Picture perfect holiday
A self-drive journey is one of the best ways to explore a country and, for photography fans, it also offers rare opportunities that ordinary tours can not provide.
Dragonair Holidays has launched a package catering to both needs. Participants can also learn from a professional photographer who will travel with the group.
The journey, from February 17 to 23, will take participants through the beautiful landscape and terraces in Yunnan province, which is known for its diversity of culture as it is home to 25 of China's 55 recognised ethnic minorities.
Participants will be able to drive in a Toyota Prado sports utility vehicle along the roads from Kunming to Jinghong, stopping at various towns, villages and attractions. They will drive between three and seven hours each day, covering distances between 100km and 350km. Highlights include watching the sun rise over the Yuanyang rice terraces known as the Mirrors of God, and visits to markets in the hillside villages and to Xishuangbanna.
Photographer Ron Yue will join the tour as a hands-on coach who teaches portrait, architecture and landscape photography. Participants can practise new skills learned from classes at photogenic spots en route.
The package includes round-trip flights from Hong Kong to Kunming on Dragonair; a domestic flight from Jinghong to Kunming; car use, petrol and tolls throughout the journey; accommodation for six nights with meals; temporary Chinese driving licence; tour leader; professional photographer; and insurance.
The seven-day, six-night package starts from HK$28,610 per person for four persons, one car and two rooms, to HK$47,260 for one person, one car and one room. Business class packages and nine-day, eight-night itinerary options are also available.
For those who prefer to explore the country on their own, car rental companies Hertz and Avis both have operations in various Chinese cities.
Self-drive rentals in China require a valid Chinese driving licence. A temporary licence is available for those on a short visit, and most car rental companies can help their customers with the application.