Yellow Mountains – Huangshan

  • Photograph the unique ‘Sea of Clouds’
  • Discover your Ansel Adams in the mountains of Huangshan
  • Join photographer and passionate China enthusiast Charles Borsboom
  • Follow in the footsteps of great Chinese artists
  • Enjoy historical villages and imagine yourself at Chinese film sets
  • Price: €2745,- full board from Shanghai China (shared twin room)
  • Travel code: FHC1117

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

There is an ancient saying in China that says:

“You won’t want to visit any other mountains after seeing the five famous mountains, and after seeing Huangshan Mountain, you won’t want to see the five famous mountains.” 

The Yellow Mountain or in Chinese Huangshan is famous for its strangely shaped pines, bizarre rocks, hot springs and the “Sea of ​​Clouds”. The area has a long history of inspiration for all kind of artists. Besides poetry, the area is best known for the typical Chinese ink drawings. Today it is a mecca for photographers, be it National Geographic, Discovery Channel or amateur photographers.
During this photo tour you will now have the opportunity to view and photograph the area extensively yourself, guided by photographer Charles Borsboom. Huangshan is the formal sister park of Yosemite Park in California and for good reason! Just check the Ansel Adams Gallery and you will understand why.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

After our arrival in Shanghai, we will leave for Huangshan where we will stay five days between the mountain peaks. One of the most spectacular phenomena in Huangshan is called the “Sea of ​​Clouds” and, although there are no guarantees in nature, the chance to witness this spectacle always there. Huangshan is also known for the paths and steps, more than 50km of footpaths and around 60.000 steps in the whole area. Although we will use the cable cars to bring us into the mountains, we will nevertheless need to walk a lot of stairs occasionally. This tour is not about the physical challenge, since we will take ample time, but it’s definitely good to realize this.

The photo tour is set in the beginning of winter. The temperatures will be low, but not uncomfortable. Frost can occur and we hope the mountains and the trees will be even more beautiful because of that. Another big advantage of wintertime is that there will be much less tourists.
The (composition) techniques that the ancient Chinese artists used centuries ago are well thought and special. We can transfer these techniques to our landscape photography. We will pursue the matter further during the tour and discover that it can give an extra dimension to our images.

 Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Photographer Charles Borsboom will be your guide during this tour. Besides photographic techniques he will certainly talk about your creative possibilities. During a number of photo discussions he will also talk about post processing using Lightroom  and/or Photoshop.. This way you can enhance your photos even more.


Day 1
We will meet you at the airport and bring you to our hotel in downtown Shanghai. The hotel is located near all hotspots. Depending on the time of arrival, we will determine today’s activities.

Day 2
We will spend the morning in Shanghai. There are plenty of interesting places to experience Chinese life. If you rather prefer to have a coffee with a view of the skyline and the river then that is possible as well. In the early afternoon we will leave Shanghai for a short flight (app. 1 hour) to Tunxi, also known as Huangshan City. After arrival we will go to the city of Tangkou at the foot of the mountains by minibus.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 3
Today we will stay in the valley. We can see the mountains when the sky is clear, but there are some nice photogenic locations down the mountains as well. We will go on a day trip to the villages Xidi and Hongcun. Both villages are wonderful examples of Ming and Ding dynasties and are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Strolling through the narrow streets is a wonderful way to see the Chinese village life and beautiful architecture. At the end of the afternoon we will drive back to our hotel in Tangkou.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 4
Emerald Valley is close by and it is a beautiful park with many small waterfalls and lakes. The water takes the tones of the the surroundings and offers a wonderful kaleidoscope of colours.There are bamboo forests all around us, which offer a nice photographic topic as well. Some well known Chinese films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were filmed here. In the evening we will have a photo discussion and we will prepare for our visit up in the mountains.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 5
Today we will go up the mountain by taking the Yuping cable car and arrive close to the ‘Greeting Pine Tree’. The landscape is beautiful and we are moving more or less on the ridge of the mountains. Both left and right of us we will have spectacular views of the mountains surrounding us. There won’t be any guarantee on the ‘Sea of clouds’, but the chances are very present. The mountain peaks will form a great backdrop for this phenomenon. The highest point of the Yellow Mountains, the Lotus Peak is relatively close and easy to reach. At the end of the day we take the cable car back down and we stay another night in the same hotel. In the evening, we will discuss the first experiences and our photos.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 6 – 9
We will leave on time and the bus will take us to another cable car. At the top we will walk with our camera bag and our most necessary luggage in about an hour to our hotel. We remain a total of 3 nights in the hotel and decide each day which  part of the mountains we will visit. This will depend on the weather, time and our desire to stick around the hotel or walk a little further. Our hotel is centrally located and you can check all directions with different views and opportunities for photography. We will have opportunities for fascinating photography 24 hours a day because the nights offer great possibilities as well. We will pay much attention to post processing of the ​​’raw’ images, improving your images and conversions to black / white by using Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Software plug-ins.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 9
After a final sunrise and breakfast in the mountains we will walk back to the cable car. At the foot of the mountain, a minibus  will pick us up and drive us back to our hotel in Tangkou. We will pick up our remaining baggage and a head back to Shanghai by either bullet train or plane (depending on the best schedule).

Day 10
We will have a whole day left and together we will decide what to do. We will certainly visit the art district M50, a former factory compound where many photographers and other artists work or having their gallery.
Shanghai is a special city, where you can find improbable luxury, but also typical and authentic Chinese streets, where life is still very simple. We will visit the famous Bund, the great promenade alongside the river. It is also a city with a great history. Obviously there is a lot of time for photography. The fascinating street life is fun to watch and a challenge to photograph.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 11
This last day in Shanghai can be spent in every way you like. There is a lot to see, to photograph and, if you like, to buy. We will have a farewell dinner somewhere in town in the evening.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Day 12
Unfortunately this unique photo tour has come to an end. It is time to fly home again or you could also consider extending your tour and join Charles to the green Karst mountains of Yangshuo in South China. This region offers also very good opportunities for landscape photography and some relaxation!

You can extend this photo tour by joining Charles Borsboom to Yangshuo in South China.  More information on this extension can be found here.


  • In the Huangshan-area about 50 km of hiking trails can be found. The trails are not all flat, there are steps, sometimes many steps. People who will go up, have to realize that occasionally walks are considerable. We will take all the time we need to get to photographic locations, but even then you should have a reasonable physical condition to walk the stairs;
  • The paths are good and kept clean, yet we strongly recommend to bring good hiking boots with enough grip;
  • The area lies roughly between 1600 and 1880 meters. The risk of altitude sickness is virtually ruled out. However, the air is already somewhat tenuous, so particularly the stairs may be a considerable effort;
  • We expect participants to have a flexible mindset during this unique photo tour;
  • China is a big and bustling country. Huangshan is one of the most popular parks in the country. We won’t be there alone. Chinese photographers appreciate the area as well;
  • In the mountains there are only expensive 4 star hotels available. However, a Chinese 4 star hotel can’t always be compared to a 4-star hotel in the Western world. We have selected the best possible hotels, but sometimes situations can occur that would not happen in a Western hotel. Again, some flexibility may be requested;
  • For travelling in China a flexible mindset is needed anyway. It is a country with different culture and values than we are used to.

Yellow Mountains - ©Charles Borsboom

Some general information about sunrise and sunset and temperatures:
sunrise: 6.15 am
sunset: 5 pm

temperature: 14 to 23° C

temperature: may vary, but around freezing point up to 15 ° C (it may feel colder)

NordicVision Yellow Mountains tour weergeven op een grotere kaart

“Photography teaches that how well you see
has nothing to do with how well you see.