Guilin Photography with Mia Beales

Hong Kong & China

I’m going to Hong Kong and China in August. And to help me plan my trip is Mia Beales of GuilinPhotographyTours.com. Mia, welcome to the show.

It’s so good to have you here to help me plan for this hopefully epic trip I’ll be taking in a few short weeks.

I can’t believe how crazy it has been planning this trip. I started by thinking I’d only fill my time up with Hong Kong. And HK is “western” enough it feels rather comfortable in a certain way. But is a whole other beast when it comes to one’s ability to get around efficiently. So often I prefer to just go and wander, and largely that’s what we’ll be doing in Hong Kong. But with China, I want something a bit more structured for my first time there. And that’s where Mia and her fine service comes in.

I was originally looking at heading to Detian falls, but it’s so remote and there’s not a lot of convenient transit options so I started looking to go other places. That led me to Guilin, just a couple hours north of Hong Kong via bullet train.

Mia, tell us a bit about the history of Guilin Photography Tours and what you offer photographers.

Other questions for Mia:

  1. I’m a vegetarian, are there going to be good options for me or will I have to hunt for them? (some appear vegetarian, have pork or something on them)
  2. It seems the area is very well developed. How might you characterize the place for photographers looking for “off the beaten path” kind of locations. Is that possible to get in Guilin?
  3. Back to food and the like. I imagine standard precautions apply with regards to street food, drinking the water, ice and the like?
  4. What about safety? Is there a noticeable police presence?
  5. I noticed there’s a market that goes to 2:00 a.m. What’s that like?
  6. Tell us about your one-day tour. It starts at about 4:00 a.m. and goes to 10 or 11 p.m. That’s a big day!
  7. I’m curious about the rice fields up north.
  8. When I’m there, it’ll be close to a full moon. The moon will rise about 25 minutes before sun sets. Can that be taken into account for where we’ll be for sunset?
  9. What about other areas? If a photographer really wanted to see “everything,” how many days could you fill?
  10. Anything else specific to my journey I should look out for? I’ll be taking the MTR from HK to Shenzhen, then the Shenzhen MTR to the North railway station. From there it’s the bullet train to Guilin.
  11. What sets your service apart from other competing services. I noticed a photography tour for $99. Yours is a lot more expensive, I imagine it’s better in some way.
  12. Tell us briefly about Gatsby Travel