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The Heart of Asia


The Heart of Asia

Photography Tour

The Heart of Asia


The Heart of Asia


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Asia Photography Tour Taiwan Adventure

Taiwan is a hidden gem that should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’ to visit. Travel + Leisure listed Taipei as one of the “Best Places to Travel in 2016”, Forbes Travel Guide lists Taipei as one of its “16 Top Destinations For 2016”, Lonely Planet published “Five reasons why Taiwan Should Be on Your Bucket List”, and gives an additional “100 Reasons to visit Taiwan."

Tour Includes

  • icon13 Days
  • iconPhotography Workshops: Pre – During & Post-production
  • iconSmall Group (6 - 12 people)
  • icon5 Star Luxury hotels
  • icon2 Guides
  • iconBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • iconSite entrance fees
  • iconAboriginal villages
  • iconLocal transportation
  • icon100% on the ground travel (no lost travel days)
photo tour Taiwan

Asia Photography Tour Taiwan Adventure

Join us in Taiwan and experience places that have no equal anywhere in the world. Experience the hustle and bustle of Taipei, one of Asia’s most talked about and modern cities, enjoy a wide variety of delicious cuisine, relax in the mountains and enjoy some of the finest tea in the world, step back in time in indigenous villages, meander through ancient streets and explore old Chinese temples, relax and soak in a hot spring, view incredibly beautiful natural landscapes and enjoy the hospitality of Taiwan’s incredibly friendly people... all this while improving your photographing skills with a photography workshop. Throughout each day, Henry will offer tips and advice for shooting. Every 2 days or so, participants can show and critique their images during an after-dinner critique session.

This special photography tour and adventure is designed not only for you to experience the wonders of Asia and Taiwan, but to help you build and develop your photography skills. You will go home with images that you’re proud of, photographs that your family and friends will be envious of, and you will learn new skills that will take your photography to a new and higher level. Besides learning, improving and honing your technical skills using your camera, you will learn photographic and post-production techniques that will help expand your creativity and add beauty to your pictures. You will learn how to turn an ordinary photo into a beautiful travel magazine picture. You will learn how to create a picture rather than just a snap shot. We will have individual and group discussions, learn basic and advanced Photoshop techniques and, of course, have great fun!
Explore Taiwan and experience the modern, traditional and ancient. Travel with our two highly experienced and professional tour leaders and gain an intimate view into the culture of Taiwan while enjoying photography workshops and building your photographing, pre- and post-production skills and creativity. Our Photographer Leader is a highly published, world-renowned photographer and our Tour Leader, also highly published, is one of the most sought after tour guides in Taiwan.

Taiwan has the best of all that Asia has to offer, from its modern high-tech capital city of Taipei, an ultra-modern, clean, efficient and fast public transportation system, to some of the best culinary delights anywhere in the world, to indigenous villages and culture and Chinese culture, some of the most magnificent natural landscapes anywhere in the world to world-class hot springs and some of the absolute best shopping in Asia. Taiwan offers all of this in a compact size, maximizing your time exploring and experiencing rather than spending a lot of your holiday time (and losing days) traveling from place to place via plane, train and/or bus over long distances; Taiwan is slightly smaller than the US states of Maryland and Delaware combined, or Belgium in Europe. Taiwan is one of the world’s best kept secrets and is one of the few full democracies in Asia, and a vibrant one at that! Taiwan is also the safest place in Asia, and was even ranked the 2nd safest country in the world, based on US FBI crime statistics.


100% on the ground travel (you get nearly 100% of your time traveling and photographing without losing days traveling to airports, taking domestic flights, or taking very long train or bus trips.) We are the only 100% fully licensed, and insured, photography workshop tour in Taiwan.

photography tour Taipei
day 1: welcome to Taiwan

We'll have a get-acquainted meeting at 3 p.m. at our hotel in Taipei and a welcome banquet for dinner.

Accommodation: Palais de Chine Hotel or equivalent
day 2: Taipei

Today we'll visit Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Martyr’s Shrine, Taipei 101, and Xinyi Commercial District Optional: National Palace Museum.

