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Top Ten Most Beautiful Landscapes in China

China is a country not only with rich cultural sights but also with many natural wonders. Here is a guide to the top ten most beautiful landscapes in China and how you can visit them.

1.Stone Forest in Kunming - Stone Wonder

Stone Forest Scenic Area is located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, 78km from Kunming city. It's has collected most of the world's karst landform. It's characterized by stones of magnificence, grotesqueness, seclusion, mystery, and boldness. It has preserved and exhibited diversified karst forms, in which the limestone columns in the sword, column, mushroom, and tower shapes are the most typical ones. Besides, there are limestone caves, stalactites, corroded lakes, natural bridges, waterfalls, and cone-shaped peaks.

Kunming Stone Forest

Recommded Itinerary: 8-day Yunnan Classic Tour to Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la

2.Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - Forest and Mountain Paradise

Located in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park the first national forest park in China. It has over 2,000 peculiarly shaped stone peaks, lush forest coverage of 88%, and a humid climate suitable for many rare animals. There are many sights inside the park, among which Yellow Stone Village, Golden Whip River, and Yuanjiajie are the most famous ones.

Yuanjiajie is located in the north of the park. In the late Tang Dynasty, Huangchao Uprising was squashed, and many rebels were arrested and punished. A general with the surname of Yuan hid in Zhangjiajie, led a secluded life here, and renamed the place as Yuanjiajie. Inside the Yuanjiajie, you can visit the "No.1 Bridge under Heaven", "Mihun Platform," "Backyard Garden" and more. However, the most famous sights are the Bailong Elevator and Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. Bailong Elevator is the most breathtaking and exhilarating elevator on earth. It's a vertical elevator of 335m in height, connecting the Tianzi Mountain, Yuanjiajie, and Golden Whip Stream and saving a lot of time and energy for you. Inside the elevator, you can see the surrounding views. Hallelujah Mountain, aka the "Qiankun Pillar" was a majestically peculiar mountain with distinct vertical joints like being cut by a knife or an ax. It was one of the shooting locations for the famous Avatar.

Yellow Stone Village is another famous sight inside the Zhangjiajie Forest Park. It houses numerous towering stone peaks and pillars, which are most mysterious and ethereal on cloudy days.

Golden Whip Stream is located on the eastern side of Zhangjiajie Forest Park. It's a great place to relax with the clear streaming flowing by, flowers and grass thriving and blooming, birds singing, trees towering, and wild animals playing aside.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

3.Danxia Landform Geological Park - Rainbow Mountains

Best known for its unusual colors and shapes, Danxia Landform Geological Park is a must-see sight in Zhangye. Such kind of landform is a result of millions of years of sandstone and other minerals deposition. With the help of the same tectonic plates that shaped the Himalayan Mountains, this place has been tilted, and the wind, rain, and time. Therefore, a colorful fairy tale world was formed. An array of colors covering red, yellow, orange, green, white, graphite, and gray is prevalent everywhere, fashioning the various trenches and hills. Standing on the high viewing platforms, you will see the beauty of this majestic landform scaling over 10 square kilometers being truly unveiled. The most spectacular moment comes at sunset when the orange sunlight is pouring all over the hills, that’s when you must make the best photos!

Danxia Landform Geological Park

Recommended Itinerary: 15-day Silk Road and Xinjiang Tour

4.Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve - Gorgeous Fairy Tale World

Praised as the “Fairy Tale World." Jiuzhaigou is one of the best natural wonders in the world. The whole sight prevails with primitive forests, in which live the giant pandas, golden monkeys, takin, sika deer, and many rare animals. It’s also renown for the incredibly green lakes, plunging waterfalls, ever-changing colorful forest, and snow-capped peaks.

Green Water

Water is the soul of the Jiuzhaigou, and the lakes are the most characteristic elements here. They are blue and clear all year round and display different charm with the change of light and seasons. On the bottom of the lakes, many irregular stones form patterns in light yellow, dark green, russet, and crimson. Surrounding the lakes are the primitive forests and clusters of flowers.

Plunging Waterfalls

Jiuzhaigou is a kingdom of waterfalls. There are lots of waterfalls rushing out of the forests and plunging down the ridges, like silver dragons roaring down, stirring up tons of water drops, which often form a fabulous rainbow under the sunlight.

Colorful Forest

Jiuzhaigou also has the most beautiful forests in the world. There are over 2000 kinds of exotic plants in the forest. If you like adventures, those primitive forests with rare plants, thick mosses, and wild animals would be a great place to explore.

Snow-capped Peaks

In Winter, all the mountains and peaks are snow-capped, forming a distinct contrast with the clear lake at the foot of the mountain.

Tibetan Culture

Jiuzhaigou is located in the transition areas from Tibetan Plateau to Sichuan Basin. The Tibetan people still preserved their unique traditions and cultures like a mysterious primitive religion, complicated architectures and costumes, and festive holidays. By long-time living together with Qiang, Hui, and Han people, Tibetan culture became more diversified.


