How many days are you thinking about visiting the Guilin area?
Fishermen Session Cost Implications
The last of the cormorant fishermen of the Li will leave home sometimes at 3.30am to paddle upstream to meet us on remote bends of the river at 4-4:30 am, at least 30 mins to 1 hour before sunrise. We select locations based on the time of year, angle of light, water levels, reflection potential (caused by some shoals) and other factors such as river police regulations, that constantly are changing. We sometimes have to arrange motor rafts to also travel up to meet us, so we can access small rocky outcrops, small stone beach, a concrete bank, depending on water levels and if other photographers could be in the area. Having this motor raft gives us the most options and ensures you have the best chance to go home with a winning shot. To arrange raft men, motor rafts, the fishermen to do this rain or shine, and to shoot with us 1-2 hours is costly, especially if you elect to have 2 fishermen or choose the quieter more remote (and more beautiful in our view) sunrise locations. Other factors also can add to cost, such as the oldest fishermen in their 80's, we feel is unethical to have them paddle upstream against the flow this far, so we insist on arranging a motor raft to bring them and their rafts to some locations. Costs of fishing sessions, therefore, start at a minimum of $60 for 1 single fisherman at a location near to the village to $150. All fishermen costs go 100% directly to support the fishermen, who are now all retired and range from 62 to 87 years old and are from a pre-pension generation, and the income is vital to them.
Car Selection Cost Implications
Our driving team's not like normal Chinese tour company drivers. Our drivers have been hand-picked and trained by us for years, they have become friends, and in many cases are now accomplished photographers. Our cars and drivers are exclusively for our photo tour clients, we do not provide a driver only service. Our drivers serve our clients from as early as 3:30 am until 8-9 pm at night. They drive long distances, know all the mountain roads, access riverside tracks most drivers would not know or take. They have never been in accidents, late, or let us down in all our years in Guilin. This kind of reliable service (at ungodly hours) by drivers who are willing to be extremely flexible costs between $120 and $200 US dollars per day, depending on the car level selected and itinerary. This gives you an idea of the cost implication of car choice.