We begin our exploration of Taiwan in its capital city, Taipei. We visit the memorial hall of former President Chiang Kai-shek with its striking white walls and blue tiled roof. On the grounds of this memorial are the National Concert Hall and National Theater, both built in traditional Chinese palace style. The Martyrs Shrine was constructed to honor the war dead. Its impressive architecture resembles that of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Forbidden City. We also visit the modern Taipei 101, once the tallest building in the world, as well as the modern commercial district with stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues that surround it.

An option for today is the world renowned National Palace Museum, which boasts some of the finest pieces from the Chinese imperial collection from the Yuan, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. It is ranked one of the top museums in the world, today.

Theme: Contemporary, modern Taipei and city scenes. We'll focus on photography basics, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, light (direction, color, softness and hardness) and composition.

Accommodation: Palais de Chine Hotel or equivalent

day 3: Taipei

Today we'll visit Dadaocheng, Longshan Temple, Ximending, Snake Alley, Shilin Night Market

Today's focus is on historic Taipei, from Dadaocheng area where Taipei began its development centuries ago to the always busy Longshan Temple, devoted to both Buddhist and Taoist deities. Next to Longshan Temple is Herb Alley, a narrow space stacked high with strange looking roots, branches and leaves. Here, Traditional Chinese Medicine prescriptions have been filled for many generations of Taipei residents. Next, Ximending was Taipei's main entertainment district during the Japanese occupation era (1895-1945). Today, this is an area of movie theaters, cafes and shops geared towards the youth market. The Huaxi Street Night Market is one of the oldest markets in Taiwan. It is more famously known as Snake Alley, as this is one of the few places that you will find snake delicacies. The Shilin Night Market is a more modern night market with a dedicated foods section, where you can try just about every type of Taiwanese snack.

Special Dinner in a famous restaurant featuring Taiwanese home cooking.

Theme: Old Taipei. Today we'll expand on yesterday's photography discussions and include flash, lens focal length / lenses to use.

Accommodation: Palais de Chine Hotel or equivalent

day 4: New Taipei & Yilan

Today we'll visit Pinglin, New Taipei City tea plantation and teahouse

Taiwan's hills and mountains offer great environments for growing high quality tea; Taiwan produces some of the finest tea in the world. Paochong tea, which is a light oolong, is cultivated in Pinglin. Here, we explore terraced tea plantations and sample the local brew. Nearby Pingxi, and the railway branch line by the same name, developed due to a once prosperous coal mine. Today, its old street is quiet and quant. Along the railway tracks in the town of Shifen, visitors write their wishes on sky lanterns and release them, allowing them to fly off toward the heavens.

After a long day of sightseeing and photographing, there is nothing better than soaking in natural hot springs waters. These can be enjoyed in a public pool area in the resort or in the privacy of your room.

Theme: Tea, railway history, coal mining history, sky lanterns, hot springs. This evening we'll explore photographing at night.

Accommodation: Evergreen Resort Hotel or equivalent (Jiaoxi) (enjoy hot springs)

day 5: Hualien

Taroko Gorge—Shakadang Trail, Swallows Grotto Trail

Taroko Gorge is one of the rare examples of a natural marble gorge in the world. Its marble walls and cliffs were cut over a long period of time by the aquamarine waters of the Liwu River. This gorge is located within Taroko National Park and is a protected and spectacular scenic area. This gorge was once home to the indigenous Truku tribe, one of the 16 officially recognized tribes in Taiwan. Although forced to leave by the Japanese in the early 20th century, members of this tribe retain some land within the park, such as along the Shakadang Trail, which follows the picturesque Shakadang River. Swallows Grotto is the nesting site for a large number of swallows, from which it gets its name. This is the narrowest point of the gorge and where the waters of the Liwu River rush through.

Special lunch in an aboriginal restaurant which has been described as “amazing, special and yummy”, “great food and atmosphere”, and “tribal cuisine.”

Theme: Natural marble gorge, Truku tribe culture. We'll begin to explore landscape photography and will possibly have the opportunity to candidly photograph indigenous people in a natural setting.

