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China photo tour with Jim Zuckerman

January 4 - 17, 2014

  Jim Zuckerman Botswana Tour 2013


Visit the photo gallery

China is a photographer’s paradise.  It is so diverse in terms of exotic and beautiful subject matter, but this photo tour focuses on three remarkable subjects:  tigers, pandas, and the Harbin ice festival. 

Jim has arranged for us to have special sessions with both tigers and pandas.

The tigers will be photographed from vehicles, similar to how we take pictures of animals in Africa, and the pandas will be photographed in both photographer friendly enclosures and also with the pandas outside their enclosures as they roam freely. 

The ice festival is truly incredible.  Huge ice sculptures of palaces, mythical creatures, famous people, and religious icons are illuminated at night with colorful neon lights, and nothing you’ve seen or photographed comes close to this spectacle.

We also visit the Great Wall, and of course the Chinese people, especially the children, are always great to photograph.  You don’t want to miss these fantastic photo opportunities.


Land cost: $7950

Flights within China:  $860

Single supplement:   $775


Includes:  All lodging, all ground transportation, special fee to photograph the tigers, special fee to photograph the pandas out of their enclosures, other entrance fees, English speaking guide, all meals, and photo instruction.


Excludes:  International airfare, visa fee, drinks and alcohol, tips, and items of a personal nature.










Day 1, 2:  January 4, 5

Depart US/Canada for the trans-Pacific flight to China.  Cross the International Dateline and lose one day. (Australian depart January 6 to arrive the same day.)


Day 3: January 6                                                               

Arrive at Pudong International Airport, transfer to our Shanghai downtown center hotel and meet

other participants for dinner at 6 pm in the hotel lobby. Bund View Room at Shanghai Broadway

Mansions Hotel**** (D)


Day 4: January 7

In the early morning we fly to Chengdu. After we have lunch, we drive to photograph pandas in the enclosure at

Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center in Ya’an.  Ya’an Bifengxia Hotel (B, L, D)


Day 5, 6:  January 8, 9          

Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center is located on the southeast edge of TibetanQinghai plateau and is about

90 miles south away from Chengdu. On the top of Bifengxia mountain area (altitude from 3400 to 5300 ft), the

first project of Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center was finished in 2003. Today, it is the largest captive giant

panda institution in the world with an area of 144 acres. Each enclosure covers an area of 1/4 acre and

provides moving space for pandas. Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center is richly endowed with natural

condition suitable for pandas. In history, this wild panda habitat was the original habitat for pandas. 

In May, 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake devastated China's main panda reserve at Wolong in Sichuan

province. Approximately four-fifths of the reserve was destroyed. During the earthquake, five workers

at the reserve and one panda were killed. After the earthquake, most of the 63 captive pandas in Wolong

Nature Reserve have been carried here. On July 6, the first twin pandas of the world were born in Bifengxia

panda center. By the end of 2008, 9 panda babies have been born here.


For three days, we will photograph pandas in the enclosure and the open compounds.

We will have 3 special arranged panda photo sessions out of Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center .

 Ya’an Bifengxia Hotel (B, L, D)


Day 7:  January 10                                

After the whole day panda photographing, we drive back to Chengdu and have dinner.

 Chengdu Homeland Hotel ***** (B, L, D)


Day 8: January 11                                                                                         

Today fly to Harbin via Jinan.   Jim will offer a critique session this evening to evaluate your pictures taken thus far, and he will be happy to answer any questions you may have about photography and/or Photoshop.  Harbin Holiday Inn Hotel **** (B, L, D)


 Day 9: January 12                                                                                                  

Today, we will drive 4 hours to Hendaohezi Siberian Tiger Park and have packed lunch on the bus.

We will photograph the Siberian tigers in the park with charted photo safaris buses at the good afternoon light.

Hailin Lilai Hotel **** (B, L, D)


 Day 10-11: January 13, 14     

During these two days, we photograph the Siberian tigers in beautiful morning and afternoon light.

Hendaohezi Siberian Tiger Park is located 280 km east of Harbin in northeast China. It is the

largest Siberian tiger breeding center in the world with a beautiful mountain

environment. There are only estimated 400 wild Siberian tigers left in the world in the border area

of Russia, North Korea and China. Siberian Tiger Park was built in 1986 to protect and research this

species of tiger. Since then, there are around 800 Siberian tigers that have been reproduced from

eight wild tigers. Today, there are still around 300 tigers in this park, and they have sent around 300

tigers to different zoos around China.  This breeding center was opened to tourists in 1998. In

this trip, we will photograph 9 to 12 Siberian tigers.


The Siberian tiger is about 10 feet long and weighs 650 pounds. They have an average life span of

25 years, and they are sexually mature at three or four years old. The tiger’s mating season is from

December to June, and they will bear two to four tiger cubs with each litter.  Hailin Lilai Hotel **** (B, L, D)


Day 12: January 15                                                                                                       

This morning, we photograph the Siberian Tigers. We then drive four hours back to Harbin after lunch.

Many buildings exhibit  European early twentieth-century styles along the length of Central Street, and this is the most popular

shopping area of the city. There are some buildings that have survived  modernization, and they still look and feel quite European.


 Ice Lantern Festival is the highlight of the year in Harbin. Held in a park, teams of workers transport

large chunks of ice taken from further north along the Songhua River and carve it into shapes or whole

buildings. Neon tubes are inserted inside the ice, and then the whole thing is lit up in luminescent blues,

pinks, green and yellows. It’s like a frozen Disneyworld and they often build replicas of famous buildings

from around the world: Big Ben; the Eiffel Tower; the Taj Mahal; and, of course, a stretch of the Great Wall.


Before dusk and at twilight, we will take spectacular photographs of the ice sculptures. Harbin Holiday Inn

Hotel **** (B, L, D)


Day 13: January 16

Today, we fly to Beijing . We then visit and photograph the Great Wall. The Great Wall snakes its way across

northern China from the Yellow Sea and past the Gobi Desert for some 3500 miles.  It is the most famous

symbol of China. Though the underlying architecture dates from the Ming Dynasty, the original plan for the

Great Wall and some of its construction date back to the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC).


The Great Wall Mutianyu is well preserved and is a good alternative for visitors who would like to avoid crowds

along the highly popular Badaling section during holiday and peak seasons.  Beijing Sino Swiss Airport Hotel **** (B, L, D)


Day 14: January 17


This morning we transfer to the airport for the return flight home, having had a most unique photography tour

of China.