5.Li River - Pastoral Life

Li River is a pearl of China's tourists and the essential soul of Guilin. With sprawling karstic hills and mountains standing on both sides, ancient caves and little streams telling the historical stories, boundless rice paddies lying on the earth, vast bamboo groves and forests forming green shadows on the river, strong water buffaloes strolling around, fishermen and their cormorants floating on the water, and ancient villages creating an atmosphere of tranquility, Li River is a fairyland on earth. Here one can enjoy what the ancient Chinese poet felt "the best landscape under heaven."

Li River

Also Read: A Guide to Li River and Li River Cruise

Recommended Tour: 4 Days Li River and Terraces Tour

6.Tianchi - Heavenly Lake

Located on the hillside of the Bogda Peak, about 110km from Urumqi, Tianchi is an alpine lake shaped in semilune. It's both beautiful as the E'mei Mountain and majestic as Mount Hua. The lake is crystal clear, and the surrounding snow-capped mountains, glaciers, pastures, and forests make the lake even more endearing.

Besides the main lake, there are also Eastern Tianchi and Western Tianchi. The Eastern Tianchi is said to be where the Queen Mother of the West showered and bathed. Under the lake is a cliff where a waterfall rushes down, like a spectacular rainbow drops from the sky. Meanwhile, there is a high forest coverage rate in Eastern Tianchi that can serve as a natural oxygen bar. Western Tianchi is said to be where Queen Mother of the West used to wash her feet. It's shaped like a full moon with clear and deep water and pine trees towering around.

Standing on a high spot and looking far away, you will see a vast forest wave, and the Tianchi Lake is like a jade being held high with a giant hand. On the bank of the lake, pines and cypresses are spreading everywhere; flocks of sheep are moving around. In the far, the mountain tops are capped with snow. Everything is just perfect.

Tianchi - Heavenly Lake

Recommended Itinerary: 8-day Xinjiang Tour to Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar

7.Hukou Waterfall in Shanxi/Shaanxi - Most Imposing Waterfall

As the second-largest waterfall in China (the largest one is Guangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province), and also the largest Yellow Waterfall in the world, the Hukou Waterfall is a natural waterfall formed by the middle part of the Yellow River flowing pass the Jinshaan Grand Canyon. On its east side is the Ji County of Shanxi Province, while its west side is the Yichuan County in Shaanxi Province. The whole waterfall is 30 meters wide, 50 meters deep, and the water scale can be 30,000 m3 at largest. When the surging Yellow River flows by the narrow spout-shape channel with stone cliffs towering aside, a sublime natural view is created. You can imagine that with 300-meter wide Yellow River water being suppressed to pass the 20/30-meter wide channel within a buffer distance of 500 meters, the stream at a speed of 1000 m3/s rushes down to the cliffs, what a splendid scene!

Hukou Waterfall

8.Three Gorges - Magical Work of Yangtze River

The Three Gorges are the magical work of Yangtze River starting from Baidi Town of Fengjie County, Chongqing and ending in Nanjinguan of Yichang city. It's composed of Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge.
Qutang Gorge, known as Kui Gorge, starts from Baidi Town in the west and ends at Daxi Town in the east. It's famous for its magnificence.
Wu Gorge starts from the Daning River and ends at Guandukou. It is composed of eastern and western sections. The western section has Jinkui Yinjia Gorge and Jianchuan Gorge, while the eastern section has Tieguan Gorge and Menshan Gorge.
Xiling Gorge stretches 66km from Xiangxikou in the west to Nanjinguan in the east. It's famous for dangerous shoals and rapids.

Three Gorges

Recommended Itinerary: 14 Days Beijing - Xian - Chengdu- Yangtze River Cruise - Shanghai Tour

9.Nalati Grasslands - Grand Prairie Culture

Located on the northern slope of Mount Nalati, the Nalati Grassland is rated as one of the six most beautiful grasslands in China by the Chinese National Geography and one of the four greatest grasslands in the world. It's a scenic area composed of grasslands, forests, river valleys, and mountains. If you visit in Spring, you may enjoy the Horse Racing, on which activities like singing, dancing, horse racing, sheep capturing, and wrestling are held. While in Summer, the snow is melted, wildflowers bloom everywhere on the mountain, and the sheep herds move on the slopes, forming a harmonious scene. The best time to visit Nalat Grassland is from July to October when the grass is most lush and green, covering the mountain like a giant carpet. Just imagine strolling on the soft grass and being surrounded by the exotic Kazak culture.

Nalati Grasslands

10.Ziquejie Terraced Fields - Most Beautiful Rice Field

Seated in the Shuiche district of Lousi city, Hunan province, the Ziquejie Terraced Fields are hailed as the "Kingdom of Terraces." The natural landscapes and the irrigation systems here are the best in China, even the world. About 2000 years ago, Miao, Yao, Dong, and Han people began to live in this area and work together. They together created this natural miracle and cultural landscape. The front of the mountain is the rice fields, while on the back of the Ziquejie terrace, there is the 10000-acre honeysuckle base and 48 Yao villages. Therefore, the Ziquejie Terraced Fields are a combination of southern rice culture and fishing and hunting culture in mountain areas.

Ziquejie Rice Fields