Cormorant fishing in China Travel Babbo World Best 2016 Photo Tour

China Photo Tour with the Southern Tribes

This exceptional 13 days (including optional extension) Nomad Photo tour of China takes a road less traveled by occidental tourists; come along and see a special, secret part of China, in the hands of a seasoned and internationally awarded travel photographer: Harry Fisch. The design of this trip, each leg and region selected, has been […]



- Beijin, the Great Wall and the Forbidden city


- Guyang and the ethnical Chinese minorities Miao, Dong, Shui, Buyi tribes


- We will be sharing festivities and activities with locals while doing our photo sessions in each village


- Photo sessions in different villages along the itinerary


- Longshen incredible rice terraces at sunrise and sunset


- Photographic modeling session at a Ming dinasty house and spontaneous photo sessions


- (Optional Extension) Photographic sessions with the cormorant fishermen at Li river


- (Optional Extension) Photographic sessions with a cormorant fishermen at his home


- (Optional Extension) Our photographic adventure on our boats through Yulong river


- The most extraordinary photographic locations


This exceptional 13 days (including optional extension) Nomad Photo tour of China takes a road less traveled by occidental tourists; come along and see a special, secret part of China, in the hands of a seasoned and internationally awarded travel photographer: Harry Fisch.

The design of this trip, each leg and region selected, has been a labor of love over several months, taking advantage of the accumulated experience of professionals travel photographers to create the perfect photographic journey.

Based around contact with and the photography of people, we will chart a course through the most exceptional landscapes of China, ending in Guilin photographing  the cormorant fishermen. We will alternate between spontaneous photography and designated sessions, capturing landscapes at dawn, rafting down foggy rivers, and looking out at the karst mountains that rise up from the horizon.

We will begin taking in the essence of Beijing and the Great Wall, as well as the Forbidden City, then we will head onwards towards some of the least known and traveled areas of China. Here we will have direct contact with some of the most characteristic ethnic groups of the country.

As an Optional Extension, for the grand finale to this memorable journey, we head towards the region of Guilin, where we have plotted a tailor made photographic route through one of the most breath-taking landscapes in the universe. We will have a plethora of photographic opportunities, review sessions, and photo discussions, all in extraordinary locations at incredible moments with an experienced travel photography expert.

This opportunity, difficult to replicate, puts at your disposal one of the best expert for this type of photography, on what is, perhaps, the most unforgettable trip for a photographer and traveler.

Initially I was drawn to Harry”s stunning photographs. While the website was very informative on all aspects, my recent trip to Ethiopia exceeded my expectations.
Harry is an amazing host, generously sharing his passion for travel and photography. His spirit and understanding of people, places and cultures truly made this not just a trip,
but an adventure and a memory. I look forward to many more.

Maxine Helfman (USA)





After pick up and transfer from the airport, we will head to the hotel. In the afternoon, we will go photograph the magnificent and singular Temple of the Sky, which is where the Ming and Qing Dynasty Emperors worshipped and prayed for good harvests. In the surrounding park, we can find many local denizens doing all kinds of exercise, playing, or spontaneously singing. Later, we will move on to photograph the Night Market of Dong Hua Men, where many strange foods are sold, such as starfish, silk buds, scorpions, etc.

Overnight in Hotel in Beijing.




Today we will dedicate to visiting and photographing two things; first, the most important area of the city, Tiananmen Square. It is the biggest plaza in the world, and very significant for the city’s history. Then, we will move on to the fabled Forbidden City, an ancient imperial palace that was home to the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.


Overnight in Hotel in Beijing.




Early in the morning, we will head to the Great Wall, which is considered one of the most impressive manmade structures on earth and one of the Wonders of the Medieval World. Then we will visit Mutianyu which is a less touristy stretch, but very beautiful.

We will continue and transfer to the airport to catch our plane to Guiyang, capital of the Guizhou province and home to many minority ethnic groups, including the Miao, Dong, Shui, Buyi, Ge, and Yi peoples.