Accommodation: Silks Place Taroko or equivalent

day 6: Hualien & Taroko Gorge

Tianxiang (Suspension bridge, Goddess of Mercy temple, Lushui-Heliu Trail), Eternal Spring Shrine, Indigenous Tattoo Museum or Yuli Taki Weaving Workshop or Bsuring Community tour, Hualien City—Creative Industries Park

We continue our exploration of the spectacular Taroko Gorge and the rich Truku tribe culture. After a visit to the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Tianxiang, we cross a suspension bridge and then walk the 1.2 mile (two-kilometer) Lushui-Heliu Trail with natural overhangs and views of the Liwu River. At the Buluowan Leader Resort, we enjoy a lunch of indigenous cuisine. Buluowan was once the location of a Truku tribe settlement. Here, a fascinating exhibition describes the traditional lifestyle of this tribe. We then visit indigenous people working to pass on their cultural heritage including the traditions of facial tattooing and weaving. We end our day in Hualien City at the A-Zone Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park. Built more than 100 years ago as a winery, it has been transformed into cultural and creative product exhibition space.

Lunch: Buluowan, Buluowan Visitor Center (Truku tribe exhibition)

Dinner: Special dinner in a historical house, Andante Restaurant (Creative Industries Park) (Western cuisine)

Theme: Natural marble gorge, Truku tribe culture, cultural products. We'll continue to discuss landscape shooting, including how your choice of lens affects landscape images, scale, leading lines, etc.

Accommodation: Chateau de Chine Hotel, Hualien or equivalent

day 7: Hualien & Taitung

Shuilian Hunters School, Shitiping Scenic Area + Gangkou rice terraces, JOKI Workshop/Shanglian Workshop—coffee, Jingpu Community (Xiuguluan River estuary tour, bamboo rafting (seasonal + optional))

At the Cidal Hunters School in the indigenous Amis Community of Shuilian, we learn some of the traditional knowledge of this tribe including how to start a fire without a lighter or matches, build traps, and traditional uses of plants. We spend the rest of the day traveling along the beautiful Pacific coastline.

Lunch: Shuilian Hunters School

Dinner: Atomo Spring Lily Restaurant (Jingpu Community)

Theme: Amis culture, coastal rice terraces, river estuary, coastal scenery. Expanding on our previous days lessons, we'll also cover portraiture.

Accommodation: Nanzhuhu Resort or Changbin Township guesthouse or equivalent

day 8: Taitung

Tropic of Cancer marker, Baxian cave temples, Changbin beach/coastal scenery, Pisirian Community/Sanxiantai Scenic Area, Chenggong Harbor (return of fishing boats), Dulan Sugar Refinery artist studios, Optional: Father Wu (foot massage) NT$500 per person (around US$16) for 40 minutes

Today, we continue our travels southward along the spectacular East Coast of Taiwan. In Changbin Township of Taitung County, we visit Baxian Cave with several natural openings in the rocks that have been transformed into mostly Buddhist shrines or temples. This is also the location of Taiwan's oldest prehistoric site. Also in this township lives Father Josef Eugster, a Swiss German Catholic priest who has served in Taiwan for four decades. He developed a reflexology (foot massage) system that aims to improve health and has taught these methods to local residents to help them earn a living. Another attraction is the Tropic of Cancer Marker, symbolizing the boundary between Taiwan's subtropical and tropical climate zones.

Fishing is an important livelihood for many families living along the East Coast and we may have the opportunity to see colorful fishing boats returning with their catches. We also visit the indigenous Amis community of Pisirian. This community traditionally raised goats, which feature prominently in the community's driftwood sculptures and murals. From here, there are spectacular views of the Sanxiantai Scenic Area (rock outcrop). The Dulan Sugar Refinery is no longer in operation and has been transformed into artist studios and exhibition spaces. Driftwood sculptures are prominent here. After dinner, head to Tiehua Village to enjoy live music performances, mostly by local indigenous artists.

Lunch: Chengkong Marlin Restaurant

After dinner: Tiehua Village (live music performance)(optional)

Theme: Chinese religion, reflexology (foot massage developed by a Swiss priest), beach/coastline scenery, fishing industry, indigenous woodcarving, indigenous music.

