Workshops China – 2017-2018

terraced Yunnan

2-16 March 2018 Yuanyang Yunnan & Zhangjiajie Fenghuang Hunan. SOLD OUT



Product Description


15-Day Photograph Workshop: Yuanyang, Zhangjiajie & Fenghuang

Price: USD5,950.00 based on twin share, USD550 single supplement

* Payment Terms: 2.000USD downpayment at order confirmation, and Balance payment 4 weeks before arriving designated city in China.

Group Size: Small Group – min. 4 people, max. 8 people




Join Thierry Bornier for a photographic pilgrimage to his spiritual home of Yuanyang Rice Terraces, the splendid Zhangjiajie stone forest, and the colourful and ancient town of Fenghuang.


Day 1 – March 2: Kunming Arrival

Please plan your travel arrangements such that you are scheduled to arrive in Kunming Airport by noon. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by Thierry and transferred directly to Yuanyang (6-7hr drive). In the evening, Thierry will meet up with everyone for welcome dinner and presentation of the workshop.

Day 2-6 – March 3-7: Photographing in Yuanyang

These six days will be spent in a similar pattern:

-An early morning start to shoot the sunrise on the rice terraces in Yuanyang, followed by a visit to a local market or attraction;

-Back to the hotel for a rest and lunch, and then travel to a second location of the day for more shooting on the terraces;

-In the evening, there will be a dinner and discussion group: a chance to exchange ideas and suggestions, and analyze the pictures taken that day.

Day 7 – March 8: Yuanyang-Kunming

We will have one last landscape photography session in Yuanyang this morning. After that, there will also be a second opportunity to visit the Shencun Village market. It is then time to bid farewell to Yuanyang, and take the 7-8hr drive back to Kunming, where we spend the night.

*On March 4 & 8, the Shencun Village market run by local ethnic minorities is scheduled to take place. This is a great opportunity to witness and capture the local people and culture.

Day 8 – March 9: Kunming-Zhangjiajie City

Today, Thierry will show you around his adopted hometown-Kunming. If the weather is nice, we may have the opportunity to photograph Siberian Seagulls in the Green Lake Park. In the evening, we catch a flight to Zhangjiajie, and spend the night in Zhangjiajie city.

Day 9 – March 10: Zhangjiajie City-Zhangjiajie National Park

In the morning, transfer from Zhangjiajie City to Zhangjiajie National Park by private coach and cable car. After hotel check-in and lunch, we will have a photo shooting session in the afternoon.

Day 10-12 – March 11-13: Zhangjiajie National Park

These three days will be spent in a similar pattern:

-An early morning start to catch the splendid sunrise in Zhangjiajie;

-Back to the hotel for a rest and lunch, and then travel to a second location of the day for more photographing.

Day 13 – March 14: Zhangjiajie National Park-Zhangjiajie Airport/Fenghuang

After the morning photography session, we will bid farewell to Zhangjiajie National Park, and travel downhill by cable car. We will then be transferred to Fenghuang immediately (4hr drive), arriving in the early afternoon in time for a photography session on the day.

Day 14-15 – March 15-16: Fenghuang

We have two full days to capture the colorful daily life of the different ethnic groups, the majestic landscape, the architectural ingenuity that not only made wonderful use, but also magnified the spirit of the surrounding mountain and waters in Fenghuang. The tour concludes after dinner on March 16.


Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Having lived in Yunnan for the last eight years, and travelled extensively to the magnificent Hani Rice Terraces of Yuanyang, Thierry can offer and insightful peak into photographing this UNESCO World Heritage site. Of all his travels in China, the Yuanyang terraces are one of Thierry’s main focuses. He has developed an in-depth knowledge of the weather patterns and best angles to view the terraces. He is also well known with the locals, and even owns a coffee shop in one of the main scenic areas, Laohuzui.

The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located in the mountains south of Yunnan province, about 100 kilometers from the Vietnam border. The rice terraces boast the technical ingenuity of the Hani people in cultivating a seemingly inhospitable land. During this workshop, you will also get a chance to experience the traditional culture of the Hani and Yi people, to local markets, local homes and sampling local cuisine. You will shoot many places during the tour, but the main three are described below:

Duoyishu scenic area: Duoyishu is a famous destination for people wishing to photograph the sunrise on the terraces; it is one of the most beautiful natural and cultural areas of the Yuanyang terraces. In this area alone the terraces cover over 1647 acres comprising along the cities of Duoyishu, Aichun and Dawazhe. At sunrise, the light on the terraces highlight the superlative dynamism of the landscape. In the early morning sun the reflections and shadows on the water are constantly moving, thus changing the color effect on the water; the visual impact of which can be quite overwhelming.

Bada scenic area: Bada is the largest scenic area of the Yuanyang terraces, including the smaller cities of Qingkou, Quanfuzhuang, Malizhai, and Zhulu, extending over more than 2306 acres in total. Bada is the best place to catch the sunset in Yuanyang: the constantly changing colors at this time makes it feel like you are in a truly magical dimension.

Laohuzui scenic area: Laohuzui is possibly the pinnacle of the rice terrace scenery. The terraced slopes here are more rugged than in other areas and even the colors are more intense – as if painted by an artist. The lowest section of the terrace is beyond sensational, as the outline reputedly resembles a galloping horse. Near the Laohuzui area, we will also visit many markets and villages of the Hani people, particularly nearby the Shengcun village.

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie has become famous in recent years as the inspiration for the floating hallelujah mountains in the famous blockbuster movie – Avatar. One of the park’s quartz-sandstone pillars, the 1,080-metre ‘Southern Sky Column’, has been officially renamed ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’ in honor of the film. The magnificent scenery of the park certainly seems like it could be part of a celestial, magical world.

The pillar-like rock formations are the most notable geographic feature of the park. They are the result of many years of erosion, caused by expanding ice in winter and the plentiful foliage, due to the permanent moist weather. These formations are a

distinct hallmark of Chinese landscapes, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

Officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, Zhangjiajie was also listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004. On this workshop, we will have great opportunities to capture these fascinating formations.


Fenghuang (Phoenix Town) is a well-preserved ancient town overlooking the Tuojiang River. The bridges over the water and the unique houses built on stilts display a harmony that is very often portrayed in traditional Chinese paintings. This is particularly true when mist permeates the scene in the early morning or after rain. It soon becomes apparent that the claim to being one of the most beautiful towns in all of China is more than justified.

The town is situated on the western boundary of Hunan province in an area of outstanding natural beauty, where mountains, water and blue skies prevail. This is a world that is dominated by the color green: the mountain slopes are covered with green foliage, the fields are green and even the Tuojiang River seems green, as it reflects the surroundings.


  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Zoom lens 70mm to 200mm minimum
  • Wide angle lens 14mm to 35mm
  • 85mm + lenses for portrait
  • Filter polarizer
  • ND filters: 0.6 ND and 0.9 ND, soft and hard (if possible)


  • Workshop fee
  • Private driver and vehicle
  • Domestic flights in economy class including taxes
  • Hotel and local guesthouse accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals: full board
    • International airfares
    • Visa fees
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
    • Medical services, travel insurance or visas



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