For a country that’s one of the world’s oldest civilizations and has such a massive size, it’s no surprise that China has various hidden but wonderful landscapes that are worthy of being explored. From the majestic Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province to mysterious Tibet and the large-scale Xinjiang Province, China is like a big treasure that you must visit. Below, we have detailed the top 10 best landscapes in China, for your reference.
1. Yellow Mountains — the Most Renowned Mountain Range in China
- Location: Huangshan District, Huangshan, Anhui Province
The Yellow Mountains are regarded as being the “most fantastic mountain range under heaven“. When Chinese people hear the name, the first image that appears in their minds is a twisted pine tree that seems to be waving to welcome you. The most representative features of Huangshan are oddly-shaped pines, curiously-curved rocks, a sea of clouds, and hot springs.
There are 72 mountains in Huangshan City and the main peak is Lotus Peak, which is 1,864 meters high. A famous Chinese traveler, Xu Xiake, said: “You needn’t see other mountains if you have been to the Five Great Mountains and you needn’t visit the Five Great Mountains if you have been to the Yellow Mountains”.
- Transportation: You can go to Huangshan by airplane because many of China’s big cities have direct flights there.
2. The Great Wall of China — the Longest Structure and a Spectacular View
- Location: North China
The Great Wall is China’s premier tourist attraction. From the Jiayuguan section of the Great Wall in Gansu Province in the west to the Shanhaiguan section, which meets the Bohai Sea in the east, the Great Wall is the longest and greatest architectural structure.
Built on the ridges of mountains, you can explore different views in various seasons. Autumn is the most popular season because the blue sky contrasts with the colorful flowers and plants.
Recommendation: Most travelers visit the sections of the Great Wall that are in Beijing, such as Mutianyu, Simatai, Jinshanling, and Jiankou.
- Join our mini group tour to discover the Great Wall.
3. West Lake — an Ancient Man-Made Lake
- Location: Xihu District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
Located in Hangzhou, West Lake is a famous man-made freshwater lake and is regarded as one of the most beautiful sights in China. Walking or riding alongside West Lake, you can see a beautiful man-made forest, temples, and pagodas. Different from other lakes, West Lake has a long history, dating back to the Song Dynasty (960–1279). With the combination of its natural landscape, historic atmosphere, and beautiful stories, West Lake is vivid and charming.
- Transportation: It’s convenient to take a high-speed train or a flight from Beijing, Shanghai, or Xi’an to Hangzhou.
4. Hong Village — a Picturesque Water Village
- Location: Yi County, Huangshan, Anhui Province
Hong Village is a picturesque village with over 1,000 years of history and beautiful water scenes. This striking village has an outstanding local Hui architectural style that looks black and white setting that looks like a traditional Chinese painting. Walking the narrow lanes and exploring 140 ancient houses as well as Moon Pond, ancient bridges, and the clear lake is a big inspiration for travelers. Hong Village is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and welcomes visitors from all over the world every year.
- Recommendation: Visitors usually visit Hong Village and the Yellow Mountains together as these two sites are close.
5. The Li River — an Amazing Karst Landscape and Blue Waters
- Location: Yangshuo County, Guilin, Guangxi Province
The Li River is the best example of a karst landscape in Yangshuo County. There is a Chinese proverb stating that Guilin’s landscape is the most beautiful in the world while Yangshuo’s scenery is the best in Guilin. Surrounded by karst mountains and natural countryside views, it’s enjoyable to take a bamboo raft trip on the Li River. Visitors can also rent a bicycle to discover a different side to the Li River.
- Explore the Li River with Us: See the amazing panoramic view of Yangshuo from Xianggong Mountain and enjoy a bamboo raft trip on the Li River. Join our One-Day Yangshuo Highlights Tour to explore this beautiful county.
6. Tibet — the Roof of the World
- Location: Southwest China, near Yunnan, Sichuan, and Qinghai provinces
Tibet is a mysterious area that’s located in Southwest China and bordered by Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces. The local people use their minority languages, and their lifestyles are influenced by Buddhist beliefs. It’s amazing to discover Tibet because this area has its own culture and customs while its landscape is stunning.
The most famous landscapes of Tibet include the magnificent Everest Base Camp, Lake Nam, and Yamdrok Lake. The blue rivers and sky, the white clouds and snow, the beautiful local buildings, and the natural landscape combine to make Tibet a holy place, which seems close to heaven.
- Note: If you want to go to Tibet, you not only need your visa to enter China but you also require special permission from the local government.
7. Xinjiang — the Largest Province in China with Various Striking Landscapes
- Location: Northwest China
There is a famous proverb about Xinjiang: “You won’t know how large China is until you have been to Xinjiang Province”. Xinjiang Province is the largest province in China; therefore, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of places to see. From the traditional Chinese city of Urumqi to the vast and mysterious Gobi Desert, Xinjiang is a completely unique area that is unlike any of China’s other cities.
Explore crystal clear lakes and Bogda Peak at Tian Shan mountain range. Admire the beautiful picture of snow formations, grassland, and blue water at Sayram Lake. Discover clear lakes, a dense virgin forest, and a mysterious old village at Kanas Scenic Area.
- Note: You should allow enough time (at least 10 days) if you want to explore Xinjiang Province.
8. Wuyuan — the Most Beautiful Countryside in China
- Location: Wengong North Road, Wuyuan County, Shangrao, Jiangxi Province — at the junction of Anhui, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces
Wuyuan is home to the most beautiful countryside in China. Wuyuan has ancient and unique looking architectural structures, green mountains, and clear rivers. Yellow blossoms cover the fields and mountains every spring (March), attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. As well as enjoying the pure and clean views of this small village, you can also experience the villagers’ tranquil lifestyle. Slow your pace and enjoy this peaceful village.
- Transportation: Take a flight from other cities to Jingdezhen Luojia Airport, which is about 98 kilometers away from Wuyuan.
9. Zhangjiajie — the Inspiration for the Oscar-Winning Movie Avatar
- Location: Wulingyuan District, Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province
It’s said that Zhangjiajie’s giant quartz sand pillars were the inspiration for James Cameron’s Oscar-winning movie Avatar. After this famous movie, Zhangjiajie suddenly became the focus of foreign travelers’ eyes because of its precarious peaks, dense forests, and spectacular karst stone pillars and caves. The tallest stone pillar stands at more than 400 meters high. Many tall pillars are arranged together. It’s a big surprise to witness such a spectacular sight.
- Transportation: Zhangjiajie is 320 kilometers northwest of Changsha. You can take direct flights to Changsha and then take a flight from Changsha to Zhangjiajie. Taking a train from other cities around Hunan Province is also convenient.
10. Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park — Colorful Rainbow Mountains
- Location: Nantai Village, Nijiaying Town, Sunan Yugur Autonomous County, Zhangye, Gansu Province
The Zhangye Danxia landscape has a vivid name of “Rainbow Mountains” because of its many colors. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the rain has stopped and the sky has cleared, it’s the most beautiful time to visit Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park. You can see incredible rocks with different textures, shapes, and colors. The landscape looks like a vivid painting when the light from the sunset illuminates the mountains.
- Transportation: Take a flight to Lanzhou (the capital of Gansu Province), and then transfer to a high-speed train to Zhangye.
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