A seasoned travel photographer knows that there's hard work involved in getting the best photos from a trip. So when Ken Koskela arrived in China on a 17-day trip, he wasn't exactly planning on a relaxing vacation. He rose at 4 AM each day to get himself into position to photograph sunrise over the rivers, rice terraces and mountains of Guilin and XiaPu. Then, spending his afternoons with a guide, he interacted and photographed residents of the villages in the region, and spent evenings capturing sunset.

He operated on an average of four hours of sleep per night, but his hard work paid of in memorable images that capture the beauty of the region and its people. Take a look at a few images here and head to Resource Travel for the full story. Do you sacrifice sleep for great shots when you're traveling? Let us know in the comments.