Stepping stone path into the Li River in China.
The amazing Great Wall of China!
CHINA'S BEST TREASURES September 6-19, 2019
This is the best photo tour of China! We’ll enjoy and photograph all of the following - The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing, Terra-cotta Warriors and Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in Xian, Classic Gardens of Suzhou, enjoy 52-mile Li River cruise, savor China’s world-renowned delicacies with special culinary events, the Terraced Dragon Spine rice paddies of Long Sheng all while enjoying our evenings after we are done shooting in wonderful 5 Star Hotels.
About the Tour
Per person double occupancy
International Airfare INCLUDED
Single Supplement Optional
$1,750 USD due at time of booking
Tour Guest Limit
12 Guest Maximum
90 Days before departure
This price is inclusive of Round Trip economy airfare from USA gateway city. See below for more details.
Tour Pricing Info
M&M Guide Photographer
Roundtrip non-stop flights between US gateway city (SFO or JFK) and Beijing via Air China wide-body jet service
All Intra-China flights, ground transportation and transfers
All First class accommodation with private bath
Comprehensive private sightseeing tours including entrance fees
32 bountiful meals including 12 American buffet breakfast, 10 lunches and 10 dinners
Unique culinary events including an authentic Peking Duck dinner, a traditional Mongolian Barbecue buffet lunch, and a delicious Dumpling Banquet in Xian
Exclusive Culture InSites Program: Hutong tour in rickshaws, including a visit to kindergarten, Drum Tower, local family visit, home-hosted lunch, etc.
Exclusive experience of flashy new maglev ride in Shanghai
Professional service of an expert, resident Tour Director throughout China
Professional local guiding service in each destination city
Baggage handling service throughout China
Any Passport and Visa arrangements
Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program
Tips for guides or baggage handlers
Please be advised that U.S. & China air taxes and fees are subject to change. If the airline reduces the fuel surcharge, M&M may pass on the savings to you. On the other hand, if the airline increases the fuel surcharge, M&M may add the surcharge to your total cost.
The Great Wall
Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing
Terra-cotta Warriors and Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Xian
Classic Gardens of Suzhou
52-mile Li River cruise.
Savor China’s world-renowned delicacies with special culinary events
Terraced rice paddies of Long Sheng
5 Star Hotels
We use local boutique hotels and other establishments that give us access to great photos, food, and transport.
More specific information on accommodations will be provided on a closer date to the tour.
Tour Itinerary – subject to change
Day 1 Depart USA
Your exciting journey to China begins as you board China’s national airline, Air China non-stop flight bound for Beijing. En route, cross the International Dateline and lose a day. You’ll recover this day on your return trip.
Day 2 Beijing
Arrive in Beijing in the afternoon. Meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. Relax and enjoy the evening in China’s historic and vibrant capital city.
Day 3 Beijing
We begin our day with a tour of Beijing’s imperial treasures. First, Tian'anmen Square, the largest public square in the world, capable of holding one million people. Walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, under the famed portrait of Chairman Mao, to enter the Forbidden City, a 9,999-room compound, where the 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom (1420-1911). Experience the architectural splendor of the palaces, ceremonial courtyards and private quarters. Lunch at a local restaurant, followed by a visit to Panda at BeijingZoo. Then off to the Summer Palace, and the Forbidden City. Later, we enjoy a boat ride on picturesque Kunming Lake.
Day 4 Beijing
In the morning, we visit the Temple of Heaven; this remarkable building is considered the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture.. Built without a single nail. Later, we take a photo stop at the “Bird Nest” and visit the exterior portion of this magnificent complex – the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Afterwards, we take a scenic drive through the countryside to reach China’s most renowned monument – the Great Wall. Today you will have ample time to climb and photograph a section of the Great Wall. In the evening, savor a specially prepared meal of Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.
Day 5 Xian
After breakfast, we experience Beijing’s Hutongs, via rickshaw. Tour the maze-like alleyways and neighborhood residences. In the afternoon, we are transferred to the airport for a short flight to Xian to witness the historical side of China. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. After dinner, we take a relaxing walk to the heart of the city to visit its fascinating night market at the Muslim quarter. Tour the lovely and unusual area with bustling stalls and enjoy some of the best street food in China!
Day 6 Xian
Today’s excursion will take us to modern China’s greatest archaeological discovery – The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. The extensive excavation, still in progress, has yielded over 6000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, each individually sculpted. Lunch at a local restaurant and see a noodle making demonstration. For a small extra fee you will be able to get closer to the Warriors. This evening, we attend a feast of culinary and cultural delights with a special Dumpling (dim sum) banquet followed by a fascinating Tang Dynasty stage show. Indulge yourself in this remarkable show and reinvent your China dream with a travel back in time to the world of China’s Golden Age, then come back to the present with a greater understanding of this amazing time.
Day 7 Guilin
This morning, we tour the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang Dynasty landmark.
Today we have a rare opportunity to witness a real rural life at a typical village in central China. Later, you stop at a “Yao Dong” (Literally an arched tunnel) – a typical cave dwellings that stretches across six provinces in north central China.
In the late afternoon, we fly to Guilin and indulge ourself in China’s most amazing natural landscapes. Guilin is celebrated for its picturesque karst limestone pinnacles and meandering Li River. An old Chinese saying describes Guilin’s landscape as “the best scenery under heaven”. Its misty limestone peaks “rise as suddenly from the earth as trees in a forest, and surrounding the city like mountains floating in an imaginary sea”. Your hotel is located at the foot of Mount Laoren and surrounded by Osmanthus Lake. At night, the hotel is lit up and spectacular views are reflected on the Lake Osmanthus.
