Tell us a little bit about yourself.
As a lifetime traveller, I’ve definitely caught the travel bug and I’m never satisfied staying in one place for too long. I was born in Los Angeles, California, but grew up in northeast Ohio. After graduating from college in Atlanta, I moved to Taiwan and eventually made my way to mainland China, where I worked as a tour guide in places ranging from ancient cities like Xi’an to modern megacities like Shanghai.
As Senior Adventure Manager now in my 4th year at The Dragon Trip I directly manage the on-the-ground experience of our Japan Adventure Tour and also supervise the Adventure Managers of the Southeast Asia and China Adventure Tours. Most of my work is focussed around recruiting and coordinating our Adventure Leader team, safety management, solving problems (when they come up), finance and developing our tours. Our aim at The Dragon Trip is to provide life-changing trips for our customers on all our tours.
What are your top photography spots in Asia?
If you’re a photography geek, die-hard Instagrammer, or just generally looking for a great spot to capture a beautiful holiday pic, there are some great chances to flex your creative muscles on all of our tours. A few of my favourites are:
1. Yangshuo, China – Mountain panoramas along the Li River
Tip: If you’re looking to capture the mountain reflection in the river, make sure you are there anywhere between 9am and 4pm.
2. Beijing, China – Great Wall of China
Tip: Sunrise and sunset are the best time to capture The Great Wall of China at its Sunday best. If you booked a tour with The Dragon Trip, you will be camping next to an abandoned section of the great wall (May-Sept). All you need to do is to wake up 30 minutes before sunrise, roll out of your tent and point and shoot for that dramatic shot.
3. Tokyo, Japan – Shibuya Crossing
Tip: Dubbed as the best photo spot in Tokyo, you won’t be the only one trying to capture the bustle of the cities most crowded crossing. Our favourite time to go is just after dark, as this will allow you to experience Shibuya Crossing in full swing. Head to the Tsutaya building for an awesome view.
4. Hiroshima, Japan – Itsukushima shrine
Tip: Whether you’re there for sunset, dusk, or the middle of the day, Itsukushima Shrine will easily impress your Instagram followers and friends back home. Wait for high tide and the shrine appears almost by magic as if it were floating in the sea. Or, wait for low tide to get a snap of your friends posing under the gate.
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand – Elephant Sanctuary
Tip: Elephants are such fun, social creatures that it’s impossible to get bored when photographing them. For the best shot, catch the elephants interacting with each other or with one of your friends. Be patient, and you’re sure to capture that winning Instagram shot.
6. Luang Prabang, Laos – Kuang Si Waterfalls
Tip: Kuang Si Waterfalls is the type of place that risks racking up some serious envy from your friends. To capture the bright turquoise colour of the waterfalls, make sure you have a source of light behind you. For the best shot of the waterfalls, travel between October and April.
7. Sapa, Vietnam – Rice terraces
Tip: Visit the rice terraces for great photography snaps in May, June, late September and early October. In late spring, early rain showers allow for the water to reflect the blue skies and clouds on the rice terraces. This is great for vivid and playful photographs. In early autumn, the rice terraces change their colours from green to gold, and you’ll find more farmers on the terraces for crop harvest.
8. Cambodia – Sunrise over Angkor Wat
Tip: You’ll find dozens of blogs giving you extensive tips on how to capture Angkor Wat at its best, so for the shutterbugs out there I definitely recommend having a look round online. You’ve also probably seen countless landscape pictures of the UNESCO World Heritage site already, but to capture your very own I recommend heading to the East Gate (away from all the crowds) in time for sunrise. Make sure you get there at least 15-30 minutes before so you have enough time to prepare your shot in advance.
Our operations team love to share the best photos we have from our Dragon Trippers who post on Instagram using the hashtag #dragonshoots18. Check out the feed for more photography inspiration.
Book a tour to Asia with The Dragon Trip and grab a 10% discount on all their trips! Simply quote “bonusprint/TDT18” when you book your budget backpacking adventure tour.