CHINA BACKROADS (2019) - spencerwynn



We arrive in Inner Mongolia in time for the three-day Equestrian Photography festival. We also visit and shoot herds of horses at two other horse farms.

This photography workshop is all about beautiful visuals and vibrant cultures. We focus on two distinct cultures: The quiet pastoral mountain villages of Wuyuan, west of Shanghai and the equestrian culture of Inner Mongolia. Wuyuan enjoys a very old and traditional way of life with historic architecture and traditional living contained in a region of striking beauty. ​

Leaving Wuyuan by high speed train we head north to Beijing, contrasting the easy lifestyle of Wuyuan. Here in Beijing we will visit the Great Wall and other key sites that will be a joy to photograph at all times of day & night before departing to Inner Mongolia the next day.

This trip has been specifically timed around the 3-day Mongolian Equestrian Photography Festival. This festival celebrates three days of Mongolian equestrian competitions, games and culture with exciting activities to photograph each day. After the Festival, we will have two more days visiting other horse farms for some exclusive access to horses while spending the nights in traditional Mongolian yurts out on the grassland plateau.

At night on the grassland is one of your most beautiful times to photograph the night sky. ​The moon will be a half moon, allowing for a great balance of visible stars as well as moon-lit landscapes.

After our stay in Inner Mongolia, we head back to Beijing where we then depart for home the following day. If this is your first time to China, I recommend you add on a few extra days in Beijing before you leave. I can give you advice on more sites to visit and places to see.

"Spencer is a brilliant (and patient) teacher! The workshop was structured so that each lesson amplifies the previous one. It worked! After a few hours I was taking the best landscape photographs of my life."

– John Ferri

​ ​

The Horses of Inner Mongolia


DAY 1 (June 12, 2019)  Arrive Shanghai • Transfer to hotel • Evening meet & greet for all participants over dinner. ​

DAY 2 (June 13, 2019)  Depart Shanghai to Wuyuan by train • Meet local photographer/guide • Photography in and around Wuyuan • Dinner and free time to explore ​

DAYS 3 + 4 (June 14-15, 2019)  2 full days in Wuyuan, shooting various locations and times of day. We will shoot architecture, scenery, people, industry and sunrises.  ​

DAYS 5 (June 16, 2019)  Depart Wuyuan by high-speed train to Beijing • Dinner in Beijing at Pure Lotus restaurant, where eating is theatre! 

DAY 6 (June 17, 2019)  Full day in Beijing • Visit Great Wall and other excellent locations for photography ​

DAY 7 (June 18, 2019)  Depart Beijing for Inner Mongolia • Meet photo guide and explore  • Explore new and interesting sites in the evening ​

DAYS 8 - 10 (June 19-21, 2019)  EQUESTRIAN PHOTO FESTIVAL • We shoot horses and activities.  ​

DAYS 11 + 12 (June 22-23, 2019)  EXTRA • Travel to two ranches and shoot horses • We stay in yurts on the ranches 

DAY 13 (June 24, 2019)  Depart Inner Mongolia for Beijing • Visit Snack Street and shopping district ​

DAY 14 (June 25, 2019)  Final breakfast and departure Beijing for home  ​


•  This is a physically easy-moderate trip. There will be uneven ground in some locations and some periods of walking inclines. It is recommended that participants wear sturdier hiking shoes or boots for greater comfort.

•  Local food is fresh, healthy and abundant. 

•  Except for two nights of communal living in yurts, local and family-run hotels are comfortable, clean and most will have wifi.

•  Do not expect to make purchase with your debit card. You will need to have plenty of cash on hand. Credit cards are also accepted.

•  China is one of the safest place I have ever visited. Regardless of your sex, you will feel comfortable walking at all hours.

•  This trip is organized around the timing of the Equestrian Festival with a departure from Beijing. If you wish to stay a few more days in Beijing at the end of the trip, I can give you plenty of suggestions of locations and activities in the area.


•  One-on-one and group instruction when needed from Spencer Wynn.

•  All accommodation 

•  All meals are included

•  Airport transfers

•  Local drivers and guides.

•  Private bus from Beijing to Inner Mongolia


•  International flights from and to your home country

•  Alcohol

•  Trip / health insurance

​•  Visas for those who require Chinese visas​

•  Delays due to weather or other unavoidable delay conditions


•  The weather will be quite warm in Wuyuan and cooler in Inner Mongolia and at night. Packing with layers in mind will ensure you are comfortable and dry.

