A Photojourney in Yunnan with Douglas Beasley
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-like weather. 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.
Feb 19-March 4, 2014
13 Days, $4995
Fare includes international flight from LAX to Kunming and all domestic travel, all accommodations, most meals, medical travel insurance, and all activities and cultural services.
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.
Wednesday February 19: Early Departure from Los Angeles, +1 Day Guests who decide to book their air travel with us, will depart from LAX in the early a.m. hours of the 194h. The flight over the Pacific will cross the International Date Line, thus arriving in China a day later.
Thursday Feb 20: Arrival Day in Kunming Upon your arrival this day into Kunming, capital city of Yunnan, a Linden Centre staff member will meet you at the airport and transport you to the centrally-located New Era Hotel. After you have had a chance to check in and wash up, we will tour the local Bird and Flower market- Kunming’s original central market-place- which sells a variety of items ranging from exotic fruits and snacks, books, antiques, artwork and handicrafts-items from Yunnan’s 26 ethnic groups. We will help you negotiate for any treasures that catch your eye. We will dine in a restored courtyard mansion and learn more about Yunnan and the upcoming adventures over dinner and tea.
Friday Feb 21: To the Linden Centre After a delicious Western breakfast buffet with bottomless cups of indigenous Yunnan coffee and teas, we will board a bus for the 4.5 hour ride to the Centre. We will travel along a modern highway but will stop, walk and visit one of the traditional rural villages to capture the early light hugging the mud brick homes. After a short while we will continue north to the Dali Valley, nestled in the shadows of the 14,000 foot snowcapped Cang Shan mountain chain, the southeast vestiges of the Himalayas. After checking into the Centre, we will have an orientation and a wonderful local dinner cooked by the Linden Centre’s chefs.
Saturday, Feb 22: 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/ photo opportunities. You can walk to the market every morning with our staff and chefs to pick out foods throughout your stay at the Centre. Today’s venture will also take us to see the village elder, a temple where a mural of Mao still presides and the daily market. After lunch at the Centre, Doug will present a workshop about photographing people. He and the Lindens will discuss how to best interact with some of the local villagers for planned shots, and Doug will give all guests the first of their daily exercises. Dinner will be followed by optional participation at our fun filled “English Corner” an hour long event where we teach the local kids an English lesson.
Sunday, Feb 23: Ancient Town of Dali After breakfast 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. Dali has wonderful 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.
Monday, Feb 24: Monday Market and Relaxation After breakfast, we will take our guests to the largest local market in Shaping. We will have a few hours to take photos in the colorful and exotic outdoor market before breaking away for lunch in a local family’s home. We will make some quick visits to the attics of the village’s courtyards to have unprecedented access to centuries’ old antiques and art gathered from the mountains by these villagers. After lunch we make a special visit to a village kindergarten to interact with the young children and teachers. Upon returning to Xizhou, guests will have the opportunity to venture out on their own, or spend valuable time learning more from Doug in a more relaxed format.
Tuesday, Feb 25: Tie-Dye Village and Er Hai Boating Today we will start our explorations in the historic village of Zhoucheng, renowned for its tie-dye/cloth-making tradition. Zhoucheng’s picturesque town square, which hosts its outdoor market, has a Qing Dynasty performance stage and is shaded by massive canopied Banyan trees. We will have time to capture the colors of the lively marketplace that unfolds in this timeless setting. In the afternoon, we will ride a horse pulled cart to the lake where we will watch the timeless art of cormorant fishing on Lake Erhai. 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!
Wednesday, Feb 26: Touching the Sacred-A Journey up to Weishan We will take a photographic journey to the sacred mountain of Weishan, located 60 miles south of the Centre. Today will include some longer periods of hiking, punctuated by stops at the numerous ancient temples and monasteries that surround the pristine peak. We will be able to drive close to the peak, thus the amount of vertical climbing will not be too extensive. Weishan is one of the most important sacred mountains in southwest China. It is a pilgrimage spot for Taoists, Buddhists and is base for the Yi ethnic group’s main ancestor temple. We will eat lunch on the mountain, most likely with curious monks and hikers, and return via comfortable bus in the evening for a late dinner and photographic storytelling at the Centre.
Thursday, Feb 27: Return to Dali-Cang Shan Temples After a morning lesson by Doug, we will return to Dali to hike the 12 kilometer Cloud Path with stunning views of the valley. This hike is a favorite of our guests and meanders in and out of valleys carved by streams flowing from the snows atop the Cang Shan mountains. Our farewell dinner at the Centre will be followed by a traditional Bai Music Troupe performance in the courtyard.
Friday, Feb 28: Shaxi After breakfast, we will travel 3 1/2 hours north to the old historic town of Shaxi, once a bustling stop along the ancient Tea and Horse Road. The market square is now protected under the World Monuments Watch list and is being preserved by local and international groups. We will spend the night here and have individual time to explore the quiet town and its environs. We will stay in a renovated Bai style inn which echoes the glory of its trading past.
Saturday-Monday Mar 1-Mar 3: Lost Horizons Zhongdian, renamed Shangri-La, is an imaginary paradise taken from James Hilton’s renowned book. The 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 learn from a local scholar about the history and beliefs of Buddhism. The surrounding grasslands and Tibetan villages will not only be the backdrop, but the entrÃ©e for making our last dayâ€™s pictures.
Tuesday Mar 4: Thank You! 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 – February 19-March 4, 2014
Who – Anyone who wishes to explore the romanticism and spirituality of the â€˜trueâ€™ 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 $500. Medical evacuation insurance is included with round trip air ticket and tour price.
Group Size – This tour group is limited to 15 people to ensure that all participants receive more personal attention from the staff. Our minimum group size is 8 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. For this insurance, please inquire.
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.