On Assignment in China for Nat Geo Traveller UK.
The first time I went to China was at the start of this year for a commercial shoot. It involved a lot of portraits, fifty eight or so, and some other photography, you can see the shots here: http://www.runfutang.com/. I was there with my assistant for four night only, one day in Shanghai and then a couple in Beijing. It was my first taste of China and was a bitterly cold, -14°C when we landed with a razor sharp wind. Shanghai seemed like a place I could hang out, but Beijing was grimy, dusty and gritty, by the end of the day I felt like I had been licking cement, that isn't really my ideal location. After a very busy few days we flew out of Beijing, I peered through the gloom, the Sun was low and just a faint orange glow through the haze like something from another world. I was not sad to leave Beijing, but a little sad I hadn't had more time to explore.
Obviously China is absolutely huge and has many many beautiful places, like I said, I liked Shanghai. So when National Geographic Traveller UK (NGTUK) got in touch and asked me to illustrate an article in the Szechuan province, obviously I was excited as I knew this area is very beautiful indeed. Like I said China is huge, as are many of it's provinces including Szechuan. My work and exploration was going to be focused in and around Dujiangyan, near Chengdu.
Being British, I need a visa to travel in China, these are not cheap in Taiwan, but easy and more affordable in Hong Kong (HK). Fortunately I was already heading to HK, so just booked my trip to fit in the visa process and then fly from HK to Chengdu, one night in Chengdu, then a train ride to Dujiangyan and on to The Six Senses Qingchenshan resort and spa.
Although it isn't the beginning and I will come back to it later as it is well worth it, The Six Senses is an amazing place...
The Six Senses Qingchenshan.
I landed in the early afternoon in Chengdu and spent an evening wandering around with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 making street photography.
Off to get dinner.
Finding out the future.
The hunt for knowledge.
Getting ready to set up to trade.
Fresh, hot and spicy potatoes
Welcome to the peoples restaurant.
As you can see there are plenty of characters and lots going on in the evening in Chengdu. I wandered around for a while, drank a couple of beers and enjoyed the open air Karaoke in the park. Gentleman fished the fast flowing, and rather pungent river while groups of ladies did dance exercise around the park. After a long walk I was happy enough to get back to my hotel, and looking forward to getting to the mountains and my assignment to begin properly.
I have decided to make this NGTUK assignment story in instalments, they won't be spread far apart, every other day or so. Keep watching for the next one, I will cover The Six Senses Resort, Qingchenshan (birth place of Taoism), Panda Valley, The Earthquake Memorial, an ancient Qing Township, Puzhao Temple and if that isn't enough, hugging Sturgeon!
Feel free to get in touch, if you have a questions, bookings, assignments etc..
Love to all...