Day 8 Long Sheng
This part of the country encompasses China’s most famous scenic landscapes. We start an off-the-beaten-path hiking tour to Long Sheng’s spectacular Dragon Spine Rice Terraces. 2,000 feet peaks with remarkable step-like terraces for growing rice in the hilly areas of Southwest China. Visit the unique culture of local minorities and their villages where life has remained unchanged for thousands of years! Return to Guilin in the afternoon and tour the Reed Flute Cave, Nature’s subterranean wonder filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
Day 9 Li River Cruise – Yangshuo
A beautiful day awaits! We take a scenic motor coach ride through the countryside, past lush green fields and rice paddies. Arrive at a local village and embark on a memorable Li River cruise. The 52-mile trip has countless twists and turns with classical Chinese landscapes – bamboo groves, sleepy villages, fishermen on bamboo rafts, cormorants, water buffalo, soaring karst pinnacles and mist shrouded peaks... our cruise concludes at the famed Yangshuo, a small town, amidst a haunting and surreal setting. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and enjoy a free afternoon to explore this fascinating town on your own.
Day 10 Guilin - Suzhou
Fly to Shanghai in the morning. Upon arrival, we travel by motor-coach to Suzhou. Where we find numerous elegant gardens. In the afternoon, we visit the Garden of the Master of Fishing Nets, and experience all of the elements of a classical Chinese garden. Dating to 1140, it is considered by many, the finest of all Suzhou’s gardens. It includes a central lake, discreet connecting corridors, pavilions with miniature courtyards, screens, delicate latticework, and above all, points which “frame a view”, as if looking at a perfectly balanced photograph.
Day 11 Tongli - Shanghai
In the morning, we visit Tongli, a pretty little water town typical of the region. Later, we tour the Silk Spinning Mill, where we will learn how silk is created from the mulberry-munching silkworms. Afterwards, we travel by motor coach to Shanghai, China’s vibrant financial and artistic center. After dinner, we take you for an evening walk along the waterfront promenade of the Bund. See the ships and barges on the Huangpu River, en route to the sea or going upstream to the interior of China. The modernistic Oriental Pearl TV tower looms in the background redefining the skyline.
Day 12 Shanghai
Today we go to futurist Pudong New Developing Area. Transformed from once fertile farmland, this new area is rapidly becoming the symbol of modern China with its clusters of shinning metal and glass skyscrapers of world class hotels, international financial institutions, and commercial centers towered above the Huangpu River. We visit to the 88th floor of the Jinmao Tower, the third tallest building in China. At 1,380 feet, it is the world’s fifth tallest building, from its lofty platform, you enjoy a stunning view of Shanghai. Later we have a traditional Mongolian BBQ Buffet lunch. In the afternoon, we visit People’s Square and tour the famed Shanghai Museum, an unique and inspiring piece of architecture. After dinner, we attend an unforgettable performance of the Shanghai Acrobats. After the performance, we drop you at the Xin Tian Di for a leisure night.
Day 13 Shanghai
Today is particularly arranged as a free day for you to explore this magnificent city on your own.
Day 14 Journey home
After breakfast, board the Maglev, the world’s fastest magnetic levitation train, for your trip to the Pudong International Airport. The Maglev travels at a speed of 287mph and will cover the 20 mile distance in less than 8 minutes!
What To Take (These are only suggestions, they are NOT required!)
Our list of Recommended Gear for your Photo Tour
· 2 camera bodies—the same manufacturer that will fit all your lenses
· Camera battery charger and cords
· CompactFlash/SD Cards (bring as much memory as possible. At least 40 gigs)
· Card Reader for file transfer
· External hard drives for back up (we recommend a minimum of a 500GB drive)
· Black Rapid camera strap
· Extra batteries (lots!)—best packed in checked luggage even when traveling abroad
· Lenses (Depending on the tour) Medium telephoto, Fixed, Wide angle & Macro lens that give you a wide range
of length. 10mm to 500mm if possible
· 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for the telephoto—same brand as lens
· Tripod and head
· Flash—strobe with automatic TTL fill flash capabilities or Reflector
· Photo backpack
· Lens cloth and cleaning fluid
· Blower ball for dust
· Circular polarizing filter
· Grad ND filters
· Rain sleeve for camera and lens
· Cable or electronic shutter release
· Laptop computer (travel size such as a netbook)
· Current version of Photoshop or Lightroom
· International power adapter
· Multiple plug power strip & adaptor to gain electric outlets in your room for simultaneous downloading & recharging
· Sensor cleaning supplies
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE. M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO (http://www.benrousa.com/products/travel-angel-ii/) HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
Tour Difficulty = Moderate
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
Pursuant to Clause 2 under Enrollment: If you need to cancel within a stated refund period, M&M Photo Tours, Inc. may allow you to apply all monies paid to a future trip, within 12 months. We must receive written notification (E-mail is accepted) of your cancellation and your desire to apply the funds to a future trip.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. The purchase of travel insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation is highly recommended. M&M Photo Tours, Inc. reserves the right to cancel any trip/tour/group due to insufficient registration at any time. In the even of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given. It is agreed by registering for any M&M Photo Tours, Inc. tour that M&M Photo Tours, Inc. assumes no responsibility for refund or additional expenses incurred in preparation for a trip.
Travel Insurance is suggested. Follow these links to buy travel insurance.
Click below for