.
Day 11: Wulingyuan to Xiapu
This is the only real "travel day" we have in the program. In the morning we drive to Changsha, where we will catch a flight to Fuzhou. From there we drive to Xiapu.
Day 12-14: Xiapu
In Xiapu we have planned three full days of photography. We will be photographing from various shooting spots, giving you lots of opportunities to play with the graphic scenes you will see enfolding before your eyes.
Day 15: Xiapu to Shanghai
After our morning photography session, we take the high-speed train to Shanghai. Here we will have a farewell dinner in a restaurant with view over the river, where we can reminisce about the wonderful landscapes we had the privilege of visiting.
All photographs ©Marsel van Oosten, Michael Deng