A Photojourney in Yunnan with Douglas Beasley
March 17 – 30, 2016

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
-Ansel Adams

Introduction | Itinerary | Summary | Book Now


South of the Clouds, there lies a region hidden in the southeast vestiges of the Himalayas, where snow covered mountains tower over 8,000 foot verdant plains, and where whispers from the heavens lead visitors to majestic vistas and timeless villages filled with sun-etched smiling faces and indigo-tinged caresses.

South of the Clouds, memories are created, both spiritually and through the viewfinder of a camera. Shrouded paths,previously reserved for caravans carrying tea and spices to the Silk Road, lead to unveiled providence, where every experience becomes a form of exploration and achievement.

South of the Clouds has always been known as Yunnan- a fabled land of breath-taking scenery, saffron-clad Buddhist monks, exotic ethnic cultures, and year-round Spring-likeweather. This region has been the cultural battle ground between many of Asia’s leading traditions- Hindu beliefs from the west and the Khmer south, Confucian conventions from the northeast, Tibetan, Thai and Burmese Buddhist teachings from the north and southwest. All of these cultures have left a lasting impression on the local people and their unique iconography. Yunnan is a paradise just waiting for Adams’s someone to come click the shutter.

Trip Details
March 17 – 30, 2016
13 Days, $4995

Fare includes international all domestic travel, all accommodations, meals, workshop fee,
and all activities and cultural services. International airfare also included from Los Angeles
International Airport to China and back.
Book Now

Doug Beasley, an accomplished professional photographer for more than 25 years, will lead and mentor this workshop and tour. As founder and director of Vision Quest workshops, Beasley provides photography workshops that emphasize personal expression and creative vision. He also shoots various fine art commercial assignments throughout the world. For more information on this acclaimed photographer, please visit www.douglasbeasley.com.

Join us in a unique opportunity to bring your photography to the next level. Whether you are considering becoming a professional photographer or just interested in how to take better travel photographs, this workshop can help you achieve your goals. We will spend days photographing in exotic locations, as well as engage in group critiques, portfolio reviews and presentations.

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
– Ansel Adams

Itinerary: March 17 – 30, 2016

Day 1 Thursday, March 17: Late evening departure from Los Angeles Guests who decide to book their air travel with us, will depart from LAX in the late hours of the 17th. The flight over the Pacific will cross the International Date Line, thus arriving in China on the morning of the 19th.

Day 2 Saturday, March 19: Arrival to the Linden Centre We will meet you at the Dali Airport and travel an hour in a private bus through the fertile plains between Lake Er, China’s sixth largest lake, and the 14,000 foot snowcapped Cang Shan mountains, the southeast vestiges of the Himalayas. After checking into the Centre, which is located in the renowned and protected heritage village of Xizhou, we will have an orientation and a local lunch cooked by the Linden Centre’s chefs. You will have time to rest and get acquainted with the area. We will take you on an afternoon walk through the village and learn about the architectural traditions of the Bai people. Xizhou village is small and charming, and this initial walking tour will give you confidence to venture out later on your own or with a Linden Centre guide. Doug will present his first workshop after dinner.

Day 3 Sunday, March 20: Xizhou Village-The Portrait Our first full day of Linden Centre activities will include Western and/or Chinese breakfast followed by a visit to the morning markets of Xizhou for interaction with the local villagers. These traditionally clad neighbors are incredibly photogenic, as is the myriad of new fruits and vegetables adorning their stands. Throughout your stay, we encourage you to walk to the market every morning with our staff and chefs to pick out foods for the days’ meals. Xizhou is filled with antique shops, and even some of the locals find things in the fields and surrouding villages and offer them for sale. Brian and Jeanee, who deal in Asian antiques and arts in Wisconsin, can assist any interested buyers and advise on prices and export restrictions. After a delicious lunch, we will ride a horse cart to the shores of Lake Er and watch the timeless art of cormorant fishing. We will see up close how these magnificent birds catch fish at the beck of their master’s call. Tonight’s dinner will feature, of course, fish!

Day 4 Monday, March 21: Ancient Town of Dali Morning time is reserved for time with Doug and free time. After lunch we will drive 10 miles south to the ancient walled city of Dali. Dali was the capital of the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms which dated from roughly 700-1300 A.D. Marco Polo was sent to Dali by the Mongol ruler, Kublai Khan, to help negotiate a peace treaty between the Yuan Dynasty and the local Bai rulers. The negotiations failed, and Kublai Khan personally invaded Dali with a Mongol army in the 14th century. Dali has colorful boutiques, cafes, restaurants and traditional craftsmen. There is also a “Western Area” where one can get western style food in a few excellent restaurants and bakeries. Dali is a great city for people watching and photo opportunities. Since China’s opening to the world in 1979, Dali has been considered as the most laid backed destination in China. Doug will lead you to his favorite haunt- The Bad Monkey!

Day 5 Tuesday, March 22: Zhoucheng Tie-Dye Village Three miles north of Xizhou is the largest intact ethnic village in Yunnan- Zhoucheng. This historic site is renowned for its tie-dye/cloth-making tradition. We will congregate in a traditional courtyard home where three generations of Bai villagers make tie-dye cloth as a living. The three generations will demonstrate and teach us how to do this ancient craft. After a traditional lunch, we will walk the cobbled-stone paths past the Nine Dragon Well temple to Zhoucheng’s picturesque town square. The square, which hosts its outdoor market has a Qing Dynasty performance stage and is shaded by centuries’ old canopied Banyan trees. We will have ample time to capture the colors of the lively marketplace that unfolds in this timeless setting.