Accommodation: Queena Plaza Hotel, Taitung City or equivalent

day 9: Taitung & Kenting

Rukai or Paiwan community tour (Taromak or Lalauran + lunch), Southern Link Highway to Kenting, introduction to central Kenting

We continue our exploration of Taiwan's indigenous culture, visiting a community of the Rukai or Paiwan tribe. After lunch, we travel along the picturesque Southern Link Highway to reach Kenting, Taiwan's southernmost tip and its premier beach resort area. Our hotel is located near Kenting Street, lined with souvenir shops and restaurants.

Theme: Indigenous culture, beach resort, coastal beauty. We'll photograph indigenous people in their community. We will experience behind the scenes culture and life away from the standard touristy destinations.

Accommodation: Caesar Park Hotel (Kenting) or equivalent

day 10: Kenting

Kenting area tour, Free time for beach activities

Kenting National Park includes both coastal forest and coral reef ecology. Today, we explore some of the highlights of this national park. After that, enjoy some free time on the beach!

Theme: Coastal beauty, beach fun. For today's focus we'll continue photographing landscapes and explore beach photography and exposure.

Accommodation: Caesar Park Hotel (Kenting) or equivalent)

day 11: Kaohsiung & Tainan

Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, Haian Street, Wutiaogang (traditional lanes and handicrafts)

Fo Guang Shan is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Its attractions include a large collection of Buddhist sculptures, such as a 36-metre tall statue of Amitabha Buddha. Following our visit here, we head to Tainan, often referred to as "the cradle of Taiwan's modern history". The Dutch ruled here for nearly four decades during the 17th century before being defeated by Koxinga, a Ming dynasty warlord. This was followed by migration of people from the coastal areas of southern China, and the first ethnic Chinese settlement. In addition to a plethora of well-preserved historical sites, traditional arts (such as paper lantern making and wood carving) continue on here and can be viewed in shops tucked away among quiet ancient alleys and lanes.

Theme: Buddhism, Chinese traditional arts

Accommodation: Tayih Landis (Tainan City) or equivalent

day 12: Tainan

Sicao Mangrove area, Anping settlement, Anping Fort, Anping Treehouse, Chikanlou and surrounding area, Confucius Temple

Today, we continue our exploration of Tainan's rich history, and enjoy some of its natural beauty as well, especially its mangrove forests with abundant wildlife including migratory and resident birds, crabs, and mudskippers.

Lunch: Anping settlement

Theme: Mangrove forest scenery, Chinese immigrant history. Today we'll tie together all we've learned and end our day by sharing our images and discussing them.

Accommodation: Tayih Landis (Tainan City) or equivalent

day 13: Taipei

High Speed Rail to Taipei, Free time to finish exploring Taipei or optional half-day photographing in a studio with a model in Taichung before returning to Taipei, Farewell dinner

We return to Taipei via the High Speed Rail, which reaches top speed of 300 kilometers per hour. Once back in Taipei, it is time to relax or to finish up last minute souvenir shopping and sightseeing before coming together for a farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Palais de Chine Hotel or equivalent

Important Notes

As Asia Photography Tours Taiwan is designed as a photography tour, our scheduling must be flexible.

This itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions, road conditions and/or other unforeseen events or circumstances beyond our control; a lot of what we do, and the times we do it, will depend upon weather and light. Any substitutions will be of similar quality and interest to the greatest extent possible. There will be some early mornings and late evenings in order for us to take advantage of the best possible light and weather.

Hotels have been specifically and carefully chosen for your comfort, as well as for their closeness to locations. Your time visiting sites, exploring and photographing will be maximized. Our bus is comfortable, clean and modern, and it offers plenty of room for you and your luggage.

Insurance: We are the only 100% fully licensed and insured photography workshop tour in Taiwan, and the tour price includes travel insurance policy of NT$2 million while traveling in Taiwan. We also strongly recommend that each participant purchases additional travel and/or medical insurance from their home country that is valid for travel overseas. This additional travel insurance will help to minimize the risk of loss due to missing an airline connection coming to Taiwan, an unforeseen airline strike, departure postponements due to weather, your inability to travel due to illness or injury, etc.

Photo Release: We reserve the right to use photographs of participants on tour for our promotional and publicity purposes, only. We also reserve the right to use participants’ photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, only, when photographs are submitted to us.