Once in a lifetime experience!

It was an experience of a lifetime! I traveled half way around the world for business and had the opportunity to take a weekend excursion out into rural China. Our guide, Andy, at Guilin Photography Tour provided an experience I will never forget. We had a limited amount of time to explore the Guilin area (we arrived late Friday night and had to fly back to Shanghai on Sunday evening). Andy was very accommodating and helped us design an itinerary that maximized our time. We did more in two days than most people probably would do in 3 or 4 days.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and organized and had each step of our adventure planned out. The drivers he hired were very professional and I always felt safe driving with them. The local hotel accommodations arranged for us were very comfortable. Our guide was fluent in Mandarin which added a great deal to the experience since we were able to interact with the locals. I am not a professional photographer. I had recently purchased a new camera and this trip was the first time I really got to “take it for a test drive.” Our guide was very helpful in helping me understand some of the features of my camera to really get the most out of my shots during the excursion.

Our adventure began early on Saturday with a pre-dawn hike up a mountain to capture pictures of an amazing view at sunrise. We had breakfast on the mountain and took in the views. From there, we stopped and took pictures in some rice fields on our way to a small town on the Li River where we boarded a motorized bamboo style raft and cruised down the river to Xingpingzhen, taking in the scenery.

We explored the ancient town of Xingping, including the local market. A highlight of the evening was taking pictures of the Cormorant Fishermen at sunset on the Li River. We were truly fortunate to have an amazing sunset that evening.

The next day started off again before sunrise with a moonlit raft journey down the Li River to a secluded spot where we climbed another mountain to view the sunrise – the reflection of the rising sun on the Li River from behind the mountains was unbelievable.

We returned to Xinping, packed up, and hopped in a car to Yangshuo. We stopped off in a small town along the way and visited with a nice lady in an old farm house where she proudly showed off her home and way of living. Once in Yangshuo, we hopped on electric scooters and explored the countryside in the Yulong River area, stopping in small villages along the way.

We ended the day with another hilltop view of a spectacular sunset near where we began our adventure the day before. The mountains seemed to continue on into the horizon forever – a view I will never forget.

Thank you Guilin Photography Tour for providing with a once in a lifetime experience and many memories I will never forget!

Reviewed 13 July 2014