Smiles of China Part II

Smiles of China Travel Photos

Welcome to another round of my smiling faces series from around the world.

Most people are aware that a smile is contagious but did you realize that it can boost your immune system? Apparently, when grinning from ear to ear, your body is in a more natural and relaxed state contributing to a stronger immune system.

Recently, I returned to mainland China for the first time in several years. I was excited to revisit areas in the South including Guilin and Yangshuo with Audrey.

Yangshuo is as close to paradise on earth as I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. Lush green karst mountains stand erect while rural roads lead to paths less traveled.

Compared to Hong Kong, our base for the past few weeks, it was a refreshing change of pace for the two of us.

We spent time going for relaxing walks around the city center and slow paced bicycle rides out in the countryside with no guidebooks or maps in hand.

When many people think of China they think of the Alpha cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai; however, authentic China, for me is just as much the countryside areas, serpentine rivers, rice terraces and karst mountains.

Compared to countries in SE Asia, locals are not as likely to beam a radiant grin; however, if you dig deep (as a photographer) you’ll be rewarded with candid portraits over time. Β Here are a few of my favorites from 2010 πŸ™‚

Photo Essay: Smiling Faces from China

This cute little boy - wearing a poorboy cap - was smiling at me while taking a break from eating his section of corn on the cob in Lijiang, China.

This cute little boy – wearing a poorboy cap – was smiling at me while taking a break from eating his section of corn on the cob in Lijiang, China.

A Chinese man dressed in an elaborate regional costume and headdress smiles in Dali, China.

A Chinese man dressed in an elaborate regional costume and headdress smiles in Dali, China.

A captured this candid portrait of a Chinese man smiling while walking in one of the more hectic areas of Shanghai, China.

A captured this candid portrait of a Chinese man smiling while walking in one of the more hectic areas of Shanghai, China.

This group of smiling Chinese ladies were sharing a laugh nearby the touristic area of the Bund in Shanghai, China.

This group of smiling Chinese ladies were sharing a laugh nearby the touristic area of the Bund in Shanghai, China.

An adorably cute moment shared by child and mother nearby the Bund in Shanghai, China.

An adorably cute moment shared by child and mother nearby the Bund in Shanghai, China.

This Chinese lady with a toothy grin was performing in a Communist inspired show in downtown Guilin, China.

This Chinese lady with a toothy grin was performing in a Communist inspired show in downtown Guilin, China.

A group of Chinese ladies share an ear to ear smile/laugh with gums showing in hectic Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, China.

A group of Chinese ladies share an ear to ear smile/laugh with gums showing in hectic Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, China.

A Chinese lady wearing a vermilion color leather jacket walks down the street in Shanghai, China while talking on the phone.

A Chinese lady wearing a vermilion color leather jacket walks down the street in Shanghai, China while talking on the phone.

This young Chinese lady poses for a portrait nearby a monument in downtown Shanghai, China.

This young Chinese lady poses for a portrait nearby a monument in downtown Shanghai, China.

This Chinese man with a distinct long beard and sunhat shares a laugh with a friend on a park bench in Dali, China.

This Chinese man with a distinct long beard and sunhat shares a laugh with a friend on a park bench in Dali, China.

This Chinese lady flashes a smile while glancing out of the side of her eyes at the child she is carrying in her arms - Yangshuo, China.

This Chinese lady flashes a smile while glancing out of the side of her eyes at the child she is carrying in her arms – Yangshuo, China.

This Chinese lady smiles while hopping on the back of a motorbike in Shanghai, China.

This Chinese lady smiles while hopping on the back of a motorbike in Shanghai, China.

This lovely young Chinese lady weaves in downtown Lijiang, China while greeting me with a smile.

This lovely young Chinese lady weaves in downtown Lijiang, China while greeting me with a smile.

I hope these smiles from China brightened your day πŸ™‚ Do you have a favorite one?

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44 Comments

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  1. says: Ivana

    Happy pictures πŸ™‚ Really make smile and joy. Do you usually show them to the people you shoot? Or send them digital version potentially?
    I believe they all would be happy to see their lovely faces πŸ™‚

  2. says: lingholic

    Fantastic pictures! You are a really talented photographer, Samuel. I had the chance to visit Hong Kong last February, but I’ve never been to the mainland. I’m getting itchy feet!

    1. Alex,

      I would have used a Sony A77 dslr with a 18-250 mm lens and sometimes a nifty 50 mm. My ISO fluctuates depending on the lighting conditions. Typically I shoot wide open in order to freeze the action (or in this case the faces).

  3. When I went to China in 2012 I captured people from totally different point of view then you did. But it’s really nice to see that every photographer has its own ideas of what is important to capture. It’s like a mirror of our souls.

    p.s. I will that all Chinese would smile a lot, at least for their health concerns πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Distinct smiles and grinning faces from China P...
  5. says: Turtle

    Wonderful shots, as always! I spent a bit of time in Yangshuo a few years ago because a good mate of mine was working there. I found the people to be so friendly and warm – so it’s no great surprise to see all the smiles you managed to capture!

  6. says: Iain Mallory

    Great seeing some smiles Samuel, and great photographs of them. People are my favourite subject, you’ve done a great job capturing these ones.

  7. says: Mary @ Green Global travel

    You have caught some beautiful smiles in these images and I love that this has been a travel focus for you! I hope that you are enjoying beautiful Yangshuo!

  8. says: Cole Van Horn

    I’m Living in Enshi, Hubei. My plans for winter break include Yangshuo and a few days around the area. How did you get from Guilin to Yangshuo itself? Is there a train or is bus better? Is there possibly a river boat? And how about hotel accommodations? Any help would be appreciated! Hope your stay in the PROC was fantastic!

    1. Cole,

      It’s easy to get to and from Yangshuo and Guilin. You can do a touristy river cruise (which I recommend doing once) but on the way back consider taking the bus which is really cheap and is about an hour and a half trip.

  9. says: Maria

    So many beautiful portraits to choose from – “Chinese man smiling while walking in one of the more hectic areas of Shanghai, China” is my favorite – he looks genuinely pleased and as if he’s enjoying himself.

  10. This is a wonderful collection of smiles, and yes, they did get a return smile from me. I have three that stood out as favorites: mother and child on the Bund, man with beard on park bench and girl on back of motorbike. Nicely done,