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Photography in China

China, with its ancient history and beautiful cultures make it a photographer’s paradise. There is something for photographers of all skill levels. It is an incredibly photographic country and one where you certainly will want to bring a camera. To make the most of your visit to China, you will need to keep some things in mind regarding photography. Everyone who visits China finds they take many more photographs than they thought they would, so it is very important that you bring enough film, or memory cards. You will need a lot more than you would have imagined. You also need to make sure you have enough batteries. China uses 220v, so those whose countries use 110v need to bring a converter to charge their batteries, as well as an adapter to ensure that their plugs will fit Chinese sockets. Cameras, film and memory cards are available for purchase in China, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than in the west.

Best Sites for Shutterbugs

  • Some of the best historical sites in China for photographers are The Great Wall, The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, and the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
  • Some of the best locations for photographing China’s natural beauty include; the Ejin Diversifolius Poplar Forest National Nature Reserve in Inner Mongolia, Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province, and Zhangjiajie Scenic Areas in Hunan Province, Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, and the mountains of Guilin in Guangxi Province.
  • The Zhouzhuang, Wuzhen, Xitang, and Zhujiajiao Water Towns in Jiangsu Province are stunning examples of Chinese villages and are very popular with photographers.
  • The traditional Chinese gardens of Suzhou, in Jiangsu Province, and the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai make incredible backdrops and subjects for photograph
  • For those interested in the cultures and traditions of China’s Ethnic Minority Groups, Guangxi Province, Tibet Province, Yunnan Province, and Guizhou Provinces are wonderful places for shutterbugs.

Restricted Photo Taking Sites

There are some places where photography is not allowed. Normally there are signs, but we feel we should list a few. In the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall in Beijing and the Hall of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum in Nanjing, visitors are not allowed to take pictures. The interior of temples and mosques also do not allow photography. Some museums allow photography, but those that do not will post signs letting you know if you cannot. Tri-pods cannot be used inside most museums. Some places will have signs saying no flash photography is allowed. In these places, visitors may take photos, but can only do so without using their flash. In most of China, it is considered rude to take photos of people without their permission, so it is recommended that you ask before doing so to avoid any issues.

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