Graced with flaming red lands, boundless plateau pasture, black-necked crane’s sweet home, time-honored old towns nestled in towering peaks and mighty valleys shrouded in clouds and mystery… Northeast Yunnan is an absolutely amazing yet unusual destination for travel photography. Take our exclusive and inspiring Yunnan photography tour in 8 days - get off the beaten paths and escape to a truly tranquil world. Your experienced local guide of Yunnan Discovery know very well the local history, culture, people and the best places to photograph, thus will ensure all of the magic photo opportunities are not missed.

Top things to do:

  • Enjoy a genuine photo tour in Yunnan that is flexible and can be tailored around your traveling dates, your photography interest and the weather.
  • Shoot in Dongchuan, watch and photograph sunrise and sunset over awe-inspiring red lands - there are many more colors apart from red.
  • Enter Dashanbao Nature Reserve for rare landscape and wildlife photography. Record the habitat of black-necked crane and lands above clouds with your camera. (Dashanbao is temperately closed due to ecological protection, so we replace it with Huize Caoshan Mountain)
  • Meet local mountain tribal people who are still in traditional clothes and capture awesome shots of their way of living.
  • Travel back in time to visit the old towns and take images of ancient Chinese architecture, street scenes, traditional folklores…
  • Meet and talk with award-winning photographers, happily share the experiences andtechniques (optional).
  • Travel Style: original, private tour, photography, adventure, Culture

    Best Time to Travel: throughout the year except July and Auguest

    Destinations: Kunming, Dongchuan, Huize, Zhaotong



    Meals Included: No Meals

    Ni hao, welcome to Yunnan, China! Upon your arrival in Kunming Changshui International Airport, a local guide of Yunnan Discovery will meet and welcome you at the arrival hall. Transfer to check in to your hotel handpicked by our travel experts. Spend the rest of the day to fit into the new environment and make sure you’ve already prepared the photographic equipment needed, including the battery and SD cards. Or you may explore the charming city of Kunming yourself, to meet new people, taste local food and shoot city landscape and life.

    > Plan to travel to Yunnan by bullet train? Kunming is now connected with most China destinations by high speed railways, including Shanghai, Chengdu, Guilin and Guiyang. Furthermore, there will be high speed trains to Yunnan from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and even Singapore.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    After breakfast, drive along the narrow country roads and village highways to get to Dongchuan Red Land (3 hours driving, 180km). Enjoy a local flavor lunch, and then start the Dongchuan Red Land shooting at the best places and viewing points including Yueliangtian (Moon Farm), Luoxiagou (Sunset Ditch) and Lepuao Village.

    The iron oxide gives Southern China’s acid soil its reddish color. And the red lands in Fazhe Village, Dongchuan Town is the reddest and prettiest. Because of the change of crops in the seasons, the Red Land varies and is mixed with different colors, from white, green to yellow, and orange to purple. Called the God’s lost color palette, the serene Dongchuan Red Land has become a photographer's paradise and a pure land for travelers.

    At the classic sites, get your camera ready for the amazing pictures of Dongchuan Red Land at sunset moments. There are also photography opportunities for terraced wetlands, valleys, and villagers with their carriage return from a full day hard working.Relax at hotel with a nice quiet night.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Get up early and transfer to Damakan Village. Here you can catch a beautiful (even a dreamy) sunrise over the red lands in a glorious morning. Climb up to a higher land to have panoramic images of the red lands embracing the village and tile-beam houses. Transfer to Qicaipo (Seven-color Slop) for more photos of red land.

    Afterwards hit the road again and set out for Huize County (4 hours driving, 185km). Have a delightful afternoon with a visit to over 300-year-old Huize Old Town. Praised as the museum of ancient Chinese architectures in Ming and Qing dynasties, the old town is home to more than a hundred guild halls and temples, 65 traditional dwellings and 8000+ cultural relics.

