April 29 - May 7, 2020

April 29 - May 7, 2021

Travel, Landscape, Architecture, Nature and People Photography


  1. -9 Days

  2. -Only 4-8 Guests

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -4 or 5 Star Hotels

  5. -Breakfasts

  6. -4 Lunches | 2 Dinners

  7. -Local Transportation

  8. -National Park Entry Fees

  9. -Local Transportation



The Middle Kingdom

Beijing, Suzhou, Xitang, Shanghai and more


Our journey into the Middle Kingdom will open your eyes.

The Middle Kingdom Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.

China is one of those countries that everyone must see in their lifetime. And fortunately, it’s becoming easier to do just that. With the economy booming, and the government opening the borders to tourism, we can see a China that has quickly become the country to explore. Our journey will take us from Beijing to Suzhou, and Xitang to Shanghai.

Our journey into the Middle Kingdom will open your eyes into a world that may surprise you. The China we see today is not what we remember from our textbooks. This is a country that is full of contradictions, with new replacing old at a pace unmatched anywhere. We will endeavor to see the true China beneath the shiny, glossy wrapper of modern China. The China full of natural wonders, incredible scenery, centuries of history, and fabled cultures.

Join us in China, and experience places that have no equal anywhere in the world. Taste the wide variety of foods from its’ source, step back into a past with unrivaled history, witness the frenetic pace of growth in modern China. It’s just too much to imagine unless you truly experience it first hand.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than in China!


Group Size

4-8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers

DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras

Moderate schedule

Travel by train, car or minibus

Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking (hiking optional)

(non-photographers also welcome)

Photographer | Guides

Ian Robert Knight  |  April 29 - May 7, 2020

Ian Robert Knight  |  April 29 - May 7, 2021

Weather | Sun

April/May - Temps 76/59 F  24/15 C  Sunrise 5:11 | Sunset 7:12 (19:12)


Travel, landscape, architecture, nature and people photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

Small group size (4-8 guests)

4 or 5 star hotels (except in remote locations)


4 Lunches & 2 Dinners

Local transportation


Beijing - Hotel Kapok Wangfujing or similar

Suzhou - Hotel Soul Suzhou or similar

Shanghai - The One - Executive Suites by Kempinksi or similar

Travel Information

Arrival Airport: Beijing, China (PEK) - Transfer time to hotel 45min

Departure Airport: Shanghai, China (PVG) - Transfer time to hotel 45min

Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.

Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to Visa Map to find out.

Helpful Links

> One Day in Beijing - by Ian Robert Knight

> Photographing People in Asia - by Ian Robert Knight

> The Opposite House - by Ian Robert Knight



Photo Adventure Vacation | April 29 - May 7, 2020:  $7,995

Photo Adventure Vacation | April 29 - May 7, 2021:  $8,495

Single Supplement:  $1000

(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room:  $350

(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room:  $350

Deposit:  $1000


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*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.


Day 1 | Beijing - Wangfujing

As we arrive at our beautiful hotel in the center of sprawling Beijing, you’ll get a sense of just how big this capital city really is. There is never a time of year or day that the city isn’t humming with activity. Beijing, with it’s 20 million people, isn’t even the largest in China. Over the coming days, we will dive deep into what makes this city one of the most fascinating world capitals. As we settle in for lunch, we will discuss PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles of Photography” as well as our “The Art of Seeing” photographic technique. We will also have informal discussions about what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. When the sun is getting low, we will head out to visit Wangfujing, one of the more interesting outdoor shopping districts, along with it’s ‘snack street’, famous for it’s exotic food and shops. Afterward we celebrate our adventure with our “Welcome Dinner” where we get a chance to enjoy our first Beijing style dinner and the national dish of Peking Duck. (D)

Day 2 | Beijing - Tiananmen Square - Forbidden City

Our day begins in Tiananmen Square, which is the largest public square in the world, and home to many monuments. This incredible space is centered between the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum and the Mao Mausoleum. Every morning, flags are raised and large screen nationalistic videos are broadcast, in the shadow of the Forbidden City. Our journey into this massive museum, known as the Forbidden City, will overwhelm you with it’s sheer size and amazing details. Only about 30% is open to the public, but it would take weeks to see the whole museum. This centerpiece of Chinese culture and history was once home to Emperors from many Dynasties. When we return to our hotel after dinner, we will have a chance to discuss the photographs we’ve taken so far, and have discussions about techniques. (B)

