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Gannan Mysterious Land 2024

Discover the "Little Tibet" of Gannan, a colorful and pure land that Chinese National Geographic hails as one of the top 50 places to visit in a lifetime. Experience the perfect harmony of Tibetan culture and stunning highland landscapes. Join us on this unforgettable journey!

  • Experience authentic tibetan culture beyond Tibet

  • Explore the majestic plateau landscapes at sunrise and sunset

  • Indulge in the spectacular scenery of Nuoergai Grand Prairie

  • Capture Everything in Lianbaoyeze with a Full Day Experience

  • 70% natural scenery + 30% profound human culture photography

$3,100

Per Person

USD

Destinations

Lanzhou - Xiahe - Zhagana - Aba - Maqu

Duration

9 days, 8 nights

Fitness level

Medium

Drone friendly

Yes

Group Size

Less than 6

Dates

August 15-23, 2024

Mercier Zeng

Instructor & Workshop Leader

Having years of experience, Mercier Zeng has designed the itinerary for the workshop and will personally lead it.

Mercier has earned over 100 excellent reviews on Trip Advisor after guiding more than 300 photographers from various parts of the world. He has even accompanied some photographers on multiple occasions to Guilin, guiding them since 2014 and helping them capture portfolio-worthy shots, regardless of their level of expertise.

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A taste of what to expect…

Day 1: Lanzhou Arrival

Upon your arrival at Lanzhou airport or railway station, our team will be prepared to transport you to your hotel.

Here are a few complimentary day trip suggestions:

  1. Explore the Gansu Provincial Museum and immerse yourself in the cultural artifacts of the northwest region.

  2. Indulge in the renowned local delicacy - beef noodles, and witness the impressive speed at which they prepare a bowl of noodles in seconds.

  3. Capture stunning photographs of the sunset and vibrant nightlife along the banks of the Yellow River.

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Day 2: Lanzhou - Labrang Monastery - Langmusi 

Embark on a morning journey to Xiahe, a Tibetan area.

Explore the renowned Labrang Monastery, one of the six major temples of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Marvel at the world's longest corridor of prayer wheels and photograph the devout Tibetan believers as they engage with the prayer wheels.

Continuing your adventure, proceed to Langmusi town. Along the way, capture captivating scenes of Tibetan people's lives on the picturesque grasslands. Observe the smoke rising from their cooking fires and the traditional tents that dot the landscape, providing a glimpse into their rich cultural heritage.

Day 3: Langmusi - Zhagana

Start on an early morning journey to Langmusi and seize the opportunity to capture the enchanting pagodas and monasteries as the sun's rays illuminate them.

Afterward, continue your drive to Zhagana, where you can photograph the picturesque grasslands and traditional Tibetan houses that adorn the route.

Zhagana, also known as "The Stone Town," is nestled amidst the mountains and exudes an idyllic beauty, showcasing the essence of pure Tibetan culture. It is truly a Shangri-la-like destination.

In the late afternoon, don't miss the chance to capture the mesmerizing sunset over Zhagana, adding a touch of enchantment to your experience.

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Day 4: Zhagana - Ruoergai Grand Prairie - Bends of the Yellow River

Capture the breathtaking sunrise from a scenic viewpoint in Zhagana, where old houses are enveloped by ethereal clouds and mist.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting a Tibetan family, experiencing their way of life, and capturing intimate indoor portraits.

Continue your journey to the Huahu Scenery Area, where you can photograph the captivating interplay of light and shadow as the sun illuminates the ever-changing surface of the lake.

 

Arriving at Tangke before sunset, seize the opportunity to capture the mesmerizing First Bend of the Yellow River from a picturesque viewpoint. As the sun sets, the entire valley will be bathed in a golden light, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

Day 5: Tangke - Aba

Begin on a journey along the Ruoergai Grand Prairie highway to reach the captivating Manzhatang Wetland.

Manzha Lake Wetland offers a vast and expansive view, characterized by gentle slopes. From May to October, the wetland becomes adorned with a plethora of wildflowers, creating a vibrant and picturesque scene. The presence of grazing cattle and sheep, along with the scattered tents of herdsmen, adds to the idyllic ambiance, reminiscent of a peaceful paradise far removed from the hustle and bustle of the world.

