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Imperial China, Mysterious Tibet & the Yangtze River - 2022

Beijing • Xi’an • Chengdu • Lhasa, Tibet • 3-Night Yangtze River expedition cruise to Shi Bao Zhai and Three Gorges • Shanghai
  • Imperial China Mysterious Tibet Land Tour and the Yangtze River including Beijing, Xi’an, Tibet, Yangtze River Cruise, Three Gorgesand Shanghai
    WITNESS — AND CAPTURE — THE SOUL-STIRRING BEAUTY OF THE HIMALAYAS IN TIBET
  • HIKE ALONG A “WILD” SECTION OF THE GREAT WALL AND LEARN ITS FASCINATING HISTORY
  • Giant panda sanctuary, Chengdu, China
    MARVEL AT GIANT PANDAS DURING A VISIT TO A PANDA SANCTUARY IN CHENGDU
  • Xian Terra Cotta Army, China
    INSPECT THE TERRACOTTA WARRIORS — EACH WITH UNIQUE FACIAL FEATURES — CREATED TO ACCOMPANY THE FIRST EMPEROR OF QIN IN THE AFTERLIFE
  • Potala Palace, Lhasa, China
    WANDER THE HALLS OF THE UNESCO-LISTED POTALA PALACE, WHERE THE DALAI LAMA ONCE LIVED
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Photography Highlights


Photography memories to bring home on your Chinese adventure

China is a photographer’s dream — the kind of place professional photographers go to create one-of-a-kind images, and where even amateurs can be confident that they’ll succeed in creating an image worth framing. And, thanks to your camera or GoPro, you’ll be able to share and remember all of your most inspiring moments in China. Here are some ideas and tips to help you make the most of your visit and return home with shots you can’t wait to show off.



Culture

Capture compelling culture

Taking photographs of China’s exciting and diverse culture can also help you notice its intricacies and finer details. Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, as well as public parks like Chengdu Park, are great spots to snap local people dancing and playing chess or even traditional musical instruments. In Lhasa, you'll have excellent opportunities to photograph the debating monks as well as their daily class scene. And, at different markets and old quarters — like the hutong we'll visit in Beijing — you can capture the busy (and occasionally eye-opening) moments of Chinese daily life.

Pro Photo Tip: Make sure your camera is always ready for a precious moment. Use auto-ISO and set the shutter speed to at least 1/100 of a second in order to get clear pictures.

Culture Tip: In big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, people are used to photographers. Most Chinese citizens take it as a compliment that you want to photograph them. But, if you’re in a non-touristy or rural area, they may not want their photo taken, so be culturally sensitive to the people you meet. Most of the time, simply asking permission is enough, and they’ll be more than happy to pose for you.

There are a few places in China where photography is a not allowed, and you may see “no photos” and “no flash” signs. Some of these places are very old and sacred, and taking photographs is considered disrespectful. Other spots where photography is prohibited may allow visitors to pay a fee to take photos. If you feel it’s worth it, this may prove to be a great opportunity for some unique shots.

Wildlife

Pose with a panda

You’ll want to zoom right in when you meet China's famous giant pandas at one of the world’s top panda sanctuaries. Loved across the world as a beacon of conservation, these charismatic bears are also very photogenic! For a classic, natural wildlife photo, pay attention to the background and position yourself to avoid human structures so that you only include the forested background.

Pro Photo Tip: When shooting wildlife with a long lens, keep your aperture wide, your shutter speed fast, and your exposure slightly under-exposed in order to avoid motion blur or camera shake, while simultaneously keeping the background nicely out of focus.

Discover diverse terrains

Discover diverse terrains

You’ll discover many of China’s most alluring landscapes on your China and Tibet adventure. On an invigorating walk along a wild and less-frequented section of the Great Wall, you’ll have endless opportunities to photograph a striking and seldom-visited stretch of this iconic landmark. On your cruise through the magnificent Three Gorges, you’ll be flanked by towering cliffs and soaring mountains. And, wherever you are in Tibet, its soaring mountains, mysterious monasteries, breathtaking sacred lakes, and constantly changing light will prompt you to press the shutter button.

Pro Photo Tip: Wide-angle lenses are best for landscape photography because they can show a broader view, and therefore give a sense of wide-open spaces. They also tend to give a greater depth of field, so both the foreground and background will stay sharper.

Heritage

Wonder at World Heritage Sites

China is home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world, and your visits to five spectacular UNESCO Sites will help you get photos that convey this. From Beijing’s Forbidden City to Xi’an’s Terracotta Army and Tibet’s Potala Palace, you’ll be blown away by the scope and power of the region’s heritage. When you visit the life-size statues of the 2,200-year-old Terracotta Army, be sure to snap pictures of the extraordinary features of these warriors — from the detailing of their individual faces and armor to the marks left by erosion that show their age. There are several different pits full of warriors and animals, so also try to get a shot of each of them in their entirety. To do this, try lifting your camera as high as you can and snap a downward-facing photograph.

Pro Photo Tip: There’s no artificial light in the pits of the Terracotta Army, and photographers aren’t allowed to use flash. To get good results in these low light conditions, set your camera to a high ISO (800) and, if possible, use a tripod or monopod for extra stability.

Cuisine

Snap sumptuous banquets

From Peking duck in Beijing, to jiaozi (traditional Chinese dumplings) in Xi’an, and tea with a Tibetan family in Lhasa, your culinary adventures will be as rewarding to photograph as they are to sample.

Pro Photo Tip: Consider how close-up you want to see the food in your picture. Some people like taking only close-up shots of food, which is usually fine. However, in China, we’ll be treated to banquets of many different dishes, and the play of shapes and colors could look good in a wider view too. Try a few wide shots and see what does justice to the meal.

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