Autumn in Guilin, China

October 22 – November 1, 2017 Guilin, China Class Size: 12 Tuition: $6750 Register

"Guilin's scenery is best among all under heaven."
(Chinese: 桂林山水甲天下; pinyin: Guìlín shānshuǐ jiǎ tiānxià)
-a popular Chinese saying

Working with the Chinese Language School of Guilin (CLI), I have created a workshop centered in what many believe is the most beautiful place in China. Often depicted in Chinese paintings and gracing the 20-yuan bank note, Guilin is located in southern China. This relatively small city of less than a million people contains a wonderful mix of historical architecture and modern culture. Surrounded by the unusual limestone karst hill formations, some of its charms center around the Li River, parks, monasteries, restaurants and markets.

The workshop begins with a Welcome dinner on Sunday, October 22, 2017 and ends with dinner on Tuesday, November 1. Our accommodations, located outside the tourist part of town, are at a local hotel near the CLI campus that serves a western breakfast and has western bathrooms. Each evening we will dine together at local restaurants offering different specialties. During our two overnight trips we will keep our hotel rooms so we won’t have to check out and move everything.

Our group will have two translators and each photographer will also have a pengyou (friend) assigned to them. Your pengyou will be able to translate for you, explain local customs and help you negotiate your way around town as you photograph on your own.

Workshop highlights include:

  • Two sessions of survival Mandarin lessons at CLI;
  • Day trips to:
    • Seven Star, West Mountain and Tunnel Hill parks and Jingjiang Princes’ City;
    • Two monasteries built into the sides of Guilin’s famous karst mountains;
    • Journey to the ancient village of DaXu, which showcases a variety of Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture;
    • Local parks, markets and Li River sites;
  • Two overnight excursions:
    • Cruise down the famed Li River to the ancient fishing village, Yangshuo and photograph from the top of Xianggong mountain;
    • Hike up the Longsheng Terraces, constructed over the course of 500 years, spend the night in a local hotel and continue photographing the next day;
  • Destination guides for each major photographic site;
  • Explore Guilin with a Chinese pengyou (friend), who will assist you in your daily excursions;
  • Enjoy a moonlit river cruise through the Two Rivers, Four Lakes scenic area;
  • Attend a performance of the internationally renowned Impression Sanjie Liu;
  • Bargain with local vendors in Guilin’s Bird & Flower and Red Tent markets

CLI will be our “on the ground” experts, arranging transportation to and from the airport, all local travel (including our two overnights) and our evening meals while we are in Guilin. We will be able to do critiques at the CLI classroom building near our hotel. CLI will provide the invitational letter required for our visa applications. You will receive a 10-year tourist visa so this may be the beginning of a long relationship with China!

This trip is limited to twelve people. As a group we will work at photographer speed, slow and steady. This is not meant to be a tour of all the sights but an opportunity for photographers to explore a beautiful area of China in a way that allows you to make photographs beyond the postcard views. When photographing on your own with your pengyou you area free to move at any pace you choose.

The cost for this workshop excluding travel to Guilin is $6750. This includes all entrance costs to sites we travel to as a group, a Chinese cell phone to use while on the workshop with all important contact numbers preprogramed, tips for our drivers, local guides, restaurants attendants, breakfast and dinner every day, single occupancy hotel room with internet access, plus our two fulltime bilingual guides. Your separate daily expenses will be lunch each day for you and your pengyou, entrance costs to places you travel to separate from the group and spending money for shopping.

You will be met at the Guilin airport and return to the airport at the end of the workshop. CLI will help you with your reservations if you wish or can make suggestions for travel. You can fly to Guilin from Hong Kong, Beijing, or Shanghai.

To reserve your space in this workshop simply use our registration form.

We will keep a list and after January 1, 2017 will send everyone an email requesting a 20% nonrefundable deposit. Receipt of this deposit will ensure your place in the workshop. 50% payment is due by May 1, 2017. Full payment is requested by July 1, 2017.

(We know that “life happens” and sometimes it is necessary to change plans. Due to the unique situation with CLI, the limited number of participants and the Chinese Visa requirements, we cannot make changes in registration or give refunds after August 1, 2017. It is recommended that everyone purchase trip insurance.)

I hope you will join me for this unique experience in Guilin, China!