In the afternoon, arrive at Aba and make your way to Gemo Monastery. Capture the intricate architectural details, including the Hall of Great Buddha, as well as the unique siamese twin temple architecture, which are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Day 6: Full day photograph in Lianbaoyeze

Early morning, we drove to the Lianbao Yezhe scenic area to shoot photos. Using soft lighting and a neutral density filter, we captured the flowing waters of Lianbao Yezhe Shenshan in the foreground.

After the shoot, we took a short break before starting a light hiking photography journey. Carrying minimal equipment, we reached the lesser-known "Hidden Lake" to capture the natural beauty of Lianbao Yezhe.

From there, we went to the "Summit Viewing Platform" for an excellent scenic view. Next stop was the iconic "Zhaga'er Cuo" lake, capturing the unique mountain landscape along the way.

Before sunset, we made it to "Baita Lake" to shoot. The lake in the foreground and the rugged peaks of Lianbao Yezhe in the background created a perfect blend of serenity and strength.

Day 7: Aba - Langyisi - Yellow River Wetland - Maqu

 

Get up early and head to Langyi Temple Viewing Platform for a breathtaking sunrise shot. As the sun rises, it bathes the temple in a gradual, warm glow, and if you're fortunate, you might catch the temple surrounded by morning mist.

Afterward, return to the hotel for breakfast and some rest. Then, hop in a car and head to the Awancang Yellow River Wetland for more photography opportunities. On the way, you'll pass by Ningma Temple, home to the world's largest prayer wheel.

Once you reach Awancang Town, hike up to a mountaintop viewpoint and take in the stunning expanse of the Yellow River Wetland. The meandering Yellow River creates mesmerizing patterns across the land, and you'll have the chance to witness cattle and sheep grazing on the lush grasslands. It's a truly tranquil and awe-inspiring experience, allowing you to appreciate the ever-changing beauty of the landscape.

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Day 8: Maqu - Ganjia Mandala Reality

 

After breakfast, we headed to the enchanting Ganjia Secret Realm. With its 1300-meter vertical drop and unique geological features, it offered diverse landscapes like cliffs, grasslands, lakes, and canyons.

We started by ascending to an observation deck, capturing the panoramic view of Bajiao Ancient City, once a bustling hub and military fortress, using a drone.

Next, we explored the temples built along the white cliffs at the foot of Bai Shiya Mountain.

A short hike led us to the serene Bai Shiya Grand Canyon.

Finally, we captured the beautiful scene of Ganjia Secret Realm in the evening light near the campsite, with the golden hues bathing Bai Shiya Mountain and Ganjia Grassland.

We spent the night in this hidden paradise of Gannan.

Day 9: Ganjia - Lanzhou Departure

 

The ideal time to capture the enchanting Ganjia Secret Realm is early morning. In this secluded paradise, the chances of witnessing the magical morning mist are high. The Bai Shiya Mountain takes on an ethereal beauty, while the grasslands, temples, rivers, cliffs, and ancient city harmoniously combine, creating a dreamy and captivating ambiance.

Once we've enjoyed breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to this delightful journey and head back to Lanzhou.

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Payment Info

  • Deposit payment of $900 USD upon booking

  • Payment in full is required 40 days prior to the tour starting date

  • Single occupancy accommodations for 7 nights at hotels

  • Double occupancy is USD 2,750 per person

Tour price: $3,100 USD

What's Included

Photography guide + local professional

Private van transportation

7-night accommodation (5-star or best in local)

Inclusive entrance fees to photography locations

Personalized processing instructions

Complimentary Fresh Coffee for Early Morning Outdoor Shoots

Pick-up from Lanzhou Railway Station & Transfer to Dunhuang Railway Station

Camera Gears Suggestions

Cameras

Better to bring two bodies, DSLR or mirrorless camera both are ok

Tripod

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Tripod is very necessary in low light conditions, such as at sunrise and sunset moments

Telephoto Lens

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Such as 70-200MM, for photographing subjects in a distance

Drone

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Bring it if you have it, it is good for photographing wide land and mountains

Wide-angle Lens

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24-70MM, 16-35MM  for landscapes at sunrise and sunset

Other Gears

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Torch light, GND filters, romote control or shutter release, extra memory card, battery ...

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Photography Begins Here

All you need to do is provide us with your requirements, and we will connect you with an experienced local photography guide.