Have a question? See below to see if we can solve it. If you do not find your answer, please kindly email us at info@thierrybornier.com.

Where can I buy a SIM card in China?

SIM card shops are widespread in China, and you can easily find them at major airports such as the Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong, Guangzhou Baiyun, Chengdu Shuangliu, and Shenzhen Bao’an.

You can also get Chinese SIM cards at kiosks and shops in most cities, or even from street vendors. However, we recommend buying your cards from official stores and websites only. 

Will there be internet coverage in China?

Yes, there is internet access in all of the hotels that we use during our workshops. Most places that we visit will have Wi-Fi hotspots. In remote places, such as the deserts, you will not be able to communicate as readily. 

Please note that some useful websites and applications including Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are banned in China, so we strongly recommend you get a VPN before heading to China.

What is the best way to take money with me?

We recommend bringing along a combination of cash, an ATM card and a credit card on your trip, just in case one option fails. Remember to advise your bank that you will be using your cards overseas. There may be foreign transaction fees on certain cards.

How much cash money do I need?

We don’t recommend bringing too much cash because you can withdraw cash via ATM in most cities in China. Remember that with China Photo Workshops, your transport, accommodation and entrance fees to major sites are paid for in advance, so you won’t need to factor these into your budget.

What is the local currency?

In China, we use RMB. Current exchange rates are available through your bank and online at websites like XE.com.

What is the emergency contact number in China?

In case of an emergency, you can contact police by dialing 110, and ambulance by 112. 

How safe are my belongings during the workshop?

China is one of the safest countries in the world. However, it is still necessary to take precautions while travelling. While we do everything we can to make sure your belongings are safe, theft can occur anywhere. This is why travel insurance is handy and a lockable bag or money belt will be useful too. Please leave your fancy jewellery, watches, designer clothes and bags at home during our trips. Never leave your camera gear unattended and don’t flash large amounts of cash when making purchases.

Are there any age limits to who may participate in a workshop?

On certain trips, we may require a doctor’s letter that certifies health and fitness of participants who are over 70 years old. We don’t recommend minors to join our workshops unless they are accompanied by a parent. 

Do I need to take any medical supplies?

We recommend that you carry personal medical items for managing common minor ailments, such as colds, diarrhoea, blisters, headaches, heartburn, sore throats and so on. Travellers who take regular medication should bring an appropriate supply within carry-on luggage on the plane. Allergy and asthma sufferers should ensure that they have an adequate supply of their routine medicine.

How fit do I need to be to join a workshop?

Our workshops are designed to be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. However, some trips, like our workshops in Tibet, visit remote areas with limited medical facilities and require a moderate amount of hiking, so you must be in good health. Factors such as long walks and cold weather also add to the physical toll. Keep in mind that you will need to carry your own bags during the workshop in most cases.

Do I need to get travel and medical insurance?

We highly recommend that you take out Travel and Medical insurance for all workshop trips in China. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas. When purchasing insurance, make sure that you check the terms of the policy carefully, particularly the limits of your cover, such as for replacement of photographic equipment in case of damage or loss. Please also familiarize yourself with the procedure for making claims, as most policies stipulate that claims must be made within a certain time after completion of your journey.

Will I be able to charge my electrical appliances?

In most places, you’ll be able to recharge your appliances at the hotel. We recommend that you bring a travel adapter with you and if you have lots of batteries to charge, a travel sized power bar. 

I have food allergies, what can you do?

We do everything in our power to make sure that you will be taken care of with no risk to your health.

Will I be able to do any laundry?

Some hotels offer laundry service, but do not count on it since we will often be changing hotels during our workshops and you need to stay at least 2-3 days in each hotel to be able to use their laundry service. We will do our best to arrange laundry service for you during the workshop.

Will there be any difficult, long hikes during the workshop?

We normally drive pretty close to all of our shooting destinations; therefore, you won’t need to do any extreme hikes. However, you will still need to be able to walk on uneven ground and maybe walk up and down some small hills to reach the best shooting spots.

How much free time is there in a workshop?

We pack a lot into each day, to make sure that our participants will have the most memorable trip possible. That being said, if you want to skip a sunrise shoot or staying up in the night to shoot the aurora, then that’s your choice. Just make sure that you will be up and ready to meet us at times that we will be in transit. Please note that if you choose to opt out of any included activities, no reimbursement can be made by China Photo Workshops.

