China is a massive country and has many draw cards that attract tourists from all around the world. Being one of the oldest civilisations on Earth, there are heaps of historical sights to see such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall of China. However, if you get off the beaten path a little bit (albeit hard to do in China), there are heaps of incredible landscapes waiting to be found. Here are just some of the best landscapes in China that have to be seen to be believed.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive fortifications to ever be built. Due to its incredible size, its no surprise that the wall passes through some amazing landscapes. In particular, the Jinshanling section of the wall offers some picturesque views.
Honghe Hani Rice Terraces
Looking more like an abstract art piece than real life, the Honghe Hani Rice terraces offer some of the most amazing landscapes in China. The terraces can be found spread over the Yuanyang, Honghe, Jinpin and Lüchun counties, however the main part is in Yuanyang. Due to their immesnse size, beauty and historical significance, the terraces were UNESCO heritage listed in 2013.
Huanglong Scenic Area
Huanglong is packed with heaps of incredible natural features that have been formed over millions of yearscof geological activity. Most notable though, are the bright blue mineral pools that are scatterd down the ‘Yellow Dragon’ gully. The area is also home to many endangered animals including the Giant Panda.
Mount Huangshan, often reffered to as the ‘the loveliest mountain of China’, has long being the subject of Chinese paintings and literature. It’s easy to see why, with mountain top forests, steep cliff faces and beautiful sunsets. As a result, Huangshan has become one of the most popular tourist sights in China.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area
The inspiration behind the movie ‘Avatar’, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area looks like something from another planet. There is over 3,000 sandstone pillars scattered throughout the sight, with many being over 200 metres tall. The area encompasses 4 different national parks, meaning there is over 500 attraction sights to be witnessed.
Reed Flute Cave
One of the oldest landscapes in China, the Reed Flute Cave has been attracting tourists for thousands of years as indicated by inscriptions found inside. However the caves were lost and only rediscovered in the 1940’s by a group of refugees fleeing Japanese troops. Nowadays, the cave is lit up with colourful lights than shine and shimmer over the stalagmites and stalagtites.
Jiuzhaigou Valley translates to ‘Nine Village Valley’, which refers to the nine Tibetan villages that can be found within. However, the main drawcard of the valley colourful lakes. The water of the lakes are an incredible turquoise, blue and green and many of the lakes have crystal clear water.
The landscape of Zhangye Danxia is an incredible rainbow of reds, yellows and oranges that roll over sandstone mountains. The sandstone deposits where eroded over millions of years by the wind and rain and as a result created an incredible array of bizzare patterns and shapes.
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Li River & Surrounding Karst Landscapes
China is littered with many karst landscapes of varying sizes and forms, however some of the most incredible can be found along the Li River. Karst landscapes are formed by the erosion of rocks such as limestone and dolomite over a long period of time. The resulting erosion creates an incredible landscape like what you will find along the Li River.
Shilin Stone Forest
Another example of incredible karst landscapes in China is the Shilin Stone Forest. This landscape was once a sea bed, and due to being pushed up by tectonic activity, became exposed to the erosive elements. Today, the area now looks like a petrified forest, hence the name ‘Stone Forest’.
Where are your favourite places in China? Tell me about them below!