Day 3 | Beijing - Temple of Heaven - Summer Palace - Houhai

The Temple of Heaven is best explored early in the morning, and we will be there at sunrise. Seeing local residents practicing their Tai Chi on the grounds of this park will make the early rising worthwhile. The 600 year old Temple is one of many UNESCO World Heritage sites in China, and for good reason. The architecture of this temple and surrounding parks influenced designs throughout China. We will also visit the Summer Palace, one of the most beautiful inner city parks in Beijing, with a huge lake, gardens and palaces. Our day will end with a visit to Houhai, in central Beijing. This area is very popular with many outdoor cafes, year-round lake swimming and ancient hutong houses. (B) (L)

Day 4 | Beijing - Great Wall

No trip to China would be complete without a trip to see the Great Wall. This enormous structure winds it’s way through a good portion of China, but only some of it is accessible to the public. There are several locations that are overrun with hundreds of tour buses and thousands of people. But we will hike a remote area of the wall that is further away and sees very few people. The photographs obtained in this area of the Wall will make the distance worthwhile. (B) (L)

Day 5 | Beijing - Suzhou

In the mid morning we checkout and head to the train station for bullet train journey to Suzhou. China’s high speed train network rivals that of Japan and Germany now, and it’s often much faster to travel by train than airplane. Suzhou is the best known and largest of the many water villages in this part of the country. Much of the city is built on a canal system, with water taxis used as a main source of transportation. We will have time to capture the beautiful canals and boats that ply them, as the sun retreats for the day. We will stay in Suzhou for two nights. (B)

Day 6 | Xitang

Today we will take a day trip to another, smaller water village of Xitang. This village is one of the towns known as the “Venice of China”, as it’s built around a canal system consisting of nine crisscrossed rivers . With no roads for cars, the entire village depends on water transportation for mobility. We will return to Suzhou after dinner in this village for after twilight photos. We will have another chance to discuss and compare photographs from our group when we return to our hotel in Suzhou. (B) (L)

Day 7 | Suzhou - Shanghai

We will board another bullet train this morning, heading to Shanghai. What would take almost 2 hours by car is accomplished in 25 minutes by train. After our short journey into Shanghai, we will check into one of this city’s modern boutique hotels, and venture into the French Concession for a taste of Old Shanghai. We will cap off the day with time on the famous Bund area, where we will capture the iconic images of the city skyline. (B)

Day 8 | Shanghai

Today we will visit one of the Arts areas of Shanghai, along with a pilgrimage to the 4-story photography mall, that has to be seen to be believed. Get your best bargaining skills ready for some new gear at low prices. In the evening we will enjoy a “Farewell Dinner” in one of the best view restaurants in this impressive city. (B) (D)

Day 9 | Shanghai

We say goodbye to China from this truly modern coastal city, and say goodbye to our guests at brunch and a chance to exchange contact information and share some of the photographs we’ve experienced over the past 9 days. (B)

This adventure is followed by our Southern China Photo Adventure which makes for 18 amazing days in China.

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®

  Options and Benefits

Private Guided Tours & Adventures

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through Travelex. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to get a free quote.

Blog & eNews

   Subscribe to our Think Orange Blog and eNews. PWA THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!

Gift Certificates

Give someone you know a Gift Certificate, good toward any of our Photo Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

Combination Tours

You can SAVE by combining two or more back-to-back photo adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Loyalty Club**

All registered guests on 6 day or longer Photo Adventures are automatically enrolled in our Loyalty Club. You will receive a $200 discount on your next Photo Adventure. After attending just 3 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Gold” status and a $300 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. After attending 6 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Elite” status and a $500 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. Elite status guests also receive other benefits such as additional discounts, special offers, room upgrades (when available), and more. Click here to learn more.

**LOYALTY CLUB: Loyalty discounts only apply to 6 day or longer Photo Adventures. The discount is applied to the Photo Adventure fee when booked directly through our website, and cannot be added to or combined with any “pay in full”, “pay in advance” or “discounted specials”. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Your discount will be applied to your final payment. Only one discount per person, per adventure. This discount has no cash value. Polar Adventures are excluded from this offer. Loyalty Club status will be eliminated after 3 years of inactivity.  

NOTE: We reserve the right to change hotels based on availability and pricing. Not included in your rate are alcoholic beverages, unscheduled meals, travel to and from our destinations, airport transfers, travel insurance and any optional excursions you may choose to book on your own or as a group. Breakfast is usually included unless it is not offered in our hotel package. As is standard in the travel industry, all accommodations are based on double occupancy. Please choose the private room / single supplement option if you prefer your own room. Double occupancy can only be offered if you are traveling with a guest. We reserve the right to change events and schedules throughout the itinerary due to adverse weather conditions or complications that may arise that are out of our control. Our number one priority is always the safety of our group.












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