•  There will be opportunities to photograph the night sky, so a head lamp will be very useful at these times.

•  It goes without saying that you need to bring your camera(s) that you are able to change lenses. Any recent DSLR or mirrorless camera will be best. It is understood that you will know how to use the camera and know how to use your camera in manual mode.

•  Lenses are personal choices and are subject to what you own and your style of shooting. For me, I travel with a few wide lenses with large apertures for low light and astro photography. I also bring a 50mm and a portrait lens. I tend to travel light and only bring the lenses I know I will use.

•  A bulb-type of air blower will to blow sand and dust off your camera and lenses will be essential in Inner Mongolia where the air is dry and the horses kick up a lot of dust.

•  Extra memory cards and storage, laptop, batteries and chargers are to be carefully planned. You will need a few power adapters for Chinese wall outlets – these can be found at many places including drug stores.

•  A compact but study tripod will be a must for low light and long exposure shoots.

•  A personal first aid kit, water bottle and other items that will give you comfort are highly recommend.

Location:  China - Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province. Various locations in Inner Mongolia

Dates:  June 12-25, 2019

Trip Leader: Spencer Wynn  Assistant: Cecilia Zhang

Itinerary:  (Full itinerary to be provided to participants upon arrival.) ​

Price/Payment Schedule: Full Cost: CAD $4800 ​

Payment options:  All payments must be made electronically by e-transfer or PayPal to:   Full payment or non-refundable deposit to secure a space with four scheduled remaining payments. ​

Non-Refundable Deposit:  CAD $1500 (due upon booking)

• Payment #1: CAD $830.50 - due January 15, 2019

• Payment #2: CAD $830.50 - due February 15, 2019

• Payment #3: CAD $830.50 - due March 15, 2019

• Payment #4: CAD $830.50 - due April 15, 2019

Note:  If payments are not made by the due dates, the deposit is forfeited and your spot will be available to another interested participant. If unforeseen circumstances arise, participants are welcome to transfer/sell their space to another interested participant. In such case, participants are responsible for handling payment for the transfer. ​ ​ ​ ​

Participants:  7 minimum; 12 maximum. 7 participants are required for this workshop to proceed. If the minimum number is not reached by January 15, 2019 the workshop may be cancelled and deposits will be refunded to participants. See our cancellation policy below for more details. ​

Accommodations:  The workshop price is based on double occupancy. For those participating in the workshop that are not traveling with a friend, partner, or spouse, we will ensure all participants are partnered with a roommate of the same sex. ​

Cancellation Policy:  Participant spots are non-refundable but are transferrable (i.e. if the participant is able to find someone else to take their spot and can sell/transfer the spot to a new participant, this is acceptable). ​ Although extremely unlikely, Spencer Wynn reserves the right to cancel the trip at any time for a variety of reasons (i.e. if a minimum number of participants is not met or if unforeseen circumstances dramatically impacted cost of the tour or global conditions somehow warranted a cancellation). In the unlikely event of a cancellation, all monies/deposits made to Spencer Wynn will be refunded to participants however no compensation would be made for participant flight cancellation fees or any other associated travel costs. ​

Insurance:  Participants must purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance, including medical insurance and emergency medical transport coverage (proof required within 4 months of departure). By purchasing a spot you are acknowledging that you accept these conditions.   ​

Travel Visas:  It is the participant's responsibility to ensure they have a valid Travel Visa (if applicable/required) for the duration of the workshop.  ​

Passports:  Passports must be valid for more than 6 months beyond the workshop duration.


A visual journalist for over 30 years, Spencer has been documenting human interest stories, major news events and the struggles & triumphs of the human spirit.

As a photographer, educator and speaker, Spencer has lectured and conducted workshops in China, Europe, United States and Canada.

Since 2006, Spencer has been to China on 9 occasions to photograph – mostly in remote locations where often, the locals have never met a westerner. It is in these remote areas that true photographic magic happens. On this trip you will have the chance to visit places that few have experiences. 

You will come to visit some of Spencer's favourite places in China with curiosity. You will leave with your own experiences that will last a lifetime

Spencer has restricted the number of participants to a minimum in order to maximize personal instruction, learning and experimenting.

Powered by SmugMug Log In