    Visit Jiangxi Guild Hall built in 1711 and Tang Jiyao's former residence built in 1867, two of the best preserved courtyards in Huize Old Town. Take the chance for Yunnan architecture photography, including gate towers, traditional theatrical stage, classical garden, carved beams and painted pillars, and even a museum of coin collection. Walk through the old town to get chance for folk culture photos and even portraits of local people.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Enjoy a fresh morning on a trip to Caoshan Mountain (at 3570 - 4017m), where the 12000-hectare alpine meadows stretch gently from horizon to horizon, and to the clear blue sky. It is a heaven-like place on earth and a hidden gem for photographers. The morning hours is the best time to shoot Caoshan mountain - the boundless grassland is dotted with colorful wild flowers, flocks of sheep, unique stone houses inhabited by Yi people, gurgling streams and little lakes; the blue sky and white/colorful clouds are perfectly reflected on the water. If you are lucky enough, you may capture the mysterious Buddhist light dashing through the fog.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to visit Yulu Geosuture (at 17700-2900m) formed due to the earth movement millions of years ago. It is about10km long and as high as 486m. At its narrowest point it is only 1.4m wide. When walking through the Yulu Geosuture, you can take pictures of cliffs, caves, stone columns and waterfalls, wild vegetation…

    Drive back to hotel in Huize.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    You may sleep in today. Continue your Yunnan photo tour to Zhaotong (2 hours driving, 150km), a charming, magic place where the Southwest Chinese minority culture blunt Yellow River Culture.

    Have a brisk stroll through the old street of Zhaotong, named Huaiyuan Street (Memories from the distance places), lined with connecting wooden houses and many ancient structures. The bustling shopping street with various shops selling silk, local specialty, street foods reminds people of the famous painting Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival. Capture the time, ancient style street scene and unsophisticated faces.

    > When Dashanbao Natural Reserve is reopened to the public, we can revise the tour itinerary and extend your photography tour to Dashanbao Mountain for 1 to 2 days.

    > Dashanbao Natural Reserve in the backland of Wumeng Mountain System is the highlight of Zhaotong and also can be a highpoint of your Yunnan photo tour. On the vast expanse of pasture, the rare species of black-necked crane stay here in winter & spring and live harmoniously with local hill tribe who feed black-necked cranes with their own food. Apart from bird-watching experience, Dabaoshan Natural Reserve features really breathtaking natural landscape above clouds with huge valley, stunning rivers and wetlands – grab yourself the rare photo opportunities.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Doushaguan Pass (Red Bean Pass) or named Shimen Pass (Stone Gate Pass) is our destination today (2.5 hours driving, 120km). By its name, we can know that it must be a strategic pass in history. A splendid work of nature, the Doushaguan Pass fortification connected Sichuan and Yunnan, as well as the Central Plains and “The South Land of the Barbarians” ever since Sui Dynasty (581-618). Shoot ancient Chinese fortification structure and its dangerous surroundings. Your guide will also lead you to walk on the steep cobbled path and find hanging coffin on the vertical cliff dating to Han Dynasty (202-220).

    Step into the old town of Dousha that blends the cultural charm of both Sichuan and Yunnan. Rebuilt in 2008, it retains its thousand-year-old historical ambience. In addition to the old architectures, quaint alleys and historic corners, inscribed board and couplet with Chinese calligraphy hung on the various shops are also fascinated by travelers and photographers.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Longjia Ancestral Hall, built in 1932, is a replica of Qing Dynasty architecture and a famous cultural site in Zhaotong. It is the clan temple of Longyun, the former president of Yunnan. A geomantic and admirable architecture, Longjia Ancestral Hall was modeled after the golden hall of Wu Sangui in kunming, but much larger.

    For the rest of the day, make time lapse as you wish or join a photography talks with Zhaotong’s local photographers (optional) such as Qiu Feng, who is an award-winning photographer, a member of the China Photographers Association, and also the photographer of Yunnan Discovery. Share with one another the photographic knowledge and techniques, as well as the photo stories.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    This morning, we drive back to Kunming. Your guide and driver will escort you to the airport/ railway station to meet departing flights or bullet trains. Your 8 days Yunnan photography tour ends. We hope you have captured all beautiful moments and bring back memories that last a lifetime.

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

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