Upon arrival, transfer and overnight at the hotel in Guiyang.




Today starts the journey across the province towards Kaili, the capital of the Miao and Dong peoples. It will take us through some truly magnificent land where we will wander amid the rolling green hills and cultivated fields.


Our first stop will be the village of Qingman, home of the Miao people, who have perfectly preserved their cobbled streets and traditional wood houses that have been there for generations. The Miao are divided into different subgroups depending on which area they live in, and their clothing reflects this. We can find them in long, medium, short skirts, black Miao or floral, etc. Their clothing is characterized by having wonderful colors and embroidery that have been passed down from generation to generation, and though they don’t have their own specific writing system, this embroidery has served as a sort of registry and repository of their ethnic history and their legends. For their originality and creativity, cloth works are prized by artists and aficionados of the fine arts, and many of these weavings are included in various museum exhibitions, both Chinese and foreign.


Another important facet that characterizes this group is the women. In celebrations, they wear rather impressive silver headdresses with horns, honoring the water buffalo, the animal which has over centuries been their companion through thick and thin.


Today we will have quite a bit of time to photograph the people of Qingman and their unique bright colored clothing, in several set, posed photo sessions.

We will continue on later and visit the village of Matang, where the Gejia people live. It is a little visited village and because of this, little is known of it. It is said that they are a subgroup of the Miao, but with their own customs, language, and clothing. The women of the Gejia are renown for their fantastic batiks.

Arrival and overnight in Hotel in Kaili.




Early in the morning we will head to the villages around Kaili. We will spend a complete day taking advantage of the myriad of photographic opportunities here.

Overnight and hotel in Xijang or Kaili.




The area itself is an incredible photo opportunity just for the unique architecture that it offers, but we will of course also have time to interact with and photograph the people as well.


Today will be a travel day heading through one of the greatest landscape zones of the most beautiful Guizhou Province, the Leigongshan Nature Reserve. The sacred mountain for the Miao people, where they say the god of Thunder, Leigong, still dwells is in this park. We will have a half day to photograph the park and all of its natural splendor, taking time to capture the landscapes and work with the natural light. While en route we will visit the town of Basha which boasts the largest settlement of the oldest and most primitive of the Miao peoples, who are still practicing centuries old customs today, and are known as being the last ethnic group in the country that uses pistols legally. They remain mostly isolated from the outside world, with a strong sense of caution inherited from those who came before them in regards to foreign influence.


Overnight in Basha.



Today we head off towards Zhaoxing, the greatest settlement of the Dong people, and the oldest to boot, situated right smack in the middle of a fertile, green valley. There are about 5,000 people and 800 families there – so we will be spending ample time learning about them and also working with portraits.


Overnight and hotel in Zhaoxing.




After breakfast we will continue on our way to Sanjiang, located in the neighboring province of Guangxi. En route, we will visit the fascinating town of Chenyang, which is famous for its impressive Dong architecture, but above all, for its Bridge of the Wind and Rain, constructed in 1920. Though many places have these bridges, each is unique and this is most spectacular, so worth the time to stop and having a photo shoot at, as it is one of the best preserved of its kind in the world.


In the afternoon we have the chance to attend a small Dong folklore show normally put on by the town for any visitors.


Overnight in Sanjiang.




We will head towards Guilin airport for our International Flights

(Those of us that have chosen the extension to the Rice Fields and the Cormorant Fishermen continue to Longjii)



Li River and Cormorant Fishermen Optional Extension ()



Day 10: LONGJI


• Mountain top sunrise in Ping An

• Daxu Ancient Town

• Sunset overlooking fields and mountains


We climb about 15-30mins for the sunrise location, return to the hotel for breakfast and check out. Then we shoot the fields, and people we come across in the morning light. We will then take the transfer bus back and drive on to Guilin (2-3hours), have lunch there and change to our bus. We will then drive to Daxu and visit an old gentleman (a local friend of ours), where he still lives in the Ming Dynasty house.

