FAQs about China Photography Tours
Thank you all guys with such positive comments, that's the source that I work on.
- Q Do I need a tripod or filters?
- A Yes, a stable tripod is very necessary in low light cases espeically at sunrise and sunset, or for timelapse photography. All our guides have tripods, we can lend you if you don't want take yours. GND filters are good for sunrise and sunset photography because of strong light contrast.
- Q Can I use Facebook, WhatsApp and Google in China?
- A Unfortunately, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and most of Google service (including Gamil and Google Map, Google Translate service is still working) are not working in China. WhatsApp is not stable in China, you may lose connection sometimes.
You can download some VPN apps before to China, Express VPN and Astrill are recommended.
- Q How can I connect my guide while in China?
- A Wechat. More than 70% of Chinese are using Wechat. While you are traveling in China, Wechat is definitely the most convenient communication tool for contacting your guide and any other people.
- Q How can I get local currency (RMB) in China?
- A You can get local money in some certain bank ATMs by your credit cards. The ATMs of Bank of China are definitely working, Bank of Communication, Bank of Agriculture, and other national banks may also work in big cities.
You can converter USD to RMB in airports, or you can exchange with your guide.
- Q Can I fly drones in China?
- A Guilin: you can free fly in most villages and mountains, even in downtown, please be aware of some military and government areas, those places are normally not marked on the map. It is strictly not allowed to fly in Yellow Mountains (Huangshan) and Zhangjiajie mountain areas. Meanwhile, it is not allowed to fly in inner cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and other big cities. However, I watched many drone videos about the Great Wall (Beijing) and the Bund (Shanghai).
Please note that in Beijing airport custom, the staff may check your drone even take it away, it happened before on a US photographer.
- Q Do I have to give tip in China? If yes, how much?
- A Except high-level western retaurants, it is not common to tip waiters and maids. In recognition of satisfied service, tip the guide and driver will be greatly appreciated (USD 30-50 for the guide, $20-30 for the driver). It is not a must, please don't feel uneasy about it.
- Q Can I use credit card everywhere in China?
- A All chain hotels and boutique hotels accept foreign credit cards, most of local restaurants, convenient shops and some hotels in rural areas don't accept foreign credit cards. The best way is to bring some cash with you just in case, RMB or USD both are fine.
- Q Is it cheaper to buy camera gears in China?
- A I believe so. Camera bodies and lenses are cheaper in China compared to US market and Japan market. "The price for a same lens is only 70% in Guilin while in Japan" - a real experience of one of my customers from Brazil. I can also check out the latest price in local camera shops if you need to know.
- Q Can I join a group tour?
- A We do private photo tours only, if you want to share the costs with other photographers, you can post your itinerary on Facebook or any other local photography clubs to recruit other photographers join in you.