Day 6 Wednesday, March 23: Touching the Sacred- A Journey up to Weishan We will take a photographic and spiritual journey to the sacred mountain of Weibao, one of Southwest China’s most important spiritual centers. Along the way we will stop in an old Muslim village that served as an important caravan stop along the fabled Tea Horse Road. While we will be able to drive close to Weibao Mountain’s peak, today’s sojourn will include some longer periods of hiking, punctuated by stops at the numerous ancient temples and monasteries that surround this verdant mountain’s pristine peak. Weibao Mountain is a pilgrimage spot for Taoists and Buddhists, as well as the base for the Yi ethnic group’s main ancestor temple. In the late afternoon, we return for dinner and photographic storytelling at the Centre.

Day 7 Thursday, March 24: Tea Plantation and Return to Dali  Built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), Dali’s Three Pagodas are a resplendent example of architecture that has survived the test of time and elements. Adjacent to the Three pagodas is a tea plantation nestled in the Cang Mountains where they grow the region’s renowned green tea. We will pick, taste and learn about the history of tea while sipping Pu’er and Green teas. We will also take a 30 minute walk to a waterfall on the plantation grounds. Lunch will be in Dali at a vegetarian restaurant with free time before returning to the Centre.

Day 8 Friday, March 25: Last day at the Centre and Hot Springs This is our last day the Centre before moving our journey northward. There is free time in the morning to wander, take a bike ride, make last minute purchases or to get ready for tonight’s photo sharing time. After lunch, we will drive to a natural hot springs 45 minutes away. Dali is home to many hot springs, which were created by the collision of the Indian and Asian tectonic plates, and soaking in and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs are favorite local pastimes. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!

Day 9 & 10 Saturday & Sunday, March: 26-27: Shaxi After breakfast, we will travel 2 hours north into the mountains to visit Shibao Mountain. These spectacular peaks are dotted with Tang Dynasty (ca. 618-907) Buddhist caves and statues carved straight into the rocks. We will spend the morning at Shibao Mountain exploring the grottoes. We will spend time in Shibao Mountain National Park exploring the famed grottoes and temples before heading down to arrive in Shaxi, whose market square is now protected under the World Monuments Watch list and is being preserved by local and international groups. We will spend two nights here and have personal time to explore the town and its environs. We will stay in a renovated Bai style caravansary located on the market square.

Day 11 & 12 Monday & Tuesday March 28-29: Tiger Leaping Gorge & Lost Horizons After breakfast and some last minute photos in Shaxi’s old square, our bus will climb four thousand feet to arrive on the Tibetan plateau and its first major trading site- Zhongdian. This city was renamed Shangri-La, an imaginary paradise taken from James Hilton’s renowned book-Lost Horizons, and has served for centuries as one of the first trading outposts on the Tibetan plateau. Along the way, we will stop for a visit to Tiger Leaping Gorge. Over 15 kilometres in length, the world’s deepest gorge is located where the upper reaches of the Yangtze River pass between the 18,000 foot Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 17,700 foot Haba Snow Mountain. Shangrila’s old city and the surrounding area offer endless photography opportunities. We will escort you to one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world- the Songzanlin complex and visit a local school that teaches the art of Thangka painting to talented but underprivileged Tibetans.

Day 13 Wednesday, March 30: Thank You Sadly, today our journey ends. After breakfast, we will accompany you to the Zhongdian Airport in time for your flight to Kunming and beyond.


What – 13 day cultural excursion and photography tour in Yunnan, China.

When – March 17 – 30, 2016

Who – Anyone who wishes to explore the romanticism and spirituality of the ‘true’ China.The traveler who hopes to experience many different cultural challenges and capture those differences through photos.

Cost – $4,995 Includes Round-trip, international airfare to Kunming from LAX, all domestic travel after arrival in Kunming, all accommodations, most meals unless specified, and all activities and cultural services. Single supplement is an extra $600. Medical evacuation insurance is included with round trip air ticket and tour price. Trip insurance is recommended and will be offered for purchase separately. All guests should be fit to travel at altitudes of 11,500 feet and should be able to walk at least 5 miles a day on uneven ground.

Group Size – While the Linden Centre can comfortably accommodate 30 people, this group is limited to 16 to ensure that all guests can receive personal attention from the Centre’s teachers and the Lindens. Many workshops will be hands-on, thus the lower number of guests will ensure ample participation. To ensure that all can stay within the Centre, we highly encourage double occupancy with a loved one, friend, or colleague, but can assist in finding you an appropriate roommate. Requesting a single room for the duration of the trip is $600 and subject to availability. Our minimum group size is 10 people; we reserve the right to cancel any tour if the minimum size is not met. All rooms are non-smoking.

Not included – Guests are responsible for obtaining their own Chinese visa, costs related to alcohol, beverages not included in regular meals, laundry, personal items, souvenirs, and long distance telephone calls. Airfare to and from Los Angeles, trip interruption and cancellation insurance is not included but highly recommended.

How to reserve space for the tour – Contact us for Reservation Form and Contract or visit www.linden-centre.com. Call and/or email us to reserve space: +86 (0)872-245-2988 or info@linden-centre.comand mail your forms and a check for $500 or cc information. Initial and sign the Tour Contract and Contract Terms and Conditions. Keep a copy for your records.

The Lindens have been living in China since 1984. Their twenty-plus years of contacts will ensure that all participants see and experience aspects of China unknown to other visitors. For most of their previous guests, the experiences throughout these regions of China have been among the most memorable in their lives. Please come and enjoy an indigenous travel experience to one of the world’s most storied cultures.