We’ll have lunch overlooking the terraces before heading down to Yangshuo (2 hours drive), stopping on the way (a short 10 minute detour) in a location where the setting sun over fields and karst mountains stretching to the distance. This is a location without any public transport, and no tourists see, only photographers would know it. No trekking required. We wait until after the sunset and continue to the hotel for late dinner.





• Mountain top sunrise or sleep in

• Yulong River punted rafting

• Visit to a local mudbrick house


Get up early (leave hotel at 5am) to catch the sunrise on a mountain peak that very few foreign people ever visit, overlooking the most dramatic scenery of the Li River. There are about 500 stone steps, so the climb is not very strenuous. We can hire sherpas for this ascent. Those not wanting to get up can have a sleep in.

Here we take landscape shots over Li River and karst scenery at sunrise or during the earlier part of the morning, depending on the weather forecast in terms of cloud. At this time of year you might be lucky to capture mists between the mountains, this location gives you the best chance.

We then drive back to the hotel for breakfast, before heading to the famous Yulong Bridge and take a raft on Yulong River, where we can take a punted raft along (2h); this time of the year the mist adds to the mysterious feeling. Yulong River has amazing reflections due to much calmer surface than the bigger Li River. Then we’ll take you back to your hotel for a rest. In the afternoon we’ll continue to see the mudbrick house of a local family, where generations have lived in the same village.

ACCOM: Yangshuo




•Sunrise over the Li River (very early rise)

•Meeting Cormorant Fisherman in their home

•Li River landscapes with cormorant fishermen at the sunset and blue hour
(We ask the fishermen to prepare nets, lamps and the ancient straw rain coat)

This morning we will leave our hotel at around 5am and drive 45 minutes upstream, on a section that requires no hiking. We have included a session with 2 fishermen, so you can achieve this type of shots.

After the shoot we return by raft to have breakfast in the nearby small town of Xingping. Afterwards we take a raft ride in the morning light along Li River (2hours). Then we’ll have lunch back in XIngping and then process/discuss photographs. In the afternoon we meet some cormorant fishermen in their home.

In the late afternoon we use rafts to get to a location to shoot the fishermen throwing nets, fishing with their birds and finally the sunset and blue hour as they light their oil lamps with the river scenery as a backdrop. Then we’ll drive to the hotel in Yangshuo.

ACCOM: Yangshuo




• Reed Flute Cave

• Depart from Guilin Airport

After breakfast we may have time to visit Reed Flute Cave in Guilin before heading to the airport, depending on your flight time.


Important Notes


Our tour plan may change due to weather, water levels or unforeseen factors that can arise in China. We will do our best to follow the design but please understand a photography tour in China needs to be adaptable and requires understanding of local culture.

Prices per person
9-10 Participants 5400 US$

Single Room Surcharge Main Itinerary 1000 US$
Single Room Surcharge Optional Extension 530 US$
5-7 participants surcharge 300 US$

Li River and Cormorant Fishermen Optional Extension 1930 US$




- 1st class and boutique Hotels

- All Meals

- Internal flights and transportation

- Travel Photographer Expert

- Local guide

- Private air conditioned bus

-(Optional Extension) Fishermen and all related production costs, lamps, boats, nets, etc..

-(Optional Extension) Familly visits at Daxau

-(Optional Extension)Motor boats at the Li river

-(Optional Extension) Boats at Yulong river

-(Optional Extension) Boats at Xinping




- International flights

- Tips

- Anything not specified at "Included"



Please read carefully the itinerary description. Some part of the trip, specially the Optional Extension when reaching the Guilin Cormonat fishermen area involves walking and soft climbing up to three miles to get to the photographic location very early on the morning, climbing stairs, and walking. Participants should be physically fit. Limited mobility could be an issue on this part of the trip.



Price may vary following the YUan/US$ fluctuation