Can I extend my stay?

You’re welcome to extend your stay either before or after the workshop. However, for all extended nights, we kindly ask you to book your accommodation yourself. 

What is the maximum number of participants in a workshop?

We allow for a maximum of 6 participants in each workshop.

If I need to cancel, do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes, we have a cancellation and refund policy. 

We strongly recommend you get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.

75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

Is the workshop conducted in English?

Yes, all of our team members speak English and every workshop is conducted in English.

Can I do just part of the workshop?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to do sections of our workshops. If you can’t manage a full workshop, then we can always offer you a private tour for as many days as you wish. Please ask us for a quote.

When is the final payment due?

The final payment is due 90 days prior to the starting date of your workshop.

How do I pay for the workshop?

We will send you a secure payment link via your email for you to make the payment. You can also make bank wire transfer, if you prefer.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

To confirm your place on one of our workshops and to make hotel bookings, we will collect a deposit payment of $2000.

How far in advance do I need to make my bookings?

The sooner you are able to make your booking, the better. We have no way of knowing when other people will book, so by the time you decide to confirm your place, it may be that the workshop is already filled up! Our advice is to book as soon as you’ve made the decision to travel – that way, your spot on the workshop will be secured.

Do I need to tip in China?

In Mainland China, tipping is optional.

In very high-end hotels you may leave the bellhops or concierges $10 per item of luggage. But it is not expected.

In Hong Kong the expected tip is $5-$10 for every luggage they carry. Hotels sometimes add a 15% service charge, but mainly for large groups.

What should I pack for one of your photo workshops?

Please check on the ‘Recommended to Bring’ section of each workshop to find more details. The clothing that you will need depends greatly on the season in China. Our general recommendation for dressing in China is to wear layers and to stay away from heavy cotton clothing, which can trap sweat. Lighter alternatives like merino wool are warm, wrinkle-free and will serve you well whenever you decide to travel to China.

What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?

We suggest that you bring one backpack containing your camera gear as carry-on during your flight, one checked bag for your clothing and other belongings, as well as a small satchel much like the size of the personal item allowed on international flights. You are responsible for carrying your bags on and off buses and other vehicles, as well as up and down stairs, so pack smart and light.

What do you suggest for Carry-On luggage?

We advise that you pack the following items in your carry-on luggage: any medications in their original, labeled containers; eyeglasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution; important documents such as your travel insurance, medical records, allergy information and emergency contact information; camera gear, memory cards and batteries; as well as any valuables you may have.

What is the baggage policy?

Each airline has its own baggage policy, which is subject to change; therefore, please contact your airline(s) directly to verify carry-on restrictions, prohibited items, number of bags permitted and weight allowances for your international departure and arrival flights. Should your luggage be damaged or lost, file a report with your airline before you leave the baggage claim area, and contact us or your hotel to advise them of your delay.

Do your workshops include international airfares?

Our guests arrive from all over the world to begin our workshops, so it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices.

What documents will I need to enter China?

To enter China, you will need to present a valid passport to passport control. Due to airline security measures, your passport name must match your airline ticket name, or you may be denied boarding. In addition, the expiration date on your passport must be at least six months after your return from your trip. If it is not, then you should renew your passport before travelling to China.

Can you help to arrange my Travel Visas?

The requirements for international travel visas to China vary widely, depending on your nationality. Please check the Directorate of Immigration to see how to get a visa to travel to China. While we can’t help you to procure your visa, we can give you a letter of confirmation from our company as well as confirmations from the hotels that we use during the workshop, in order to assist your application. If you do require a visa, then you may either arrange it yourself by contacting your nearest Chinese Embassy or by using the services of a visa processing company. Please ensure that you complete and return your visa application in a timely manner so that you will have your documentation in time to travel. It’s best to get your visa sorted in advance because the processing time can be quite long.

Can you tailor-make a workshop, just for us?

Yes, we can! Please send an email to us at info@thierrybornier.com with your needs and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Do I need to be an expert photographer to join one of your workshops?

No, we welcome all levels of photographers to our workshops and normally our groups are mixed with people all levels.